Comics A.M. | The Oatmeal vs. FunnyJunk, and problems cartoonists face

Legal | Danny Bradbury takes a look at the financial and copyright aspects of online comics in an insightful article spurred by the recent dust-up between The Oatmeal and FunnyJunk. Among other things, he parses out how The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman makes $500,000 a year from his comic, why Inman and other creators object to their work being published elsewhere without attribution (and why they sometimes don't care), the legal protections they can use (and how they sometimes fail), and how sites like Pinterest avoid the problem. There's also an explanation of why FunnyJunk attorney Charles Carreon is suing Inman et al. on his own behalf, rather than FunnyJunk's: "Carreon has now effectively abandoned the threat of a FunnyJunk lawsuit, stating that he was misinformed by his client. His letter claimed that all the comics had been removed from FunnyJunk, but Inman pointed out dozens that were still there." [The Guardian]

Comics | Retailer Steve Bennet hears from an old friend with seven reasons why that person doesn't read comics — some of which have more merit than others. Confusingly, there are two point sevens, the second of which seems to stretch things a bit: "I'm certain I'm not the only one who has noticed an agenda creeping into comic books, including, especially, the Big Two. I'll get my politics and indoctrination elsewhere. And people really resent that." As Steve points out, comics reflect popular culture, and anything that's in a comic is there precisely because the editors don't think it will alienate readers. [ICv2]

Publishing | Fantagraphics' Complete Pogo won't be complete unless the publisher can track down a couple of wayward Sunday panels, so editors have put out the call to readers who might have some Sunday papers from the 1950s still lying around. [Flog]

Publishing | Dark Horse assistant editor Jim Gibbons talks about what he does, how he got his job, and how he first got involved with comics: "When I — a young asthmatic kid finding out about my plethora of allergies — was doing scratch tests at an allergist’s office, they gave my mom a copy of Captain America Meets the Asthma Monster (an old Marvel PSA book) to distract me from the discomfort of the tests. After that, every time I went in to the doctor for something major (tonsil removal, etc), my mom would buy a bunch of comics for me." [Enemy of Peanuts]

Publishing | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson talks to Bluewater Productions Publisher Darren G. Davis about his plans to publish U.S. editions of artist biographies by German creator Willi Bloess. [SLJTeen]

Conventions | Heidi MacDonald rounds up the commentary on last week's CAKE, Chicago's first indy-comics show. [The Beat]

Conventions | The local paper looks forward to the first-ever Stockton-Con. [Recordnet.com]

Creators | Gene Ambaum talks with Faith Erin Hicks, who reckons she wrote and drew 1,200 pages of comics, all published online, before her work made it to print. [Unshelved]

Creators | Eva Volin interview Mark Siegel, creator of the webcomic Sailor Twain and the creative director of First Second Books, in a short video made at Toronto Comic Arts Festival. [Good Comics for Kids]

Comics | DC Comics has chosen to present a black Green Lantern in a ski mask, wielding a gun, in its latest cover teaser. Is this an example of bigotry, shaping a character to fit a stereotype? Maybe not — the creators could be playing against the stereotype, but Sean Kleefeld isn't optimistic, given DC's output of late: "Of course, given that giving a character who already has the most powerful weapon in the universe a handgun is about the most uncreative thing I've seen in a long time -- and even if the gun were a manifestation of Green Lantern's, it's still about the least creative uses for a power ring -- I'm not about to hold my breath for brilliant characterization that plays against the stereotype. And if that stereotype is indeed used, that's still not necessarily bigotry; but it would be not at all creative and very small-minded." [Kleefeld on Comics]

Comics | Marking the end of Brian Wood's DMZ, Shoshana Kessock writes that "Wood crafts a world where blocks familiar to any New Yorker become battle grounds, locations and cultural centers become territory to be disputed, and familiar groups change to meet the complications of war. That world is then brought to life by the gritty, intense artwork of both Wood and Riccardo Burchielli in gruff, stark detail by rendering New York and its people in brutal, uncompromising violence and beauty." [Tor.com]

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