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Comics A.M. | Algerian cartoonist seeks asylum in France

Djamel Ghanem

Djamel Ghanem

Legal | Algerian cartoonist Djamel Ghanem is seeking asylum in France as the prosecution and plaintiff appeal his acquittal on charges that he insulted Algeria’s president in an unpublished cartoon drawn for the newspaper Voix d’Oranie. The newspaper brought the criminal charges against Ghanem; in possibly related news, Ghanem is suing his employer for seven years’ unpaid wages. Ghanem now claims Algeria wants to make an example of him. [Radio France International, Ennahar Online]

Conventions | Mark Rahner, who has been going to Emerald City Comicon since the first one in 2003, initially as a reporter and then as a creator, talks about why the event has grown so big (75,000 attendees are expected this weekend) and why it’s still awesome anyway. [Seattle Weekly]

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Kurt Cobain graphic novel to rise again on iTunes

A British firm called Musicroom has published a digital graphic novel about Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. The basis for this is the graphic novel Godspeed: The Kurt Cobain Graphic, originally published in 2003. Here’s a bit of background on Godspeed, which apparently caused a bit of controversy but not enough to sustain its own Wikipedia page. (Check out the mixed reviews on that Amazon link.) Interestingly, according to Amazon, a new edition of the print graphic novel just came out in April.

Musicroom seems to specialize in sheet music and music instruction materials, both digital and print, and the graphic novel looks like a bit of a departure for them, but there is something very logical about this. In the ideal case, a graphic novel like this would be packaged with some of Cobain’s music and maybe some video clips as well, making full use of the iPad’s capability. That doesn’t seem to be the case here, alas—from the front page, it just looks like a print graphic novel reformatted for the iPad. And there is something kind of weird about the image of Angel Kurt weeping over a set of menu options. Perhaps they should have thought about redesigning the cover for the app.

(Via the Seattle PI blog, which has a preview of the app.)

Comics A.M. | Disney Publishing expands; Spider-Man choreographer ousted?

Disney Publishing Worldwide

Publishing | Disney Publishing is pushing further into the kids’ periodical market with four new magazines, including two standalone issues tied to Marvel’s upcoming Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger movies. Marvel’s comics division apparently won’t be producing content for the publications. A third magazine, based around Cars 2, will be monthly beginning in the fall, while the fourth, tied to the Disney Channel animated series Phineas and Ferb, will be bimonthly. [Variety, Deadline]

Broadway | On the heels of the recent departure of director Julie Taymor, producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark are reportedly in talks to replace choreographer Daniel Ezralow, who designed the $70-million musical’s complex flying sequences. Chase Brock is likely to step in for Ezralow, who was described by a cast member as “a Julie person.” [Bloomberg]

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