Comics A.M. | The Washington Post pulls Ted Cruz cartoon

Political cartoons | The Washington Post has removed a political cartoon from its website following a complaint by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Drawn by Ann Telnaes, the cartoon depicted the Texas senator in a Santa suit playing an organ grinder, and his daughters as monkeys on leashes. Cruz and his family appeared in an offbeat campaign ad released over the weekend in Iowa in which he and his wife read their daughters books with titles like "How Obamacare Stole Christmas" and "The Grinch Who Lost Her Emails." Telnaes insisted that by allowing his daughters to appear on television, he had made them "fair game," saying, "Ted Cruz has put his children in a political ad -- don’t start screaming when editorial cartoonists draw them as well."

However, Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt disagreed, arguing, "It's generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it. I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree." Presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush took Cruz's side, with Rubio calling the cartoon "disgusting" and Bush saying children should be "off limits." Cruz, who often skewers the news media in his speeches, didn't miss the opportunity to raise a few dollars, sending out an emergency appeal to donors saying he hoped to bring in $1 million in 24 hours. [New York Daily News]

Publishing | Changes are afoot at indie publisher Action Lab Entertainment, home to Jeremy Holt's Eisner-nominated Princeless and Jamal Igle's Molly Danger: Kevin Freeman is leaving his post as president to take on a smaller role within the company, and creative director David Dwonch, one of the founders, is taking his place. Freeman, who was managing editor of Ape Entertainment before coming to Action Lab, wrote on his Facebook page that he wanted to "take a step back from the industry in general and pursue other things, including spending more time with my family and perhaps dipping my toes in the creative side of things again." [ICv2]

Best of the year | Comics-business expert Rob Salkowitz picks an eclectic group of graphic novels as the ten best of 2015. [Forbes]

Best of the year | Here's another roundup of best comics, this one done by category. [Entertainment Weekly]

Best of the year | Sean Edgar posts the 100 best comics covers of 2015. [Paste]

Gift guide | Benjamin Bailey has some suggestions for comics gifts for non-comics readers. [Nerdist]

Creators | Paul Gravett interviews Miriam Katin, author of Letting It Go, her graphic memoir of coming to terms, as a Jew who fled the Nazis, with her son's decision to move to Berlin. [Paul Gravett]

Retailing | The San Diego comic shop Comickaze has opened a second location, just across the courtyard from IDW Publishing's Comic Art Gallery, and owner Robert Scott attributes his success to the fact that comics is a niche market with a fast sales cycle: "We have a specialized product that has a fan base that is highly motivated to seek it out, so that helps. It also comes out on a regular basis. We have new issues every week, whereas if you are a book reader and you have three or four favorite authors you might see a book a year." [KPBS]

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