Legal | South African President Jacob Zuma has formally withdrawn his defamation lawsuit against cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro (who goes by the pen name Zapiro) and will pay a portion of his court costs as well. Zuma dropped part of the case last week, a claim of 4 million rand for “impairment of dignity.” A spokesman for Zuma said the president had more important things on his mind and didn’t want to set a precedent that “may have the effect of limiting the public exercise of free speech.” [The Citizen]
Passings | The Catalan artist Jose Luis Ferrer, who signed himself simply “Ferrer,” died Monday of a brain tumor. Ferrer’s work appeared in 2000AD, Starlord and other British comics, but he was an international artist with work published in Germany, France, Sweden and the United States as well. [Down the Tubes]
Creators | The president of the Republican Party of India has pressured the television network that airs the reality show Bigg Boss to remove cartoonist Aseem Trivedi from the show. Trivedi, who was arrested and briefly jailed on charges of sedition last month, stemming from his political cartoons, went on the show to draw attention to his cause. He will be expelled on the next episode. [The Hindu]
Creators | Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire talk about their “Ghost-for-Hire” story in the Vertigo one-shot Ghosts, which is due out on Wednesday, and Johns explains how their story was inspired by goofy old movies like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein: “All the Abbott and Costello movies were for me a lot of fun, and I liked the interaction between those two and the genre twists, where they met the Mummy or Invisible Man. If I was going to do a ghost story for those guys right now, what would I do?” [USA Today]
Creators | Adrian Tomine discusses his New Yorker covers and the difficulty of doing long-form comics. [The Paris Review]
Creators | Robot 6 contributor Chris Arrant interviews Phil Jimenez about his work on the Fables spinoff Fairest and his story for the Ghosts anthology. [Newsarama]
Creators | Bradon Siefert talks about collaborating on Witch Doctor with artist Lukas Ketner. [Previews World]
Creators | Kieron Gillen discusses his creator-owned comics, including the third volume of Phonogram and the recently announced Three. [Comicbooked.com]
Journalism | Bob Temuka points to something that’s missing from comics journalism: The dispassionate reporter who doesn’t really care about comics but can report on the medium objectively and intelligently: “The best place to find real hard news about the comic book industry are on the business pages. I’m not just saying that because I used to be a business journalist, I’m saying it because business reporting doesn’t give a shit about Wolverine’s new costume, or Superman’s new job – they only care about the bottom line. Stock prices and market announcements might sound boring, but they’re the real story behind the variant covers and mass cancellations.” [The Tearoom of Despair]
Superheroes | Noah Berlatsky has a theory about why Wonder Woman’s costumes are so awful: “Marston and Peter, in other words, put WW in that skimpy bustier so that they could look at her shoulders flexing, not so they could look down her front. Part of the problem with later iterations of Wonder Woman’s costume, then, has been a simple confusion of erotic focus. The costume wasn’t really designed for large amounts of cleavage. When you put a large amount of cleavage in there to propitiate our breast-obsessed culture, the results tend to be more silly than heroic.” [The Hooded Utilitarian]
Conventions | Here’s a look at New York Comic Con through the eyes of an aspiring comics writer. [Broken Frontier]
Conventions | Jeremy Briggs reports in from the Dundee Comic Fest, where the program included a presentation by Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons. [Down the Tubes]
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