Comics | Benoît Peeters, a French comics writer, critic and Tintin expert, has been named as Lancaster University’s Visiting Professor in Graphic Fiction and Comic Art, characterized as the first appointment of its kind in the United Kingdom. “This professorship is a great honour for me,” said Peeters, whose works include Tintin and the World of Herge. “I want to explore the connections between the history of graphic fiction and contemporary creation, between the world of French and Belgian bande dessinée, and the world of comics and graphic novels.” [The Telegraph]
Political cartoons | Malaysian cartoonist Zunar says he uses creativity to fight corruption, and that’s why his cartoons strike a nerve — and get him into trouble with the law: “My cartoon makes you laugh at the government. If you laugh, they can’t do anything. No regime can stand if you laugh at them. This is why it’s a crime for them.” Zunar has been charged with nine counts of sedition, which could carry up to 43 years in prison, but his trial has been postponed while the high court considers his petition to declare the Sedition Act unconstitutional. [Buzzfeed]
Best of the year | The Good Comics for Kids bloggers (of which I am one) chose their top 10 children’s and teens’ graphic novels of the year; the list includes Lumberjanes, Incredible Squirrel Girl and Nimona. [School Library Journal]
Gift guides | The New York Times gift book suggestions include Bitch Planet, The Story of My Tits, Killing and Dying, Hip Hop Family Tree and a Star Wars graphic novel — something for everyone, basically. [The New York Times]
Digital comics | Rob Salkowitz examines the growing popularity of the all-you-can-eat subscription model, with specific attention to Marvel Unlimited, Scribd and Comic Blitz. [Publishers Weekly]
Digital comics | Brady Dale looks at The Huffington Post’s partnership with the Korean webtoon publisher Spottoon. [The Observer]
Creators | At a panel at North Carolina Comicon, Afua Richardson talked about her love of hip hop and the controversy that followed Marvel’s hip hop variant covers: “I understand that there is a lot going on right now and people have the right to be upset but I think it might be a little misdirected. I’m not saying that Marvel is perfect. God knows that’s not true. I’m not saying that DC is perfect, no company is. But in this instance, I personally saw Sanford Greene, Annie Wu, just so many different people who appreciated hip-hop from all over being able to bring their love of comics and their love of hip-hop culture together.” [Campus Echo Online]
Creators | John Little talks about his graphic novel The Salesman, the story of a man bent on punishing excess consumption: “He uses the ruse of a door-to-door salesman to interview people and find out what’s really inside their head and see if they’re being excessive in his mind and he punishes them for it.” [Inside Toronto]
Manga | Bill Pollock, founder of No Starch Press, talks about the popularity of their manga guides to various subjects. Their Manga Guide to Physiology just came out, and they will publish the Manga Guide to Regression Analysis, Manga Guide to Cryptography, and Manga Guide to Computers next year. While the blend of manga and hard science may seem unlikely, their Manga Guide to Physics got a good review from the American Journal of Physics, and the U.S. Naval Academy uses their Manga Guide to Databases. [Publishers Weekly]
Conventions | Josh Usmani looks forward to this weekend’s Ghengis Con, which takes place in Cleveland. Says organizer John G., “Genghis Con originally came out of the need for a small, close-knit, comic convention in Cleveland, focused on and celebrating the independent voices in the region between Detroit, Pittsburgh and Columbus. That first year, in 2009, we crammed just short of 50 exhibitors into the Ballroom at the Beachland. The intimacy of that space really inspired more engaging interactions between the exhibitors and the attendees. That was our objective. Since then, the show, and the community, has grown considerably. When we jumped to the Lake Erie Building last year, it gave us a lot more breathing room but the paradigm has been established. While we now have over 80 exhibitors, in a much bigger space, that just means it’s more comfortable for everyone to have that more open and engaging dialogue. We more than doubled our number of attendees and it never felt crowded or claustrophobic.” [Cleveland Scene]
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