Comics Lowdown: ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ creator arrested on child porn charges

Plus: The Cartoon Art Museum gets a new home, the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes the largest X-Men collection, and much more!

The manga world was rocked on Tuesday when Rurouni Kenshin creator Nobuhiro Watsuki was charged with possession of child pornography. Police didn’t target the 47-year-old manga-ka; they were investigating someone else when he turned up as a possible purchaser of child porn, and indeed he has been charged with possessions of “numerous” DVDs containing footage of nude girls in their early teens. In a deposition, Watsuki, stated that he “liked girls in late elementary school to around the second year of middle school.”

The penalty for possession of child pornography in Japan is up to a year in prison and a fine of up to 1 million yen, if convicted, but for Watsuki the consequences are already grave: His publisher, Shueisha, said it is taking the news very seriously and it has suspended his current series, Rurouni Kenshin: Hokkaido Arc, which he is co-creating with his wife, Kaoru Kurosaki; it has not decided yet what to do about the volumes that are already in print. Rurouni Kenshin started in 1994 and has over 60 million volumes in print; Viz has the U.S. license and has been re-releasing the original series in omnibus format, and is publishing the Hokkaido Arc simultaneously with the Japanese release.

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Comics Lowdown: My Favorite Thing Is Comics

Awards, best of the year, comics journalism comics, and how the shift in retail channels is changing the industry.

The Best of the Year lists are starting to roll out. Katie Green’s Lighter Than My Shadow tops Amazon’s list, which also includes Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer and Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. That book shows up on Publisher’s Weekly’s list as well, but the similarities end there.

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‘Monstress’ scares up a British Fantasy Award

Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s fantasy comic takes home another award this year, beating out fellow nominees ‘Saga,’ ‘2000AD’ and more.

Monstress took home another award this weekend, winning a British Fantasy Award for “Best Comic/Graphic Novel.”

Written by Marjorie Liu, drawn by Sana Takeda and published by Image Comics, Monstress took home a Hugo Award earlier this year. Other nominees in the category included Saga, 2000AD, Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!, Sixpack and Dogwelder: Hard Travelin’ Heroz, and the webcomic Skal.

The nominees for the British Fantasy Awards were decided by members of The British Fantasy Society, with additional nominees added by the award’s jury to ensure “egregious omissions” made the list. Winners were announced at FantasyCon 2017.

Skottie Young, Tom King, ‘March: Book Three’ and more take home Ringo Awards

Named for artist Mike Mike Wieringo, the awards were presented over the weekend at the Baltimore Comic-Con.

The winners for the first-ever Ringo Awards were announced this weekend at the Baltimore Comic-Con. The awards are named for artist Mike Wieringo, who passed away in 2007.

The Ringos showed Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland some love, as the creator took home awards for Best Cartoonist and Best Humor Comic. March: Book Three by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell continued to rack up accolades as it took home the awards for Best Non-fiction Comic Work and Best Original Graphic Novel. And Tom King, writer of Best Series winner The Vision, won for Best Writer. Other winners included Fiona Staples, Sean Murphy, Todd Klein, Laura Martin, Bloom County and Dean Haspiel’s The Red Hook.

The nomination process was open to anyone, while comic professionals voted on the final winners. Check out the full list of nominees below, with the winners in bold.

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Ferris, Nowak, Fink and more take home 2017 Ignatz Awards

Annual awards presented at this weekend’s Small Press Expo honor excellence in independent comics.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris continued to rack up accolades this weekend as it took home two Ignatz Awards last night. Other winners at the annual awards presentation included Jess Fink’s Chester 5000, Ben Passmore’s Your Black Friend and Carolyn Nowak’s Diana’s Electric Tongue.

Named after the brick-throwing mouse from Krazy Kat, the awards honor “excellence in independent comics” and are selected by a jury of five creators and voted on by attendees of the Small Press Expo. The jurors for this year’s nominations were Neil Brideau, Glynnis Fawkes, Sara Lautman, Trungles and David Willis.

The complete list of nominees can be found below, with the winner in bold.

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Templeton, Delisle, Lemire and more take home Shuster Awards

Annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books, graphic novels and webcomics by Canadians.

Last night the winners of the 2017 Joe Shuster Awards were announced during a private ceremony in Toronto, with Yanick Paquette, Jeff Lemire, Michael Cho, Guy Delisle and many more Canadians walking away with awards.

Established in 2004, The Joe Shuster Awards are Canada’s national award recognizing outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books, graphic novels and webcomics. Named in honor of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster, the awards recognize the best of the Canadian comics world; nominees must be either Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada. The nominees are chosen by the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association and the winners by a jury, so there is no public vote.

Winners for 2017 are:

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Cartoon Art Museum presents Jeff Smith with the Sparky Award

The award celebrates ‘the significant contributions of cartoon artists who embody the talent, innovation and humanity of Charles M. Schulz.’

Last Saturday Bone creator Jeff Smith became the latest recipient of the Sparky Award during a visit to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Library

Named in honor of Peanuts creator Charles “Sparky” Schulz, the Sparky Award is presented on behalf of the Cartoon Art Museum and the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Library. The award celebrates the significant contributions of cartoon artists who embody the talent, innovation and humanity of Charles M. Schulz.

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‘March,’ Emil Ferris among 2017 Ignatz Awards nominees

Cathy Malkasian, Anya Davidson, Box Brown, Dustin Harbin, Jillian Tamaki, Ed Piskor, Leslie Stein and many more up for this year’s awards

The Washington Post shares this year’s slate of Ignatz Awards nominees, which are presented annually at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland.

Named after the brick-throwing mouse from Krazy Kat, the awards are selected by a jury of five creators and voted on by attendees of the show. The jurors for this year’s nominations were Neil Brideau, Glynnis Fawkes, Sara Lautman, Trungles and David Willis.

Check out the complete list below.

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‘Monstress’ takes home a Hugo Award

In the “Graphic Story” category, Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s fantasty series beats out ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Saga,’ ‘The Vision’ and more to win the award.

Monstress, the fantasy series written by Marjorie Liu, drawn by Sana Takeda and published by Image Comics, has won the 2017 Hugo Award in the “Graphic Story” category.

Presented annually since 1955, The Hugo Awards recognize the best science fiction in books, comics, movies, TV and more. The Hugo Awards are voted on annually by members of the World Science Fiction Convention. The Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story has been awarded annually since 2009, with previous winners including Saga, Ms. Marvel and Girl Genius. The Sandman: Overture won last year.

Other nominees in the category this year included Saga, Paper Girls, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel and The Vision. Takeda was also nominated for best professional artist, a category won by Julie Dillon.

You can see the complete list of winners here.