Comics A.M. | <i>Tintin in the Congo</i> isn't racist, Belgian court rules

Legal | A Belgian court of appeals has ruled that Tintin in the Congo is not racist and stated that the book has "gentle and candid humour." The ruling came in a case brought in 2007 by Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, an immigrant from the Congo, and the Belgian Council of Black Associations. Although Herge himself expressed regret in later life for the book, which includes numerous depictions of black characters as stupid and inferior, the court did not support the plaintiffs' claim that "The negative stereotypes portrayed in this book are still read by a significant number of children. They have an impact on their behaviour." [Sky News]

Publishing | John Jackson Miller parses the November direct-market sales numbers, noting that this is the first time in more than five years that all of the Top 10 comics sold over 100,000 copies in their first month. Marvel dominated the Top 10, thanks to its Marvel NOW initiative, and IDW Publishing had its best-ever showing with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #1, in the No. 15 slot. [The Comichron]

Retailing | Kelley Poole, owner of Empire Comics in Enterprise, Alabama, has a refreshingly clear-eyed view of his business: "I basically sell luxury items – not food or clothes or other necessities – but I do offer inexpensive local items that kids can grow up with and the geek community has a place to come to." [Dothan Eagle]

Retailing | Heidi MacDonald reports on two new New York partnerships: Critic Tucker Stone is now a partner in Bergen Comics, and Ron Hill and Nick Purpura are the new co-owners, together with Jim Hanley, of Jim Hanley's Universe. [The Beat]

Creators | Kevin O'Neill chats about his work on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the evolution of his collaboration with Alan Moore, and teases the next chapters in the series. [Comicus]

Creators | The concept behind Avengers Arena may be strikingly similar to The Hunger Games and Battle Royale — 16 teenagers are trapped in a game, and only one will emerge alive — but writer Dennis Hopeless says it won't be "a meat-grinder book where all of their characters die for shock value." Instead, he says, "It does have really high stakes, but it's a very character-centric piece. It's designed to get you in the head of these characters and fall in love with them and be scared with them." [USA Today]

Creators | Green Lantern Corps writer Peter Tomasi talks about the ring-less Guy Gardner and where he's going from here. [USA Today]

Creators | Christopher Borrelli profiles Lilli Carre, who has works in two Chicago-area shows and a new book on the shelves, Heads or Tails. [Chicago Tribune]

Creators | Madeline O'Leary places the work of Brecht Evens in the larger context of the Belgian comics scene, noting his rejection of the traditional ligne claire style and a general movement by many Belgian artists toward more experimental forms. [Reuters]

Comics | Laura Nelson takes a look at the new tablet-based magazine of graphic journalism, Symbolia, and talks a bit with co-editor Erin Polgreen. [Hero Complex]

Comics | As part of a weeklong discussion of comics in the United Kingdom, Alex Hern discusses the comics journalism of Karrie Fransman and Tom Humberstone. [New Statesman]

Conventions | Ayodele Elegba, organizer of the first-ever Lagos Comic Con, is looking to revitalize the Nigerian comics scene: "We are trying to win back the comic culture in Nigeria with this programme. When I was much younger I used to read comic books and that was how I learnt to read. But now that I am an adult I discovered that people don't read anymore." Elegba feels that the local film industry (Nollywood) is suffering because of the lack of comics to provide source material. | [AllAfrica]

Analysis | Michael Arthur examines the furry aspects of Jason's Werewolves of Montpelier. [The Hooded Utilitarian]

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