Comics A.M. | Tunisian court denies cartoonist's appeal

Legal | A Tunisian court denied cartoonist Jabeur Mejri's appeal of an eight-month sentence on charges of insulting a public official. Mejri was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in 2012 for drawing cartoons that insulted the Prophet Mohammed, but was pardoned by President Moncef Marzouki earlier this year. Before he was released, however, news leaked that he had also been charged with embezzlement stemming from his time working for the Tunisian railway. Mejri was released from prison in March, but six weeks later he was arrested again, this time on charges of insulting a court official. His support committee said Mejri is being subjected to "judicial harassment" and released a statement saying "It's clear ... that there is a desire not to accept the presidential pardon and to keep Jabeur in prison at all costs, to make him pay dearly for his freedom of expression and deter him from any further attempts." [Naharnet]

Crime | Three people were arrested Tuesday for allegedly breaking into a comics shop in Fulton County, Georgia, to steal merchandise. One of them is a former employee who apparently still had a key to the store. [WSBTV.com]

Graphic novels | ICv2 picks up on a nugget from a recent Wall Street Journal profile of Raina Telgemeier: Sisters, her followup to Smile, will have an initial print run of 200,000. [ICv2]

Creators | Kazuto Tatsuta was looking for a job, and when an opportunity came along to work on the cleanup of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, he figured it was a way to help out after the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. His manga about his six months as a worker in the plant has become a surprise hit, but it's not as controversial as the gourmet manga Oishinbo's story (also picked up by The Guardian). Tatsuta says, "I don't have a profound message to give the reader, other than to point out that these are men who are doing their best to get the job done away from the limelight. Politicians and experts are always on TV debating Fukushima, but the workers have no voice. I hope to give them one through my manga." [The Guardian]

Creators | Terri Libenson talks about her struggles with body image and how that informed the latest story arc of her comic strip, The Pajama Diaries. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

Creators | Greg Rucka talks about his return to Stumptown. [Multiversity Comics]

Awards | Tom Heintjes posts his predictions for the Reuben Awards, which will be given out on Saturday. [Hogan's Alley]

Digital comics | Industry insiders reflect on India's all-digital free comic book day (which was actually two days); the number of downloads doubled, from roughly 15,000 in 2013 to 30,000 this year. Print distribution is problematic in India, which doesn't have many comic shops, so digital offers readers more choices and allows smaller publishers to get their work in front of the public. [The Hindu]

Comics culture | It's well known that comics are a great way to teach reading, but fifth-grade teacher Kristi Reedy sees another important lesson as well. She has organized a full-blown comics convention at her middle school in Shelbyville, Indiana, which will feature student art from all grades, and local comics retailer Mike Costello of Downtown comics will be there as well. But there's something more: The con will feature the work of local artist Roger Silfer, who created Lobo and worked on numerous other comics for DC and Marvel and was seriously injured in an auto accident in 2012. "His sister, Connie Carlton, has told me many stories of how the comic community really rallied to help support her and Roger emotionally and financially," Reedy said. "The organization called The Hero Initiative also helped out tremendously." So not only will the con showcase Silfer's work, but a portion of the proceeds will go to The Hero Initiative. [The Shelbyville News]

Comics | Matthew Derman looks at wordless storytelling in comics ranging from Joe Casey's Sex to Terry Moore's Rachel Rising. [Pop Matters]

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