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Comics A.M. | Wizard World won't return to San Antonio in 2015

Conventions | It looks as if Wizard World's convention won't be returning to San Antonio, Texas, in 2015. A Wizard World spokesman said the company couldn't come up with a date that fit the schedule of the city's Henry B. Gomez Convention Center, adding, "We hope to revisit the possibility for 2016." However, reporter Rene Guzman notes that San Antonio's Alamo City Comic Con was a much bigger deal this year, in terms of the exhibit floor (it took up three exhibit halls of the convention center, compared to Wizards' one) and probably attendance as well: Wizard World said its inaugural event in August drew "thousands," and Alamo City had 73,000 attendees, almost twice as many as last year. There will be a Wizard World Austin conventionn in 2015, so anyone wanting a taste of that Wizard magic can find it a short road trip away. [San Antonio Express News]

Passings | Cartoonist Brumsic Brandon Jr., creator of the comic strip Luther, died Nov. 31 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 87. Luther, which ran from 1968 to 1986, was one of the first comic strips to feature a cast of black characters, and like its fellow strips Quincy and Wee Pals, those characters were children. However, Luther had a bit more bite: It was set in a poor, inner-city neighborhood (modeled on the Benning Road area of Washington, D.C.) and featured characters with names like Hardcore (as in hard-core unemployed), Oreo and Lily (who's white); the title character was named after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The characters often discussed racial issues in a blunt way, and one strip sounds as if it could have been written yesterday: Oreo chides Hardcore for being late to school, saying, "You would have been on time if you had run!" Hardcore replies, "I couldn’t, Oreo, there was a cop standing there. And you know what they do when they see us running."

Brandon grew up in Washington, D.C., the son of a porter at Union Station, and studied art at New York University. He served in occupied Germany during World War II and later worked at a number of jobs while drawing cartoons at night, until Luther was picked up by the Long Island, New York, newspaper Newsday. Two years later the Times Mirror corporation bought the paper and syndicated the comic nationwide. Brandon's daughter Barbara Brandon-Croft is also a cartoonist. [The New York Times]

Graphic novels | The first collected volume of Ms. Marvel leads BookScan's list of 20 top-selling graphic novels in bookstores in November. The second slot went to an Attack on Titan spinoff, the second volume of Attack on Titan: No Regrets. The first volume of the main series also charted, as it usually does. Five volumes of The Walking Dead made the list, as did Blacksad: Amarillo, the latest entry in that series from Dark Horse. [ICv2]

Legal | The Hong Kong political cartoonist Zunzi was among a group of 65 activists who surrendered to police Wednesday in Hong Kong after taking part in an unauthorized assembly as part of the Occupy Central protests. The police released the protestors without pressing any charges, although the Occupy members feel there may be more actions to come. Zunzi and fellow cartoonist Apink recently created a short comic on the background of the Hong Kong struggle on Medium. [The Standard]

Creators | Douglas Wolk interviews Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. [Playboy]

Creators | Dylan Horrocks was about halfway through drawing his latest graphic novel, Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen, when a series of earthquakes damaged Christchurch, New Zealand, the city where it's set. Horrocks considered including the quakes, but decided instead to keep the city's pre-quake version and include some locations that no longer remained, such as his favorite comic shop, Comics Compulsion — even replicating the misspelling of the store's name on its awning. "I ended up doing a little love letter to Christchurch with some of those details because it is such a great city," he said. "Once I started drawing that stuff I wanted to indulge my love for the city." There's a preview of the book, which is due out this month, on the Fantagraphics website. [Stuff]

Creators | Pádraig Ó Méalóid talks with Darryl Cunningham about his new graphic novel about economics, titled Supercrash in the United Kingdom and The Age of Selfishness in the United States, where it's due out in March. [Forbidden Planet]

Creators | Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto discussed the origins of his manga series in an interview on Japanese TV. Masashi said the inspiration for the series, a story about a teenage ninja with blond hair, was "the image that other countries have of Japan." Naruto was at one time the top-selling manga in the United States, so he may have been onto something there. [Anime News Network]

Comics | Bill Kartalopoulos talks about his work as the series editor of the Best American Comics series, which he took over this year. [Inkstuds]

Publishing | Dan Nadel talks to Gary Groth about The Complete Zap Comix, soon to be released by Fantagraphics, and about underground comics as a publishing model, how Groth first discovered Zap, and what Zap means in today's world. [The Comics Journal]

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