Report Card | 'Superman,' 'Tropic of the Sea' and more

Welcome to “Report Card,” our week-in-review feature. If “Cheat Sheet” is your guide to the week ahead, “Report Card” is typically a look back at the top news stories of the previous week, as well as a look at the Robot 6 team’s favorite comics that we read.

So read on to find out what we thought about SupermanTropic of the Sea and more.

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Akram Raslan: Feared Dead


Almost a year ago, Akram Raslan, a 39-year-old Syrian cartoonist who worked for the government-run newspaper Fedaa, was arrested and charged with sedition for his political cartoons critical of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad. His trial, initially scheduled for June, was indefinitely delayed.

This week, in a larger CNN piece focusing on the dangers of being a cartoonist in the Middle East, Robert Russell, the executive director of the Cartoonists Rights Network International (a U.S.-based organization that defends the human rights and creative freedom of social and editorial cartoonists), expressed his fear that Raslan is dead. Russell noted that news of the trial's delay had given the organization, which had lobbied for Raslan's release, some hope at first. But that optimism was dashed two weeks later when CRNI sources were informed it was believed that Raslan was dead.

While the term "IPO" is being bandied about in reference to ComiXology, that speculation is tempered by CEO David Steinberger's seeming insistence that he wants the company to reach some additional milestones before it is ready to pursue an IPO. Speaking of ComiXology milestones, one has to assume that after needing three years to cross the 100 million download threshold, the company must be pleased to have crossed the 200 million mark in one year.

The British Comic Awards unveiled its shortlist, in the next stage leading up to the actual November 2013 ceremony at the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds. Among those that made the cut (from the larger longlist) are: The Listening Agent – Joe Decie (Blank Slate Books) and Soppy – Philippa Rice (self published) [Best Comic Nominees]; Mrs. Weber’s Omnibus – Posy Simmonds (Jonathan Cape) and The Nao of Brown – Glyn Dillon (Self Made Hero) [Best Book Nominees]; Isabel Greenberg (The River of Lost Souls) and Will Morris (The Silver Darlings) [Emerging Talent Nominees]; and The Sleepwalkers – Vivianne Schwarz (Walker Books) and Playing Out – Jim Medway (Blank Slate Books) [Young People’s Comic Award Nominees].

After initially seeking to find them privately, this past Thursday, Neal Adams and his family turned to the public to track down two portfolios believed to have been left behind in an unidentified New York cab trunk in early September. The two portfolios contain around 120 pieces of original Neal Adams art. Adams is offering a reward of either money or an original piece of his art to whomever finds the highly valuable portfolios.

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