"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Politics | The controversy in Minnesota continues over Neil Gaiman’s speaking fee, with a state House Republican committee chairman now recommending a $45,000 cut to the Twin Cites’ regional library system budget to make up for the Legacy Fund money paid to the author and comics writer in May 2010. “I simply subtracted out $45,000 — just making a point,” Rep. Dean Urdahl said. Gaiman responded that the move “seems like a sad way to make a point.” He talks at length with CityPages about the controversy. [Star-Tribune]
Passings | Prolific Argentine comics writer Carlos Trillo, co-creator of CyberSix, passed away over the weekend while on vacation in London. He was 68. Trillo, whose career spanned five decades, collaborated with such artists as Eduardo Risso, Jordi Bernet, Juan Bobillo, Carlos Meglia and Domingo Roberto Mandrafina. [TN.com, via The Beat]
Retailing | Peter Panepinto turns a Free Comic Book Day preview into one of those perennial articles about the potential effects of superhero movies on comic-book sales. [Carroll County Times]
There’s been a lot written over the past couple of days about Minnesota House Majority Leader Matt Dean’s churlish, and childish, criticism of Neil Gaiman for accepting $45,000 from the state’s Legacy Fund to speak a year ago at a library. (Dean called the author a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota,” but has since apologized, at his mother’s urging, for the name-calling.)
However, my favorite take on the kerfuffle is this webcomic by cartoonist Evil Wylie. Titled “Neil vs. The Bully,” it parodies the old Charles Atlas comic-book ads while also depicting Neil Gaiman and Matt Dean in swim trunks. Check out the full comic at EvilReads.
Although the national spotlight is no longer on the controversial budget battle in Minnesota, the political climate remains heated.
As evidence, look no further than this Star-Tribune report about efforts by House Republicans to force arts and culture groups like Minnesota Public Radio — no surprise — and the Minnesota Zoo to compete for grants rather than receive special appropriations from the state’s Legacy Fund, which is generated through sales and use tax
Explaining why the state funding for the arts is undergoing scrutiny, House Majority Leader Matt Dean singled out $45,000 in Legacy money paid to author and comics writer Neil Gaiman for a four-hour appearance at a Stillwater public library in May 2010.
Dean is quoted as saying that Gaiman, “who I hate,” was a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”