§ Before we get into the news, a reminder to follow @ComicsBeatCons on Twitter for live tweets and inside dirt from all the shows that Elite Beat Operatives attend. Our little tweeters were very busy at WonderCon including scooping the move to LA.
§ Malaysian cartoonist Zunar’s clash with the law continued my Friday as he was charged with nine counts of sedition over tweets he wrote critical of the government’s prosecution of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Malaysian authorities to drop the charges and to cease using the Sedition Act to intimidate and threaten journalists. Sessions Court Judge Zanol Rashid Hussain agreed to hear the state prosecution’s case against Zunar over nine tweets he made on 10 February criticising a Federal Court decision to jail the country’s main opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, on sodomy charges, reports said. The trial is scheduled to begin on 20 May.
Zunar could be sentenced to as much as 43 years in prison if convicted. After being released on bail, Zunar tweeted the cartoon below.
Cartoon Zunar: Until last drop! pic.twitter.com/caunwHy3xF
— Zunar Cartoonist (@zunarkartunis) April 3, 2015
§ Indie publisher Secret Acres has the best con reports, and here’s there account of RIPE in Providence.
§ After I went on and on about French comics writer Fabien Vehlmann the other day, Zainab Akhtar reveals his series ‘The Marquis of Anaon’ is coming from Cinebook. The artist is Matthew Bonhomme.
IDW’s increase in digital sales of $679,000, despite the disruption to the market caused by the elimination of iOS in-app purchases by comiXology around the time of its acquisition by Amazon (see “Amazon Acquiring ComiXology”) is an impressive accomplishment.
Comics publishing numbers are always hard to come by, but IDW has been more transparent than most, so be prepared for more of this kind of thing.
§ Duke University has chosen “Fun Home” as summer reading for incoming freshmen. A similar decision by South Carolina colleges led to threats to cut their public funding, so it’s great to see Duke standing up for free thought.
“Fun Home” has been selected as this year’s summer reading book for incoming freshmen. The book is an autobiographical graphic novel written by cartoonist Alison Bechdel. It chronicles Bechdel’s childhood and her relationship with her father and deals with issues ranging from sexuality to family to mental health. The book was selected by the Common Experience selection committee, which is composed of students, staff and faculty and which selected the book from a list of recommendations by members of the Duke community. Members of the Class of 2019 will receive copies of a special printing of the book in the mail during the summer. “I think it will be a great vehicle for conversations among the incoming class about art and storytelling; about personal and sexual identities; about truth and lies, and the harm both can cause; and about judgment and forgiveness,” said selection committee member Simon Partner, a professor of history and director of the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute at Duke, in a Duke News press release Wednesday.
Duke actually has a pretty large library of comics, and it’s not just about Basketball. That said, go Duke! (I have family members who went to school there so I’m allowed.)
§ Spike Trotman is one of the most savvy comics creators/publishers/rainmakers around when it comes to using all the tools available to get her own and other books published, and she has two interviews out, one with Brigid Alverson at Robot 6 and one with Rich Schivener for Publishers Weekly where she talks specifically about her kickstarter for the webcomic TK and Amal, which raised more than $65,000.
§ They are making Batman Moleskine notebooks. How many Moleskines are one person allowed to own? You can also download a Batman logo template and enter a Batman drawing contest. And win more notebooks.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.