Comics A.M. | Tokyopop announces publishing relaunch

Manga | Tokyopop announced Thursday at Anime Expo that it will return to publishing new manga from Japan, and it has also acquired some anime licenses. In addition, it is launching an app, PopComics, that will allow users to upload and share their own comics. Tokoyopop was the largest manga publisher in the United States at the height of the manga boom, but it closed down its publishing program in 2011. In the past few years it has been making a slow-motion comeback, selling some of its properties as e-books and print-on-demand books and publishing three new volumes of Hetalia: Axis Powers. [Anime News Network]

Manga | Vertical Inc. has acquired the Attack on Titan spinoff novel Attack on Titan: Lost Girls and a new cat manga, FukuFuku: Kitten Tales (Fuku Fuku Nya~n Neko da Nyan), by Chi's Sweet Home creator Konami Kanata. Also announced at Anime Expo were Nichijō, a school comedy manga with children and talking animals, and the nonfiction illustrated book Sushi Chef Sukiyabashi Jiro, co-authored by sushi chef Jiro Ono, who was profiled in the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. [Anime News Network]

Manga | Japanese publisher Shueisha is printing 3.8 million copies of 78th volume of One Piece, which last month set the Guinness World Record for the most copies in print of a comic by a single author. [Anime News Network]

Legal | A French appeals court has upheld the acquittal of cartoonist Jean Plantureux (Plantu) on charges of inciting hatred, stemming from a cartoon he drew depicting Pope Benedict XVI sodomizing a child, with the caption "Pedophilia: The Pope Takes His Position." The cartoon was published on Plantu's website as well as in the French magazine Le Monde. The Catholic association AGRIF sued Plantu, but Plantu's attorney countered that AGRIF was trying to stretch the penal code to include blasphemy. Plantu also said that he was in fact defending Catholics, who were the victims of the pedophilia, and merely criticizing the church officials who were silent on the topic. A lower court acquitted Plantu in April. [The Washington Post]

Political cartoons | Times are tough in Brazil right now, but that means that political cartoonists have plenty of material. [Bloomberg View]

Creators | Ronald Wimberly discusses his two newly announced Image Comics projects, Sunset Park and Slave Punk: White Coal. [Paste]

Creators | Charles Pulliam-Moore profiles pioneering black comics creator Orrin Evans, a former journalist who started All-Negro Comics. [Fusion]

Publishing | Christopher Butcher talks about the time lag between the big publicity push for a comic and its actual publication, and how that and the paucity of reviews for many non-superhero titles is hurting the industry. [Comics212]

Retailing | Beth N. Gray pays a visit to Colossal Comics in Spring Hill, Florida, where manager Andrew Heeley talks about trends in the industry and the customers hang out playing games. [Tampa Bay Times]

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