The top comics-related news stories from May 18 to May 24, 2013:
1. Michael George, the prominent Pennsylvania retailer and convention organizer convicted of murdering his then-wife in his then-Michigan comic book store, lost an appeal round. One imagines he'll keep on filing, although I guess there's a chance he won't.
2. More content restrictions concerning a very specific way to receive digital comics content, all focused on sexual content.
Losers Of The Week
Fans of Drawn!, as the iconic illustration and comics imagery site calls it a day.
Quote Of The Week
"Annie is adopted again, this time by a slave-driving couple who make her life miserable. She runs away, accompanied by her only friend, a large orange-colored dog named Sandy, whom she acquired in January 1925. The two eventually take refuge at a farm owned by the poor but kindly Mr. and Mrs. Silos. But Annie is no burden to them: through hard work and her own ingenuity, the eleven-year-old waif is able to contribute to the couple's welfare and happiness. After a few months, though, 'Daddy' Warbucks finally locates Annie and takes her and Sandy back to live in splendid comfort with him. Thus did Gray inaugurate the cycle of separation and hardship, rescue and reunion that framed Annie's adventures and the quest motif that animated them throughout the strip's run. Separated from 'Daddy,' Annie must find the means of survival; through her unflagging perseverance, she always does." -- RC Harvey
today's cover is from the all-time series Classics Illustrated
I missed it, though it's pretty straight-forward: the convicted former retailer and prominent convention organizer Michael George was denied an appeal, an appeal that sounds to me a bit like throwing everything including the kitchen sink that someone might find not-right about that extraordinary cold-case trial and its second round. I imagine it likely the appeals will continue. One thing that was galling to someone in that area to whom I spoke was how agitated George was about saying he was wronged when he declined to testify on his own behalf, which isn't a continuity I necessarily ascribe to, but there you go.
I was super-intrigued that Victor Navasky apparently chose not to reprint the Jyllands-Posten Muhammed cartoons in his book of reviews and essays about various political cartoonists and related issues. It makes sense to me, but not for the reasons cited: I'm not sure seeing the cartoons is as necessary as it was when that story broke. I don't mean that in the "it's google-able way" but straight up the value of seeing that work. That was always a key element of that story to me: seeing these images at that time seemed like it would have been a key step in letting people know about the sheer lunacy of what was going on, and was absolutely justified -- nearly every news organization blinked.
ComiXology Removes Digital Titles From iOS App In Order To Adhere To Stupid-Ass Apple Policies
Superior link-blogger Kevin Melrose has a nice summary post up about the latest moves made by comiXology to comply with Apple's assholular policies considering adult and "inappropriate" content. I guess the silver lining here -- and this is one dim-ass silver lining -- is that the removals do seem to be based on sexual content rather than expressions that someone might see as sexual simply because it comes from folks outside of a very narrow, conservative self-conception.
(To be clear, I get this from comiXology's end and don't get it at all from Apple's; a couple of people have written me to say that it's about the lack of controls that this particular avenue offers, but I'll have to look into that a bit.)
This kind of thing seems like an extraordinary waste of time in this day and age, and deeply unfortunate to the point of my wanting to go back to bed. The idea that companies had to do this out of some sort of understandable, justifiable self-preservation due to the small-p political landscape seems like a canard now; I don't know a lot of reasonable people that would restrict access to material that might have sexual content that adults might want to read. I don't know what to do with this kind of thing other than mock it, wait it out, take my business elsewhere and communicate that to the people involved. So stupid. My apologies to the artists involved for having to live on the same planet as the people making these decisions.
* Heidi MacDonald at The Beatpoints out that how the purchase of Tumblr is a big comics story, too, because of the number of people using it as a primary platform to both get noticed as comics-makers and to process comics and comics imagery.
* I have to assume I made this a stand-alone post between the time I'm typing this (Monday afternoon) and the time this rolls out (Friday morning) but Drawn.ca RIP. That was a mighty, mighty, on-line source for comics-makers and visual artists.