Comics A.M. | Tokyo's 'Astro Town' still celebrates Tezuka

Creators | Osamu Tezuka, the "godfather of manga," has been dead for 25 years, but his influence lives on, not just in manga and anime but in his old neighborhood, where a restaurant features his favorite dish and merchants have their own local currency, Astro Money. There's even a group of inventors who were inspired by Astro Boy to design a "power-assisted hand." [The Yomiuri Shimbun]

Creators | Ivan Brunetti tried to draw Nancy and failed, but he learned how to be a cartoonist in the process: "Nancy is a harsh taskmaster; resuscitating it was a grueling task, but the challenge was invigorating and edifying. By drawing Nancy, I realized that every character (even the environment) in a strip is the cartoonist and is invested and imbued with the cartoonist’s life force. This is perhaps why continuing a strip after a creator’s death is so misguided, and it also explains the precious few exceptions that prove the rule: those cartoonists made the preexisting characters truly their own, commandeering their ink-on-paper souls." [BoingBoing]

Comics | Whit Taylor starts with a visit to Comic Arts Brooklyn but expands that into a wide-ranging discussion of the small-press scene and whether the current way of doing things is sustainable as a business model. Along the way she talks to Gabe Fowler, who runs Comic Arts Brooklyn, small-press distributor Tony Shenton, Annie Koyama of Koyama Press, and a host of creators and publishers. [The Comics Journal]

Creators | John Ferguson interviews budding cartoonist David Nold, who draws cartoons for his high school paper the old fashioned way, with pen and ink. [Broken Arrow Ledger]

Best of the year | Lauren Davis looks at the best new webcomics of 2014. [io9]

Comics | Looking forward instead of back, William Kulesa highlights four comics to look forward to in 2015. [The Jersey Journal]

Graphic novels | Alan Massie looks at the growth of graphic novels as serious reading for adults in Europe in general and the United Kingdom in particular. [The Telegraph]

Editorial cartoons | Sydney Smith posts the five most controversial editorial cartoons of the year. [iMediaEthics]

Comics journalism | Robin McConnell and Brandon Graham interview Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter. [Inkstuds]

Retailing | The retailer organization ComicsPRO will have its annual meeting in February in Portland, Oregon. Local publishers Dark Horse and Oni Press will sponsor several events, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund will be there as well. [The Comics Reporter]

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