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Legal | Yaoi Press Publisher Yamila Abraham was arrested Monday in Las Vegas on federal fraud charges related to online sales of an “herbal” alternative to recreational street drugs. Authorities claim the product contained no herbal supplements and was actually composed of dextromethorphan hydrobromide (DXM), the active ingredient in over-the-counter cough suppressants. The charges date from 2005 and 2006, when Abraham operated the mail-order website Pleasureherbs.com.
If convicted, Abraham, 34, could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the seven counts of mail fraud, up to one year in prison and a $250,000 fine on one count of misbranding a drug, and up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine on one count of introducing goods in domestic commerce by means of false statement. She also could be forced to forfeit property from the proceeds of the crime up to $186,680 and any equipment used to make the drugs.
On the Yaoi Press blog, Abraham asked for everyone to “please keep a cool head, and have faith. This situation is not going to end Yaoi Press. Don’t believe the hype.” She stressed that she will continue to appear at conventions, including this weekend’s OtakuMex in Albuquerque, New Mexico. [Las Vegas Sun]
Business | A Disney regulatory filing lays out a timeline of discussions and negotiations for its proposed $4-billion purchase of Marvel that dates back to February, when Disney CEO Bob Iger first mentioned the idea to Marvel Studios Chairman David Maisel. The documents, filed Tuesday, also disclose how much top executives at both companies will receive because of their stock options. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, which advised Marvel on the deal, will draw a $20-million fee from the comics company. [Los Angeles Times]
Business | Disney Channel President Rich Ross appears to be the frontrunner to replace Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook, who abruptly left the company on Friday. [Los Angeles Times, Deadline Hollywood]
Publishing | Brigid Alverson talks with Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly about assembling The Toon Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics. “Our ideal audience is a kid walking into a library or opening a Christmas present and having this wealth of materials he can dive into, the way Uncle Scrooge dives into his money,” Mouly said. [PW Comics Week]
Publishing | Viz Media Editor Nick Mamatas discusses the publisher’s new Haikasoru line of Japanese horror, science fiction and fantasy novels. [Omnivoracious]
Retailing | Mike Musgrove reports on the closing of Big Monkey Comics in Washington, D.C., which owner Scipio Garling attributes to the economy. However, some of the store’s competitors aren’t so sure. “It’s a sad thing to see it go,” says Matt Klokel, co-owner of Fantom Comics. “But to blame the economy alone is doing a disservice to the remaining comic book stores. He seems to be saying that comic books are dead and it’s just a matter of time before all comic book stores are closed. We have new customers coming in all the time.” [The Washington Post]
Creators | Writer Jason Aaron announced he has extended his contract with Vertigo for Scalped for another 12 issues, taking the series up through No. 48: “Just seeing that number got me all excited, thinking about a fiftieth issue, thinking of how far the series had come, despite the odds being stacked against it. Makes me wanna say ‘thank you’ once again to all the people out here who pick this book up, whether in issues or trades, to all the people who blog about it, to the retailers who hand-sell it, to all the people who bring their friends to see me at cons and talk them into buying the book. You people are awesome. Scalped wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t for you all going the extra mile.” [Jason Aaron’s blog]
Creators | Collaborators David Tischman and Philip Bond discuss their Wildstorm miniseries Red Herring. [PW Comics Week]
Creators | Jim Lee chats briefly about his involvement with the DC Universe Online game. [Game Informer]
Creators | Artist Brett Weldele talks to a local TV news station about The Surrogates comic and movie. [Montana’s News Station]
Internet | Tucker Stone breaks down “the entirety of the comic Internet cycle” into three specific categories. [ComiXology]
Music | Don’t expect that graphic novel from singer Aimee Mann anytime soon. [LA Snark]