Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

September 23, 2007

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I missed this, but apparently several University of Virginia cartoonists have resigned in protest over Grant Woolard losing his slot after an "Ethiopian Food Fight" cartoon that offended students including but certainly not limited to those of Ethiopian descent.

* Brian Hibbs was so happy with his latest Tilting @ Windmills column at Newsarama, he high-fived himself.

* Rob Rogers pens a farewell letter as he leaves the position of Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) president, with Nick Anderson taking the reins of the organization. Rogers points to a Town Hall meeting about the profession in crisis as one of his term's highlights, and I'd agree in that it actually generated a list of ideas an organization like the AAEC can pursue:
"Some of the concrete goals included conducting a survey to show that editorial cartoons are one of the most-read parts of newspapers, planning more public events like "Cartoonapalooza" to raise money for AAEC education and publicity efforts, and trying to increase the low prices many syndicates charge and many newspapers pay for editorial cartoons."
If I recall correctly, there was also a notion floated at that meeting that people stop talking about the profession in decline, because of the message it sends newspaper editors that their editorial cartoonists are expendable. Rogers also points at membership gains, indicating one of the more interesting issues to face the group over the next few years: how it blends into its traditional take on things the concerns of the alt-cartoonists that have joined in larger numbers. More about Rogers' experience as AAEC president can be read here.

* That's far enough up the ladder for you, nerd.

* Most of the discussion of the teacher who resigned because of giving a 13-year-old student a copy of Eightball #22 as a make-up assignment has gone e-mail only, although that stuff's flying around pretty furiously for that kind of thing, so there could be more stuff soon. The monstrosity of a comments thread at Heidi MacDonald's The Beat is where most of the back and forth took place late last week and over the weekend, including a woman claiming to be the student's mother and endorsed as legitimate by people in a position to do so. Although I'm terribly biased having taken part in some of the arguing, the arguments seemed to break into one side continuing to assert as if it's somehow being assaulted that you have to protect your kids and the parents are justified in doing what they think is right to do so, and another side wondering if kids can't be protected against potential exploitation without the police having to be involved or in a way that doesn't result in the teacher resigning, with shouts of "fascists" vs. "libertine porno lovers" at the periphery.

* Again: biased, but I thought that educator, parent and cartoonist Nick Mullins provided this site with a rational take on the Guilford Eightball incident, which I suppose means it's likely to be ignored.

* Retailer/pundit Chris Butcher and journalist/pundit Dirk Deppey disagree on where to direct someone looking for manga suited for adults.

* The comic book shop in Athens, Ohio that suffered a fire will soon experience a grand re-opening, which is amazing considering the track record over the last decade for smaller town comic shops that have closed without a fire making them do so.

* Lynn Johnston is set to receive an award for her work on the subject of aphasia in her For Better or For Worse.
posted 10:10 pm PST | Permalink

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