Comics A.M. | Troubles at Space City Comic Con

Conventions | This year's Space City Comic Con in Houston seems to have had a number of organizational problems. Among other things, the Sons of Anarchy cast reunion did not occur, and actor Charlie Hunnam left early after encountering problems with payment; there are unconfirmed reports of a testy encounter in which security was called. Hunnam's early departure caused a cascade of problems, with some unpaid volunteers walking out after being berated by angry fans, and attendees who paid up to $2,000 for VIP tickets looking for refunds (and in at least some cases, getting them). Sons of Anarchy cast member Kim Coates called it "a complete breakdown by upper management," and there does seem to be some internal wrangling, with some members of organization that runs the con trying to remove organizer George Comits. [Houston Chronicle]

Conventions | Salt Lake Comic Con has bought a 50 percent stake in another local event, Salt Lake Gaming Con, which draws about 15,000 attendees annually. Salt Lake Comic Con, which is just three years old, is now Utah's largest convention, and co-founder Dan Farr says the organizers of both events have been on good terms all along. Nonetheless, the the partnership came up and was decided on in just one week. "It was kind of one of those things you look at and you really don't have to wait that long to make a decision," Farr said. "We talked about each of our needs and what our goals are, and we found that we were pretty aligned, so it moved really, really quickly." Salt Lake Gaming Con is this weekend. [KSL.com]

Passings | Frank Modell, whose cartoons of "angry men and sexy women and dogs" appeared in The New Yorker for 50 years, has died at age 98. Modell started drawing when he was 6 years old, when he was laid up with scarlet fever; he later said that it was the praise he received from his family, rather than the act of making art, that he enjoyed the most. He attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art, then was drafted and served in the Army in World War II. While he was stationed in Europe, he was already sending cartoons to The New Yorker; when he returned he became the assistant to art director James Geraghty. "I was a hit man," he said in a 2000 interview with The New York Times. "If an idea was OK’d, Geraghty would see the cartoonist. But if it was a rejection, he would say, 'Frank will see him.'" His first cartoon appeared in the magazine in 1946, and over the years he drew over 1,400 cartoons as well as six covers, and also did work for Playboy. [The New York Times]

Creators | Lisa Hanawalt talks about animals, BoJack Horseman (for which she is the designer) and her new book, Hot Dog Taste Test. [The Guardian]

Creators | Writer Cullen Bunn talks about his new graphic novel Death Follows. [Paste]

Piracy | David Harper takes a look at a troubling new development: Comics pirate sites that are easy to use — no torrenting or fumbling with different file formats required. This sort of thing can take a big bite out of sales, as any manga publisher can attest. [Sktchd]

Awards | Ein Sommer Am See, the German translation of Mariko and Jillian Tamaki's This One Summer, has won the 2016 Max and Moritz Prize for Best International Comic. French creator Claire Brétecher won a special lifetime achievement award, and a special prizes were also given to the German publisher Avant-Verlag and the former Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz for his Katharsis, a memoir of his life after the January 2015 attacks. Barbara Yelin received the Best German Artist award for Irmina, and Madgermanes by Birgit Weyhe won the prize for Best German Comic. [The Comics Reporter]

Awards | King Felipe IV of Spain presented the Quevedos Ibero-American Prize for Graphic Humor to cartoonist Antonio Fraguas, who uses the pen name Forges, and praised him for always trying "to awaken the best in the viewer, his solidarity, his empathy with the disadvantaged." [Latin American Herald Tribune]

Retailing | Abraham Reisman talks to retailers about the problems that occur when an issue is seriously delayed, using Afterlife with Archie as his prime example; he also talks to Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater about why the delays occurred and how the company dealt with them. [Vulture]

Retailing | Denise Coffey drops in to Wonderland Comics in Putnam, Connecticut, and chats with some hard-core comics shoppers. [Hartford Courant]

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