Comics A.M. | WizKids loses 'HeroClix' shipment in train crash

Business | WizKids has canceled pre-release events for Marvel HeroClix: The Superior Foes of Spider-Man after losing its shipment in an explosive train collision Tuesday in Texas that killed two crew members. A third is missing and presumed dead. "While a sizable amount of the product release will be in an unknown state for an unforeseeable time," the company said in a statement, "our current plan is to proceed with the launch of the product as scheduled as we have sufficient quantities for all stores who have preordered to date and the majority of the product is unaffected. Our thoughts go out to the families who lost their loved ones in this horrific accident." [WizKids, via ICv2.com]

Political cartoonists | Matilda Battersby profiles Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani, who was recently released from prison after successfully appealing a 12-year sentence. Farghadani has already posted a photo of herself holding a new cartoon, this one lampooning the president of Alzahra University, which expelled her after she was arrested. The article credits Amnesty International and Cartoonists Rights Network Internationals for focusing attention on Farghadani's case and helping her appeal, and Gavin Aung Thang, one of the cartoonists who campaigned for her release, makes an important point — she was not a professional cartoonist and her work was not published in a newspaper or magazine: "Atena was just like me, drawing cartoons at home and posting them online. To think someone could be jailed for doing what I take for granted every day really hit home." [The Independent]

Political cartoonists | Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes discusses the wave of vitriol that hit her social media accounts after she drew a cartoon critiquing Sen. Ted Cruz for using his daughters as props in his presidential campaign, and the way that she was critiqued and defended in the press. Most of the articles, she points out, left out the very thing she was lampooning, a Cruz ad in which he read Christmas stories like "How Obamacare Stole Christmas" to his children. In one sequence, his young daughter reads lines from "The Grinch That Lost Her E-Mails." That critical context was lost in the discussion of her cartoon, she said, which focused on outrage at her portrayal of Cruz as an organ grinder and his children as monkeys. [Columbia Journalism Review]

Publishing | Caitlin Rosberg looks at self-published comics as an important, if often excluded, sector of the industry. [The AV Club]

Creators | Rich Tommaso discusses his new series She Wolf and the horror genre in general. [The Huffington Post]

Creators | MariNaomi talks about her new graphic memoir Turning Japanese. [The Comics Journal]

Creators | John Patrick Green, creator of the new children's graphic novel Hippopotamister, explains how his childhood illnesses fostered his creativity — not only by keeping him indoors with little to do but read and draw but also by giving him a bit of an outsider's perspective on life. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Colorist Jordie Bellaire discusses her craft. [The AV Club]

Publishing | Here's some valuable advice for creators: Editors from BOOM! Studios and IDW Publishing describe what they look for in a pitch. [Comicosity]

Retailing | Arielle Johnson, owner of Philadelphia's Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse, talks about creating a welcoming atmosphere for all customers and carrying a diverse range of comics, which includes Big Two titles as well as lesser known indy comics. [Ebony]

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