First Second Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Comics A.M. | Free WiFi comes to San Diego for Comic-Con

comic-con logo

Conventions | Cox Communications and Comic-Con International will provide free WiFi to the entire downtown area of San Diego from July 8 to July 24, a period that encompasses the 2016 MLB All-Star Game as well as Comic-Con International. However, the WiFi will only be available outside the convention center during Comic-Con. Cox will install 100 hotspots around town, and for the period of Comic-Con will make them available for free to all users. After July 24, the hotspots will be available to Cox customers, and non-subscribers will be allowed one free hour per month. [San Diego Union-Tribune]

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Comics A.M. | Attorney takes a close look at Artists Alley

Photo by Seth Polansky

Photo by Seth Polansky

Legal | An attorney who specializes in intellectual property takes a walk through an Artists Alley — and he doesn’t like what he sees: “Without exaggeration or hyperbole, 70-80% of the vendors and artists were selling infringing intellectual property (‘IP’).” He proceeds to list in detail not only the offenses but the misconceptions used to defend them. [Seth Polansky’s Blog]

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First Second to publish Cass Elliott graphic novel

California Dreamin cover cropped

First Second has announced plans to publish Pénélope Bagieu’s California Dreamin': Cass Elliott Before The Mamas & the Papas, a biography of the singer widely known as Mama Cass.

Elliott was a member of several groups before The Mamas & the Papas, and she struggled to make a career as a singer, once losing a part to Barbara Streisand.

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‘This One Summer’ removed from Minnesota school

this one summer

Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s award-winning graphic novel This One Summer has been removed from the library of the public school in Henning, Minnesota, which serves grades kindergarten through 12, on the basis of a single complaint.

The American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Blog reported on the incident, which, ironically, might never have occurred if the book hadn’t won so many awards and garnered such good reviews:

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Comics A.M. | Charting the growth of Chicago’s C2E2

Cosplay at C2E2 2015

Cosplay at C2E2 2015

Conventions | Ahead of this weekend’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, the Chicago Tribune looks at the growth, and the economics, of the convention, which last year drew a reported 71,000 attendees — about 40 percent of which come from outside Illinois. [Chicago Tribune]

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Comics A.M. | Cartoonist Ted Rall sues Los Angeles Times

Ted Rall's crosswalk cartoon for the Los Angeles Times

Ted Rall’s crosswalk cartoon for the Los Angeles Times

Legal | Political cartoonist Ted Rall has sued the Los Angeles Times, claiming the newspaper defamed him and unfairly fired him from his position as a freelance cartoonist. In May 2015, Rall wrote a blog post for new newspaper’s website about being mistreated, handcuffed and “roughed up” by Los Angeles police when he was stopped in 2001 for jaywalking. Two months later, the L.A. Times published a column that cast doubt on Rall’s account, and announced it would no longer carry his work. Rall protested and later claimed that an audiotape of the incident supported his side of the story, although the paper found otherwise. In the lawsuit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Rall claims the Times defamed him by questioning his veracity. The paper’s response: “The Times will defend itself vigorously against Mr. Rall’s claims.” [Los Angeles Times]

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Comics A.M. | ‘Ms. Marvel’ wins Dwayne McDuffie diversity award

ms marvel

Awards | Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, won the second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, presented over the weekend at Long Beach Expo in Long Beach, California. The other nominees were Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven, by Brandon Easton and Denis Medri;  Fresh Romance, edited by Janelle Asselin; Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare and Natacha Bustos; and Zana, by Jean Barker and Joey Granger. The Beat has Wilson’s acceptance video. [Long Beach Comic Expo]

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‘This One Summer’ pulled from libraries in two Florida school districts

this one summer1This One Summer, the award-winning graphic novel by cousins Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, has been removed from elementary school libraries in two Florida school districts. One district is also pulling the book from high school libraries.

The action followed a complaint from Melissa Allison, the mother of a third-grader who checked the book out of the library at Sabal Point Elementary School in Longwood, Florida. “How do you explain to a 9-year-old the graphic things that were in this book?” Allison said.

The main character of This One Summer, Rose, is on the brink of adolescence but not quite there yet. She and her family are spending their summer vacation at a lake house, where Rose is fascinated by the lives of the local teens (one of whom is pregnant). At the same time, she’s dealing with tensions within her own family and with her younger friend Windy. The book includes some crude language and blunt talk about sex. Publisher First Second gives This One Summer an age rating of 12-18 years on its website, and a number of library review sites give it 12+ and 13+ ratings.

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Comics A.M. | ‘Valerian’ creator on (possibly) influencing ‘Star Wars’

valerian2

Creators | Pierre Christin, the creator of Valerian and Laureline, discusses the possibility that his space opera was a source for the Star Wars movies — and how he and his collaborator Jean-Claude Mézières changed the story to move it away from the Star Wars universe: “I instantly felt connected with Star Wars because of the number of intersections and parallels with our comic strips. George Lucas had created complex worlds, just as we had. Like us, he had staged the functioning of societies from within, although Star Wars focused perhaps a bit more on the struggle between good and evil. In this respect, Valerian was more European, more intellectual.” [EuropeComics]

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Comics A.M. | Neighbors throw young fan his own comic con

cameron comic con

Fandom | Twelve-year-old Cameron Bippen was  looking forward to attending Tampa Bay Comic Con, but had to miss the event due to unexplained seizures. Following his release from the hospital, Cameron’s neighbors in Riverview, Florida, threw him his own comic convention, complete with costumed guests and a visit from members of the Tampa Bay 501st Star Wars Legion. [Fox 4 News]

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‘Avatar’ and ‘Korra’ co-creator to make graphic novel debut

threadworlds-cropped

Avatar: The Last Airbender co-creator Bryan Konietzko will make his graphic novel debut with Threadworlds, a sci-fi series to be published by First Second.

Scheduled to debut in 2017, Threadworlds is set on a group of five planets that share a single orbit, each with its own intelligent species and level of technology. The story centers on Nova, a stubborn and brilliant young scientist from one of the most primitive worlds who refuses to adhere to the rules of a superstitious, oppressive empire that forbids girls to read and write. The series will follow a chain reaction of scientific discovers from planet to planet that sweep up Nova in a journey.

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Comics A.M. | ‘Sherlock’ manga releases bilingual edition

Sherlock

Sherlock

Manga | Remember when Kadokawa published a manga based on the BBC’s popular Sherlock television series? Well, maybe not, because the manga hasn’t been licensed for English-language countries. But now the first volume has been translated: Kadokawa, the publisher of the original manga, has released a bilingual Japanese and English version of “A Study in Pink” intended for students of English. [Anime News Network]

Conventions | Attendance at ReedPOP’s second annual Special Edition: NYC, held June 6-7, reportedly increased 40 percent from the first year. [Publishers Weekly]

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Comics A.M. | Retailers point to rising sales, more women in 2015

Saga, Vol. 4

Saga, Vol. 4

Retailing | Sales of both comics and graphic novels were strong during the 2014 holiday season and have continued to grow since then, according to the 13 retailers (nine direct market shops and four bookstores that carry graphic novels) surveyed by Publishers Weekly. The answers seem to reflect some trends that have been ongoing for a while: Image Comics solidifying its place as the No. 3 (and in one case, No. 2) comics publisher, the increasing popularity of graphic novels and an influx of new readers, many of them young and female. [Publishers Weekly]

Retailing | Brooklyn Comics & More Inc., the owner of two now-closed stores in New York City, has filed for bankruptcy. The corporation opened Brooklyn Comics & More in 2010 and Manhattan Comics & More in 2011; both closed in 2013. The company’s debts include $71,799.93 owed to Diamond Comic Distributors. [ICv2]

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Comics A.M. | Spiegelman calls removal of ‘Maus’ in Russia ‘a real shame’

Art Spiegelman

Art Spiegelman

Creators | Responding to the removal of Maus from Moscow bookstores as the Russian government cracks down on Nazi symbols, Art Spiegelman said, “It’s a real shame because this is a book about memory. We don’t want cultures to erase memory.” Retailers fear the swastika on the graphic novel’s cover may be enough to run afoul of a new law prohibiting “Nazi propaganda” as the country prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Germany. “I don’t think Maus was the intended target for this, obviously,” the cartoonist told The Guardian. “But I think [the law] had an intentional effect of squelching freedom of expression in Russia. The whole goal seems to make anybody in the expression business skittish.” [The Guardian]

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First look: James Kochalka’s cover for ‘Glorkian Warrior,’ Vol. 3

glorkian-warrior3-cropped

First Second has provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive first look at the cover for the third volume The Glorkian Warrior, James Kochalka’s celebrated sci-fi series for young readers.

As you’re likely aware by now, The Glorkian Warrior is both a graphic novel series and a video-game collaboration between Kochalka and indie studio Pixeljam, both starring  an alien adventure who wears a laser backpack. In, the third volume, The Glorkian Warrior and the Mustache of Destiny, the hapless hero has a little company. Here’s the official description:

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