Verdict Delayed For Iranian Cartoonist Atena Farghadani
According to several wire articles including this one, a verdict in the Atena Farghadani case will be delayed one week or more after a packed and intense hearing on Tuesday. The cartoonist continues to be detained. She's already served two stretches of jail time for a 2014 cartoon depicting anti-women's rights officials as having animal heads. This included a stretch in the notorious Evin Prison and some additional time for complaining about her treatment during her first time of being imprisoned for a cartoon.
The judge in the case has already been the subject of accusations of unfair treatment by the cartoonist. Several cartoonists in several countries have run afoul of laws that provide special dispensation to sitting politicians in terms of how they're depicted, a whole conception of the law that strikes me as wholly problematic in these times just about anywhere they're applied. Let me add my voice to the chorus of those hoping for the best outcome possible.
A Few More Significant Charlie Hebdo-Related Updates
* the thought that someone is following and taking photos of Riss seems fairly terrifying to me, although I realize there may be political objections to some of the characterization in the article. But seriously: it would be a little bit scary if it were like me and my brother following him around; this is worrisome. I've read a couple of complaints about police fecklessness contributing to the Charlie Hebdo murder, so careful monitoring seems a natural.
* after announcing that he would no longer draw Muhammed, Luz has now announced he'll quit Charlie Hebdo. Negotiating the spirits of his dead friends has been too much for him to bear, and I think I would find myself in a similar headspace were half of Fantagraphics murdered, say.
* not comics: this Neil Labute play withdrawn from a fundraising event sounds much less horrible than its first description. The idea of what subjects we engage in art and how we publish/perform those works is a fascinating one, and there's almost no strong conensus in any direction right now.
* finally, here's a follow-up on the Charlie Hebdo donations situation, which stresses the amount that will go to the victims' families. There had been some question as to whether or not any should be returned to the magazine struturally, and what was due whom given the ownership profile of the publication. That article suggests that they expect circulation to eventually settle at around 100,000.
Go, Read: Jeff Kinney Builds Many Folks' Dream Set-Up
It should be interesting over the next 15-20 years to see how those who do well in some form of cartoon- or comics-making spend that extra capital and whatever cultural oomph they may have. It looks like Jeff Kinney, the man behind the mega-successful hybrid book series The Wimpy Kid, is starting a small town bookstore and cafe. The last place I lived was a town where 80 percent of the downtown businesses were run by people who had cashed out elsewhere. (I know this to be true having once applied for a part-time position as a PR person for the Merchants Association.) Bookstores and classes and even comics shops are model that could benefit from that of investment, people spending their fortunes (even moderate ones) rather than hoping to make one.
I hope Kinney is as successful at this as he has been making those books.
Festivals Extra: CCA MFA In Comics Names Its Three Speakers For 2015 Comics In The City Series
The Comics In The City Guest Speaker Series, a run of three Friday events for July affiliated with San Francisco California College Of The Arts, has named its trio for 2015: Mike Mignola, Spike Trotman and Paul Madonna. That's a great line-up. There will be a fourth event series on the fourth Friday that moment featuring CCA graduates doing readings. It all sounds like fun.
* not comics: I'm happy for cartoonists I like to get deals in other media they want and are interested in doing -- and hey, these look fun -- but my primary interest as a comics reporter is in keeping track of Gary Tyrrell's idea that comics are the new stand-up: a low-threshold performance art that will drive talented people to other, more profitable media for the next 20 years.
* bundled extra: happy to see Greg Stump's Disillusioned Illusions, which was essentially a handmade and distributed comic in its most recent iteration -- will get a bump up in public profile via an edition with FU Press. Stump is a deeply funny cartoonist, and I don't know anyone who does comics quite like he does: more Donald Barthelme than Donald Duck.
* look at this cool Jim Osborne comic. Osborne is one of the many artists in the underground tradition that has almost no penetration into our general knowledge of comics. I hope that the undergrounds have a more comprehensive legacy in 2050 than they have right this moment, but it's going to be tough.
The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: Shows And Events
By Tom Spurgeon
* Image Expo has announced for July 2, the week before Comic-Con International. They made some headlines last summer by having their summer event the Wednesday before the big show -- which got them more buzz than actual press, what with people having to file right before they start filing all of their Comic-Con article. They sure owned the news cycle early on, though, and I think moving it five days back will have a similar effect.