Retailing | Susana Polo interviews several members of the Valkyries, the organization of women who work in comic shops, and examines the “Valkyrie Bump,” the sales boost that some comics, such as Sex Criminals, Lumberjanes and Batgirl, get when they benefit from their extra support. [Publishers Weekly]
Political cartoons | Reporter James Hookway interviews the Malaysian cartoonist Zunar, who’s facing sedition charges, and provides some background on Malaysian politics and trial of Anwar Ibrahim, which is the topic of some of Zunar’s controversial cartoons. [The Wall Street Journal]
Political cartoons | Cartoonist Patrick Chappatte reflects on the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, offensiveness, and freedom of speech. “In the years after the Danish cartoons controversy, Charlie Hebdo was, in a kind of obtuse way, nailing on the published image of [Prophet] Mohammad, sometimes in contexts that were very inflammatory, and in a way that was not very clever,” he said. “I am saying this with caution, because there are two sides to my thinking: ‘You are free to exercise provocation, but please, do it cleverly.'” [Al Arabiya News]
Creators | Roz Chast talks about her new children’s book Around the Clock. [The Denver Post]
Creators | Here’s an account of Richard McGuire’s discussion of his graphic novel Here with Bill Kartalopoulos a few weeks ago at 192 Books in New York. [The New Yorker]
Creators | Eva Volin posts videos of her panel with Gene Luen Yang, Jeff Smith, Francoise Mouly and Cece Bell during the American Library Association midwinter meeting. [Good Comics for Kids]
Creators | Writers Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher and artist Karl Kerschl talk about Gotham Academy, the ethnic ambiguity of the characters, and how they feel about writing characters of the opposite sex. “It’s weird, I default to writing female characters,” Fletcher said. “This is something that Karl and I discovered ages ago. Neither of us gravitated towards male characters. All the books we were buying had testosterone-fueled male protagonists, and that’s not the type of people we were. So when we wrote books, we identified with the female characters that felt more real.” [LSE Human Rights Blog]
Creators | In an interview conducted just ahead of last weekend’s Dallas Comic Con Fan Days, Steve Erwin talks about his most recent project, a graphic novel adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy. [The Dallas Morning News]
Creators | The Indianapolis Star profiles six creators who hail from or live in Indiana, including Mark Waid, Andy Kuhn and Jackie Crofts. [Indianapolis Star]
Creators | Artist Raúl Gonzalez discusses his new book Lowriders in Space, diversity in children’s books, and how he became an artist. [Latinos in Kid Lit]
Conventions | Audrey Piehl and Selena Handler report on the first Madison Comic Con, including panels on Kitchen Sink Press (founded by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee alumnus Denis Kitchen) and Wisconsin’s real-life superheroes. [The Badger Herald]
Retailing | JAF Comics in Lower Nazareth Township, Pennsylvania, just opened last week, but owner John Hohn is no newbie; he sold action figures for years and when he added comics to his line last year, sales really took off. “I never envisioned myself selling comics, but the demand just grew and grew,” he said. “Now, I’ve gone from a few thousand to more than 100,000 — up there with Comic Masters in Whitehall as one of the largest suppliers in the Lehigh Valley.” The most popular titles include Star Wars and Harley Quinn. [The Morning Call]
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