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Legal | Cartoonist Susie Cagle, who was arrested last month while covering Occupy Oakland, says she has been cleared of all charges by the Oakland Police Department. The Society of Professional Journalists sent a letter to the Oakland police condemning the arrest, which ultimately assisted in getting the charges dropped. The letter called out the department’s crowd management policy, which says, “Even after a dispersal order has been given, clearly identified media shall be permitted to carry out their professional duties in any area where arrests are being made, unless their presence would unduly interfere with the enforcement action.” [Fishbowl LA]
Conventions | San Diego City Council approved a plan to have San Diego hotels pay for a $520 million convention center expansion. The plan moves to a second hearing in January and requires a vote of two-thirds of the hotels that cast ballots for approval. [NBC San Diego]
No stranger to controversy with such works as 300 and, most recently, Holy Terror, Frank Miller has waded into the political fray with a tirade against the “Occupy” movement that blasts the protesters as “a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists” that “can do nothing but harm America.”
In a blog post that blew up over the weekend, garnering the attention of everyone from the comics community to Entertainment Weekly to the New York Daily News, the creator who nearly 25 years ago wrote the influential Batman: Year One — “You have eaten well. You’ve eaten Gotham’s wealth. Its spirit. Your feast is nearly over.” — unleashed on the “pond scum” engaged in nationwide protests aimed primarily at perceived economic and social inequality.
Awards | Stan Lee will receive the Producers Guild of America’s 2012 Vanguard Award recognizing achievement in new media and technology. “Stan Lee’s creative vision and imagination has produced some of the most beloved and visually stunning characters and adventures in history,” Producers Guild Awards co-chairs Paula Wagner and Michael Manheim said in a joint statement. “He not only has created content that will forever be in our culture but continues to make strides in the digital and new media realms, keeping the comic book industry fresh and exciting. Stan’s accomplishments truly encompass the spirit of the Vanguard Award and we are proud to honor him.” George Lucas and John Lasseter are among the award’s previous recipients. [press release]
Publishing | Marvel and DC Comics are among the first companies to join Google+ as a part of the Google + Pages initiative, along with other early adopters like the WWE, Angry Birds, The Muppets and Pepsi. Companies that initially joined Google+ back when it first launched had their accounts shut down as Google worked on “building a similarly optimized business experience for Google+” like they had for individuals. Google+ Pages launched yesterday. [The Source, Marvel.com]
Digital | Digital comics distributor iVerse Media has received a $4 million private-equity investment for the expansion of marketing and product development for its Comics+ app. [TechCrunch]
Legal | Susie Cagle, the cartoonist covering Occupy Oakland who was tear-gassed last month, was arrested early Thursday morning during the protests in Oakland. According to her father, cartoonist Daryl Cagle, Susie was being held at Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, Calif. and was charged with unlawful assembly, even though she was there covering the event and had a press badge. Update: According to her Twitter account, Susie Cagle is out of jail and was charged with a misdemeanor, “present at raid.” [Fishbowl LA]
Legal | Tom Spurgeon offers more details on comic artist Steve Rude’s Halloween altercation, which led to the Nexus creator’s arrest that same night. According to Rude’s wife by way of Spurgeon, Rude was in costume handing out Halloween candy to kids trick-or-treating when his neighbors’ dogs began barking. Rude threw rocks at the neighbors’ fence, which led to a confrontation with them. Rude tore the neighbor’s shirt and pushed him, leading to the assault charges. Rude suffered physical abuse during the arrest and in jail before posting bail. [The Comics Reporter]
The Daily Cross Hatch talks to cartoonist Susie Cagle, who was at Occupy Oakland on Tuesday gathering material for her graphic series about the history of Occupy Oakland, when things turned ugly and the police threw flash grenades and tear gas canisters into the crowd. “As I crouched down to protect myself, a teargas canister rolled right under my face and exploded,” she said. She was helped at the scene by a medic from Anonymous, and she plans to go back; she was shooting a video at the time, which you can view at the site.
The tear-gassing has changed Cagle’s plans:
It was going to be a five-part piece about how different Occupy Oakland is from the rest of the occupation. When the camp was up, it was very different. They were primarily concerned with creating this functional mini-city, rather than doing focused protests and actions, which is very different than the other ones
But as so often happens in the journalism biz, the story has changed out from under her, and she’s going to stick around to see how it plays out. Stay tuned.