X-POSITION: Burnham, Culver, Villalobos Spell Out "E Is For Extinction"
Legal | An Egyptian court on Saturday officially banned Metro, considered that country’s first graphic novel, and found author Magdy al Shafee and publisher Mohammed al Sharqawi guilty of printing and distributing a publication infringing public decency. The two were fined the equivalent of about $916; they could have received up to two years in prison. Shafee has vowed to fight the ruling.
Shafee and Sharqawi were arrested in April 2008 after police raided the publisher’s offices and confiscated all copies of Metro, which centers on a young software designer in a modern and corrupt Cairo who turns to bank robbery to repay underworld loan sharks. Retailers were immediately ordered to remove the book from their shelves. You can read a translated excerpt of Metro here. [Zawya]
Legal | President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines last week signed into law the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, which bans real and “virtual” child pornography, including comic-book depictions. [Anime News Network]
Business | The Wall Street Journal breaks down how much Marvel’s top executives and directors stand to make in cash and stock once the Disney deal is finalized. David Maisel’s $20.4 million is a distant second to Isaac Perlmutter’s widely reported $1.6 billion. Yes, that’s a “B.” [Deal Journal]
Legal | An Arizona attorney and inventor who in 2000 won a lawsuit against Marvel over a toy web-shooter has taken the company back to court over royalties he claims he’s owed. [Arizona Daily Star]
Libraries | Librarian Robin Brenner examines circulation figures for her graphic novel collection and discovers, among other things, that she needs to buy more Daredevil. There’s plenty of numbers-crunching that makes for interesting reading. [Good Comics for Kids]
Comics | Tom Spurgeon begins compiling a list of the best superhero stories of the decade. It’s only a first draft, but he makes some excellent choices (I’d love to see his reasoning for the inclusion of 52, though). [The Comics Reporter]
Comics | Graeme McMillan lays out why James Rhodes (aka War Machine) is comics’ “ideal” black superhero. [io9.com]
Sales charts | The top of this installment of The New York Times graphic-novels bestseller list looks the same as the previous one, with The Book of Genesis Illustrated, Logicomix and the eighth volume of Vampire Knight leading their respective categories. [The New York Times]
Anime | Yuka Hayashi provides a depressing snapshot of the Japanese animation industry: “A shrinking population of children in Japan has discouraged toy makers, television networks and other traditional sponsors from funding new programs. That has driven many anime studios—most of which are small shops — toward making animated soft porn and violent movies targeted at adult audiences. At the same time, YouTube and other free Internet services have hurt sales of DVDs … Morale is low. Industry executives estimate nine out of 10 new workers quit within three years, with the many talented employees leaving for better-paying jobs in areas like videogames.” [The Wall Street Journal]
Internet | Wikipedia is hemorrhaging volunteers editors, clocking a net loss of 49,000 in the first three months of 2009 (compared to 4,900 in the same period the previous year). [The Wall Street Journal]