Japanese sexualization of young girls: Just icky or illegal?

Hiroko Tabuchi of the NY Times has alengthy piece Japan’s recent legislation banning sales of adult material to minors. Along the way there’s a lot of “Only in Japan!” stuff:

Spider-Man joins the Fantastic Four for Future Foundation

So with Johnny’s eternal flame extinguished, the FF needs a new young toyetic star to join their ranks…and it’s…SPIDEY! Who would have seen that coming?

Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting will chronicle the new lineup in a book called FF — for Future Foundation, which will include some “top secret members” according to the pr.

MUST READ: Todd Klein on the Greatest Comics Logos

Talk about informed, could you have a better guide to the history of comics logos than the lettering master himself, Todd Klein? His research into the history of comics is as extensive as it is informed:

Comics Alliance now most visited comics website

E-i-C Laura Hudson tweeted that the HuffPo/AOL alliance was yet to have any effect on AOL’s comics blog, Comics Alliance, it seems that now AOL is sending out PR about sub-site achievements. Congrats to the Krew!

EXCLUSIVE: Diamond teams with iVerse to offer in-store digital comics sales

Bam, the other shoe has dropped: as long anticipated, Diamond is starting a program to offer digital comics sales. Comics will be offered day-and-date exclusively through participating retailers — with a 30-day exclusive for these stores. Products offered include regular downloads for $1.99 with “Digital Plus” comics — extras offered with a print purchase — for $.99, all in hopes of becoming a revenue stream for stores and publishers alike.

Justin Bieber goes MAD

Is it really newsworthy that a popular music figure is being mocked in the mages of MAD Magazine, where they invented the pop culture mockery?The AP says Yes!

San Diego Comic-Con Ticketween aftermath: Regrets, DNS problems, Slamdance

In the aftermath of Saturday’s Comic-Con sellout, folks were kicking their server tires, expressing apologies, and planning to put the comics back in Comic-Con.

More chat with Gareb Shamus

Wizard-watchers will find mostly familiar territory in the ICv2 interview with Wizard’s CEO Gareb Shamus. Key words: “exciing” and “incredible.” But it does include what may be the most awesome interview question ever:

First Look at Jim Woodring's Congress of the Animals cover

A new graphic novel by Jim Woodring? A mere year after the great WEATHERCRAFT? Yes, somehow, in between dreaming about his giant steel nib pen, Woodring managed to draw a whole new book. And Flog just debuted the cover.
As WEATHERCRAFT dealt with Manhog, this tome deals with Frank — CONGRESS OF THE ANIMALS is the first ever all new Frank OGN and it’s coming in May.

Must watch: CAT SH*T ONE

Because you can’t get enough surreal cartooniness today,. here’s the first episode of CAT SH*T ONE, an anime version of the war in the MIddle East starring violent bunnies and camels. It’s based on the manga series by Motofumi Kobayashi, which was set in the VIetnam War, but there’s plenty of guerilla war to go around for reboots. Sadly, the kitty kat Viet Cong in the original are replaced by camel terrorists here.

Must watch: David OReilly's The External World

David OReilly is the Chris Ware of animation — his work is modern, haunting and bleak. His new film “The External World” just won an Honorable Mention at Sundance — the only cartoon to do so — and it’s 17 minutes of video game era dread, alienation. Is there redemption? FULL SCREEN.