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Comics A.M. | Russian media watchdog eyes Marvel’s ‘Avengers’

Marvel's Vanguard

Marvel’s Vanguard

Legal | At the request of a state-owned distributor, the Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor is investigating charges that Marvel comics are “propaganda of a cult of violence,” specifically, violence against Russian targets. The agency will review Avengers #1, due out in Russia in August, “regarding the use of Soviet symbols, the presentation of the characters as Russian service personnel, and the incitement of violence and cruelty,” according to the the Russian Legal Information Agency. This seems to be about the Winter Guard and specifically about Vanguard, who wears a hammer-and-sickle logo; the European publisher, Egmont, plans to remove the logo for the Russian release. Roskomnadzor has the option of issuing an official warning; a publisher who gets two of these in a year may have its license revoked. [CNET]

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Meltdown becomes first comic store to take Bitcoin

meltdown logoMeltdown Comics & Collectibles on Thursday became the first brick-and-mortar comic store to accept Bitcoin, the much-discussed digital currency transferred from person to person over the Internet.

The news arrives courtesy of the cryptocurrency website Spelunk.in, which participated in the Los Angeles store’s first transaction (for the record, it was for The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes).

“We at Meltdown like technology and like to move with it when possible,” general manager Francisco Dominguez told the site. “The thought of some magical money that’s not being spent and that I can accept to sell product was mindblowing. So it was a no-brainer that i had to jump on this new currency. [...] Brick-and-mortar/mom-and-pop shops are closing as digital takes over paper print. Hopefully this new way of bringing revenue in to a business will help keep them/us alive.”

He said he hopes to offer Bitcoin users incentives, including discounts, swag and special events.

Commercial use of Bitcoin is still small — as of late November, only about 1,000 physical locations worldwide accepted  it — but there’s a sizable speculator market, leading to a volatile exchange rate.


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