Comics A.M. | What sets 'Fairy Tail' apart from other shonen manga?

Creators | Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima explains what sets his series apart from other shonen manga: "It actually goes back to the series I worked on before, Rave Master. In one episode, there was a scene where a group of guys are hanging out at a bar. That was fun to draw. So I wanted to draw a manga with the feel of guys hanging out at a bar. I thought it’d be interesting to enter a world where characters have established relationships, like friendship. Usually a shonen manga starts with just a main character, who then slowly accumulates his or her allies as the story progresses. But in the world of Fairy Tail, everybody pretty much knows each other at the beginning. [Kodansha Comics]

Passings | Daniel Clowes pens a heartfelt remembrance of the late publisher Alvin Buenaventura: "He was as loyal a friend and advocate as I'll ever have. He was the first person to read my books, often by many months, and his generous, idiosyncratic, ramblingly unpunctuated comments are the ones I'll most treasure. I hope to extend a similar loyalty to him in his passing, to uphold his memory and to be forever inspired by his beautiful and tragic human spirit." [The Comics Reporter]

Exhibits | A rare old comic will be on display at the Hunterian Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland, in March: The Glasgow Looking Glass, which is claimed (by Glaswegians, anyway) to be the first comic. The exhibit, titled "Comic Invention: The Glasgow Looking Glass of 1825," was certainly an early example of visual storytelling, and the exhibit includes other early and contemporary works, including original art by Frank Quitely. [Down the Tubes]

Political cartoons | Pat Bagley, political cartoonist for the Salt Lake Tribune, talked about his work and the way the field of political cartooning has changed as he accepted Utah State University's Ted Pease Award for journalism. [Utah Statesman]

Creators | Robert Freynet discusses Louis Riel, Patriot, his graphic biography of Louis Riel, the founder of Manitoba. [The Carillon]

Manga | Tsutomu Nihei's Blame will be published in a new English edition; the series was originally published by Tokyopop in the 2000s, and Vertical has picked up the license. The announcement was made this past weekend at Katsucon, along with two other manga licenses, Junji Ito's Yōkai Kyōshitsu (Dissolving Classroom) and Ryō Yasohachi's Shinazu no Ryōken (Immortal Hounds). [Anime News Network]

History | John Kelly writes about the alternative weekly The East Village Eye, which published the early works of Peter Bagge and ran features on Gary Panter and Charles Burns, among others. [The Comics Journal]

Advice | Melanie Gillman has put together a short comic with some tips for submitting your work to comics anthologies. Gillman knows whereof she speaks: She's one of the editors of the anthology The Other Side, which will launch on Kickstarter next week. [Pigeonbits]

Retailing | Black Medicine Comics in Des Moines, Iowa, is unusual in that it's a comic shop that only sells comics—no toys or other collectibles—and it only has one employee, the owner, Ronnie Free. [Des Moines Register]

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