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Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Legal | Matt Kernes examines the Christopher Handley manga-obscenity case for Adult Video News, and highlights the problem with the yaoi titles that were part of the government’s prosecution.

“There is explicit sex in yaoi comics,” Handley’s attorney tells Kernes. “And the men are drawn in a very androgynous style, which has the effect of making them look really young. There’s a real taboo in Japan about showing pubic hair, so they’re all drawn without it, which also makes them look young. So what concerned the authorities were the depictions of children in explicit sexual situations that they believed to be obscene. But there are no actual children. It was all very crude images from a comic book.”

Meanwhile, manga scholar Matt Thorn has removed his correspondence with Handley’s attorney and mother that he’d posted yesterday: “It’s frustrating, obviously, but the last thing I want to do is anything that might result in a harsher sentence for Mr. Handley.” [AVN Business, via Simon Jones]

BookExpo America

BookExpo America

Publishing | Although the recession means fewer publishers are participating in this weekend’s BookExpo America, comics will still have a sizable presence. [PW Comics Week]

Conventions | The programming schedule has been released for the 2009 Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival, set for June 6-7 at the Lexington Avenue Armory in New York City. [MoCCA]

Publishing | Lori Henderson summarizes, and praises, Viz Media’s recent moves into digital comics with the serialization of Rumiko Takahashi’s Rin-Ne, and the launch of the Ikki online anthology. [Manga Xanadu]

Publishing | Best-selling author Janet Evanovich is working with her daughter Alex on a graphic novel for Dark Horse based on Evanovich’s novels Metro Girl and Motor Mouth. [The New York Times]

Archie Comics

Archie Comics

Publishing | Brian Heater kicks off a two-art interview with Archie Comics Editor-in-Chief Victor Gorelick: “A lot of our readers — and us around the office — talk about these characters like they’re alive. We receive letters and e-mails written to Archie and Betty and Veronica, asking for advice and things like that. They write to them as if they were Liz Smith or somebody [laughs].” [The Daily Cross Hatch]

Creators | Brooke Gladstone, host of NPR’s On the Media, discusses her collaboration with Josh Neufeld, tentatively titled The Influencing Machine. W.W. Norton bought the graphic novel last month. [The New York Observer]

Creators | Christopher Irving profiles Becky Cloonan, focusing largely on her work on Demo, PIXU and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Vampires. [Graphic NYC]

Creators | Entertainment Weekly reporter Jeff Jensen delves into Green River Killer, his upcoming Dark Horse graphic novel that recounts his father’s hunt for Gary Ridgway, one of the most prolific serial killers in American history. [PW Comics Week]

Creators | Richard Starkings chats about his series Elephantmen. [Den of Geek]

Donald Duck

Donald Duck

Fandom | D23, “The Official Community for Disney Fans,” is turning to fans for the creation of an official portrait of Donald Duck to celebrate the character’s 75th anniversary. [D23]

Fandom | iFanboy posts the winning entries from its “Sequentially Ever After” contest. [iFanboy]

Blogosphere | Happy fourth anniversary, Bully. [Comics Oughta Be Fun]

Pop culture | Open auditions are being held today in Austin for the role of Mary Jane in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Y’know, the musical? So … yeah. [Decider]

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Also, The Watchtower Podcast has an in-depth interview with Brad Meltzer about his novel “Book of Lies,” and his extensive work with the Justice League and Justice Society.

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