Publishing | Viz Media has struck separate agreements that will expand the number of manga titles it sells at Walmart and bring its books to Best Buy for the first time. Under the Walmart deal, bestsellers Tokyo Ghoul, Pokeman, One Punch Man and the new Naruto one-shots will be available in more than 2,000 of the retailer’s locations across the United States. Under the Best Buy agreement, two Naruto titles and Assassination Classroom will be packaged with their respective anime and featured in floor displays at 687 locations. [Publishers Weekly]
Political cartoons | Queen Rania of Jordan has responded to the Charlie Hebdo cartoon about a Syrian boy who drowned while fleeing the country with a cartoon of her own. The French satirical weekly ran a cartoon last week that suggested that if the boy, Aylan Kurdi, had survived, he would have grown up to be a “groper” — a reference to recent reports of mass robberies and sexual assault in Germany. The cartoon was intended to be a commentary on the fickleness of public sentiment toward Syrian refugees, but it has been widely criticized as derogatory. The queen teamed up with cartoonist Osama Hajjaj to create a cartoon showing a different outcome, which she posted on Twitter in three languages — English, French and Arabic. The cartoon showed Kurdi growing up to be a doctor, and on Twitter Rania added, “Aylan could’ve been a doctor, a teacher, a loving parent.” [The Independent]
Passings | British artist Andrew Johnson, aka Andy Dog, has died at age 56. Johnson was a contributor to the British underground comics scene but is better known for the album cover art he drew for his brother Matthew Johnson’s band, The The. [The The]
Creators | In an interview conducted in her Cincinnati studio, Carol Tyler talks about her life and work and her book A Soldier’s Heart, a graphic memoir of her family and the effect her father’s post-traumatic stress disorder had on them: “I want that book out there because it’s about post-traumatic stress disorder and I know people would benefit from reading it. Anybody who struggles with trauma will see how my dad spent his life living with bad memories and combat trauma, and even though it caused damage, it wasn’t a showstopper. He found a way to somehow live, and those of use around him had to find a way to live as well.” [City Beat]
Creators | Writer Sterling Gates talks about the new digital comic Adventures of Supergirl. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Creators | Artist Nick Bradshaw talks briefly about his work on Spider-Man and at greater length about his goal of using comics as a way to encourage kids to read, and the kid-friendly convention he organizes each year in his home province of Moncton, New Brunswick. [Global News]
Creators | Two cartoonists new to Seattle, Simon Hanselmann and Fran López, chat about their new home in a comic drawn by López. [Seattle Weekly]
Comics | Comics scholar Ramzi Fawaz addresses the disconnect between comics and the movies made from them, and why Fantastic Four was a flop — it ignored the “queerness” of the characters, he says: “For each of the characters, their future as traditional heterosexual people is always in question. Instead of always seeking out traditional forms of intimacy, marriage, child-rearing, home ownership, they actually develop incredible friendships and bonds with all kinds of people: the Black Panther, the Inhumans, the mutants. They’ve embodied the values of a queer ethic, which would be thought of as an orientation towards a world that values multiple forms of intimacy beyond the family — different kinds of connection and engagement across species, galaxies, cultures. But at first glance they seem like ordinary white people.” [Inverse]
Comics | Paul Gravett interviews Jill Lepore about her book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman. [Paul Gravett]
History | Nirit Anderman looks at the influence of Jewish creators and publishers on comics. [Haaretz]
Conventions | Comic Con Express, the smaller, traveling version of the Indian comic conventions that have done so well in Mumbai and Delhi, is coming to the city of Pune. Comic Con India founder Jatin Varma says it’s a trial run, and if it does well, it could become an annual event. Featured comics creators include Ivan Brandon and Peter Nguyen. [DNAIndia]
Retailing | Liz Ohanesian rounds up the 10 best comic shops in Los Angeles. [LA Weekly]
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