Comics A.M. | U.S. airdrops gory anti-ISIS cartoon over Syria

Political cartoons | Airdropping propaganda on the enemy is a time-honored tactic, and it just happened again: Michael Cavna has a copy of the cartoon, which depicts ISIS recruits lining up to be fed into a meat grinder, that the U.S. Military Information Support Operations Command dropped into the ISIS-held territory of Raqqa, Syria. According to the Pentagon, a U.S. Air Force F-15 warplane dropped about 60,000 of the leaflets on March 16. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Writer Michael Frizell talks about working on his latest Bluewater comic Ozzy Osbourne: The Metal Madman. Research was a big part of the job: "The trick was trying to sort out the hyperbole from the facts," he said. "Thus, anything I documented in the comic book had to have at least three sources confirming its validity." [Fast Company]

Creators | Artist Nigel Parkinson, who draws the popular Dennis the Menace and Minnie the Minx comics for The Beano, describes the long road to his career, which started with teachers discouraging him in school: "The careers teacher in school would say, 'there are not a lot of jobs doing that', and then everyone else would be saying, 'can you draw me this poster?' or 'can you quickly do me a caricature of so and so?'. The idea that they were trying to foist on me that it wasn’t a good career was belied by the fact that everyone was asking me to draw for them." After a number of rejections, a stint at a day job, and a sojourn in Paris, Parkinson got his foot in the door at IPC as a ghost artist, filling in for artists who were on break and mimicking their style, then got the Beano gig in part because of his persistence: "I spent 17 years asking the Beano editor for a job and eventually he relented." [The Guardian]

Creators | Here's a video of a conversation between Michael Chabon and Neil Gaiman. [Forbidden Planet]

Political cartoons | Venezuelan cartoonist Rayma Suprani and Ecuadorian cartoonist Xavier Bonilla were featured speakers at the Cartoonists in Times of Authoritarianism conference in Washington, DC, earlier this month; they discussed the power of political cartoons and their guiding principle, which is to avoid ideology and scrutinize whoever is in power. [The Canal]

Political cartoons | Tom Corbani covers a lecture on the satire of CharlieHebdo by Mark McKinney, professor of French at Miami University in Ohio. McKinney discussed a 1999 comic titled “Les Mégret gèrent la ville” (“The Mégrets Run the Town”), by the artist Luz, and discussed the imagery as well as the context. The question-and-answer session began with "a personal attack on McKinney for the polemical nature of the subject matter," which seems unusual for this sort of event, but the reporter doesn't give any more detail. [The Swarthmore Phoenix]

Fans | This article about a comics club forming at the University of Iowa is an interesting snapshot of young comics readers (the club is 60 percent male, 40 percent female) and what they are reading these days. [The Daily Iowan]

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