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Comics A.M. | More on Stuck in the Middle library challenge

Stuck in the Middle

Libraries | An editorial in the Lewiston, Maine, newspaper praises a local school board’s decision last week to leave the 2007 comics anthology Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age in the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School library following a parent’s complaints about “objectionable sexual and language references”: “American culture can be graphically sexual and explicitly foul and it’s important that young people learn how to navigate that world in a responsible way. The best possible way, of course, is for parents to steer their children through that process, but not every parent does and many children are left adrift. So, the next-better place to learn is the school library, where a responsible adult can help educate children about their hormone-charged emerging feelings in a confusingly sensual culture.” [Sun Journal]

Business | Wizard magazine founder Gareb Shamus, who resigned earlier this month as president and chief executive officer of Wizard World Inc., will sell most of his shares in the company to his successor, who’s expected to be named next month. [Bleeding Cool]

Creators | The Korean American Experience asks, “Why Are There So Many Good Asian American Cartoonists?” and highlights the work of Jason Shiga, Gene Yang, Derek Kirk Kim, Hellen Jo and more. [Korean American Experience]

Art by Sharon Moody

Creators | Author and comics writer Scott Edelman takes issue with paintings by Sharon Moody that depict photo-realistic images of comic books. (Honestly, when I first saw the images, I thought someone was just tacking a comic to the wall and calling it art). The paintings don’t credit the creators of the comics. “You might ask, but what’s wrong with this? Aren’t these just still-life paintings like any other? Aren’t there many trompe l’oeil paintings that can pass for photographs? Why should an artist be allowed to paint a bowl of fruit but not a comic book? My issue is this—an apple, once you set aside either a Higher Power or human hybridization (depending on your belief system), has no creator, but the pages of art apparently reproduced here line for line do. What’s going on here is at the very least a collaboration with Kirby, Buscema, Novick, and others without those artists’ permission, and at the very most … well … I’ll let others decide whether they want to go there.” [Bleeding Cool]

Alex de Campi

Creators | Laura Sneddon chats with Alex de Campi about her Kickstarter-funded project Ashes, and women in comics: “The only reason the majors don’t have more women creators is they expect the creators to be in their face begging for jobs. Most women creators just don’t care that much (and also the female way of working socially is different), so they’re all sitting on their piles Eisner nominations and critically-acclaimed indie books waiting to be asked to dance by DC and Marvel … but DC and Marvel are too busy doing keg stands with the freshmen boys.” [comicbookGRRRL]

Creators | Paul Gravett translates a paper he presented for a conference on war and totalitarianism in comics, contrasting Joe Sacco’s Palestine with his Footnotes in Gaza, completed 16 years later and under very different circumstances. [Paul Gravett]

Creators | John Allison discusses the event that sparked his webcomic Bad Machinery, his frustrations about the strip’s progress, and more. [12 Books in 12 Months]

Creators | Sean Kleefeld interviews Frank Page, creator of the long-running webcomic Bob the Squirrel. Page recently announced in the comic, which is based on his life, that he is considering ending the strip. “I think it was a combination of everything… the early mornings, the volume of work, my looking back on 3000+ strips and wondering what the next 3000+ would look like… I’ve made it very clear that I haven’t decided one way or another if the strip will end. Bob has become my best friend, he’s very real to me. And, after reading the considerable amount of emails I’ve received, he’s real to a lot of other people as well. How do you say goodbye to your best friend? Would you be any better off doing something else?” He still hasn’t made up his mind, though. [MTV Geek]

Digital comics | Margaret O’Connell gives the online manga site JManga a thorough test drive and finds it promising but a bit clunky. [Sequential Tart]

Commentary | Bill Kartalopoulos writes a lengthy, thoughtful essay on Daniel Clowes’ The Death-Ray. [Brooklyn Rail]

Awards | Clay Bennett, the editorial cartoonist for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has won the 2011 Lurie UN Award, which is given by the UN Correspondents Association and the UN Society of Writers to promote excellence in political cartooning. Hit the link to see the winning cartoon, an M.C. Escher-like take on the Mideast peace talks, read how Bennett came up with the idea. [The Daily Cartoonist]

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