Comics Lowdown: TSA vs United Airlines – are comic books banned from flights?

Plus: Big Hero 6, DC saves the day, Graphix winners, Best comic shops in the US, Todd Klein’s SDCC, and Spider-Man mows a lawn!

Fly the confusing skies: While at the San Diego airport on Sunday morning, Twitter user @AdiChappo sent out a warning to other Comic-Con attendees about a comic book ban on flights. Recently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) suggested passengers needed to remove books from luggage for inspection, so this idea wasn’t out of the ordinary. Despite the fact that the pilot project was trashed due to civil liberty concerns, this was the message that greeted travelers:

United Airlines responded to Chappo, stating that this applied to all airlines as directed by the TSA.

Another passenger, @spooloflies, shared her communications with United Airlines to clarify that comic books were not allowed to be included in check baggage, but allowed in carry-on bags.

By Monday morning, the TSA themselves jumped into the Twitter conversation and clarified that there was no ban issued on comics.

Technology news website Ars Technica reached out the the TSA and United Airlines for comment. TSA Spokeswoman Lorie Dankers replied that although there is no restriction, carrying multiple items that are the same could result in further screening. She then said that a TSA blog post from 2016 gives traveling tips for the comic convention attendee, specifically what to bring and what to pack. She suspects the travel ban idea came from this text:

Brochures, Magazines and Comic Books – Pack items such as stacks of brochures and assorted comic books in your carry-on bag. Place them in a bin prior to sending them through the x-ray. Packing these items in checked bags often causes alarms leading to bag searches which can cause a significant slowdown in the screening process leading to delays and bags possibly missing their flights.

Dankers also told Ars Technica her favourite comic book is Wonder Woman.

Erin Benson, a United spokeswoman, stated that United “misunderstood TSA’s instructions and regret any inconvenience this may have caused our customers.”

Benson did not clarify what her favourite comic book is.

Local Heroes comic shop in Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Take a road trip instead: Travel and Leisure made a list of the best comic shops in the U.S. to help travelers find great stores across the United States.

The Biz

Big Hero 6

Robots and magical girls: During SDCC, Yen Press announced a new youth imprint, JY, which will target graphic novels to middle school-aged children. The launch titles include W.I.T.C.H., a teen-girl focused series originally produced in Italy in the mid 2000s. It’s the story of five young girls who become “Guardians of the Veil’’ after being granted magical powers. Also launching is Big Hero 6, an adaptation of the 2014 Disney film.

 

Get published!: Scholastic revealed the winners of the “Get Published By Graphix” contest. They are:

  • Manu by Kelly Fernandez – the story of a girl and her best friend Josefina who live in a magical school for girls. Fernandez makes comics that are inspired by her daily experiences, American culture, and her Hispanic heritage.
  • Trespassers by Breena Bard – a contemporary middle-grade graphic novel of family, friendship, a summer lake house, and a local mystery.

REVIEWS, ROUNDUPS, AND COMMENTARY

Jim Lee and Dan Didio

Will DC save the comic universe?: Jim Lee certainly ruffled some of Hawkman’s feathers at a panel during Comic-Con. The veteran artist, along with fellow co-publisher Dan Didio, stated that the comic industry is on the brink of collapse and that DC Comics has a plan to turn the market around.

Criticism was quick, and sites like Atomic Junk Shop wrote an incredibly detailed breakdown of what was said at the panel and their own response, calling it “Pure Unvarnished Bunkum.”

Spider-man mows a lawn (from Entertain Your Kid/YouTube)

The grass is greener: Since the film, Spider-Man comic sales have surged, especially the price and demand of back-issues, since the release of the Spider-Man: Homecoming movie.

Conventions and Festivals

Con reporter: 2017 Eisner Award-winning letterer Todd Klein continues to photo-document his weekend at San Diego Comic-Con on his blog. The entries are a fascinating look of the con floor, panels, industry insiders and San Diego in general.

  • Friday: Remembering Walt Kelly’s daughter Carolyn, Medievalists, Steve Leialoha, Dave Gibbon,  a seagull, DC’s Young Animal, and winning the Eisner.
  • Saturday: Artist Alley, celebrating Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, walking the exhibitor floor.
  • Sunday: Jack Kirby tribute, Mark Evanier’s ‘Cover Story’ panel, old lettering.

 

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