Comics A.M. | Viz licenses 'Naruto' and 'Tokyo Ghoul' novels

Manga | Viz Media announced it has licensed three Naruto novels, three novels based on the manga series Tokyo Ghoul, and the Gangsta manga spinoff Gangsta.: Cursed. Two of the Naruto novels, Naruto: Itachi's Story - Daylight and Naruto: Itachi's Story - Midnight, are prequels to the main series, and they are being adapted into anime in Japan under the title Naruto Shippūden: Itachi Shinden-hen: Hikari to Yami (Naruto Shippūden: The True Legend of Itachi Volume ~Light and Darkness~). Shin Towasa's Tokyo Ghoul novels, Tokyo Ghoul: Days, Tokyo Ghoul: Void, and Tokyo Ghoul: Past, follow the characters at different times not covered in the manga. Gangsta.: Cursed is the story of Marco Adriano, one of the characters in the main Gangsta manga. [Anime News Network]

Legal | The Malaysian High Court has rejected Zunar's challenge to the Sedition Act, sending the case back to the lower court for trial. The cartoonist faces up to 43 years in prison if convicted on all nine counts of sedition. The charges stem from a tweet from Zunar criticizing a court decision that upheld the sodomy conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Zunar has been a longtime critic of the Malaysian government, which has banned his books, raided his office and harassed his business associates. The Sedition Act was passed in 1948 by the British colonial government, and Zunar argued it conflicts with the country's constitutional guarantee of free speech. In turning down his appeal, the court said that it had already rejected that argument in another case. Zunar's lawyer said he would appeal that decision to the Malaysian Court of Appeal. [BenarNews]

Politics | Apparently anyone who's anyone in Philippines politics is getting a comic made about them. The latest local hero is Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who's shown kicking gangsters out of his city and donating prosthetic legs to a child. The comic is drawn by Karl Comendador, who also did the comic that depics presidential candidate Manuel "Mar" Roxas II rescuing people from Typhoon Yolanda. Comendador posted an excerpt on Facebook. [The Philippine Star]

Passings | Vint Lawrence, cartoonist and former contributing editor to the New Republic magazine, died on April 9 from complications of acute myeloid leukemia. He was 76. Lawrence graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in art history, then served as a paramilitary officer for the CIA during the Vietnam War, helping to coordinate a guerrilla war in Laos. When he returned in 1964 to the United State, he stayed in government service for a while, but at the urging of the dean of the Maryland Institute College of Art, he decided to try his hand at drawing. His illustrations and caricatures appeared in Washington Monthly, The Washington Post and the New Republic. [The Washington Post]

Publishing | Maytal Gilboa, founder of EMET comics, talks about her company, which focuses on publishing comics by women. [Santa Monica Daily Press]

Creators | James Reith profiles Simon Hanselmann, whose new Megg, Mogg and Owl book is due out later this month. [The Guardian]

Creators | Daniel Clowes discusses his new graphic novel Patience. [Vulture]

Creators | Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Tom Toles talked about his career with the staff of the University of Buffalo student newspaper The Spectrum. Toles, who was a contributor to the paper as a student, talked about how he gets ideas, why he tries not to be too outrageous, and the changing landscape of newspapers and social media. [The Spectrum]

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