Comics Lowdown | ‘Prophet Muhammed’ cartoonist dies in accident

Plus: Adrian Tomine named writer in residence at Substack, Justin Wong Ciu-tat apologizes to Hong Kong police, and more.

Photo of cartoonist Lars Vilks
Lars Vilks (OlofE, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Breaking: The BBC reports that the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks has died in a car accident. Vilks, 75, has been under police protection since his cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed’s head on a dog’s body garnered him both international attention and death threats. He was riding in a police car that collided with a truck in southern Sweden. The two police officers in the car with Vilks were also killed, and the truck driver was injured. The local police say that while they aren’t sure yet exactly what happened, there wasn’t any immediate evidence that anyone else was involved in the accident besides the occupants of the two vehicles.

Political Cartoons: Hong Kong cartoonist Justin Wong Ciu-tat has apologized to his city’s police, the Hong Kong Free Press reports, for a comic suggesting that a police youth group is spreading disinformation. The apology comes after a strongly worded letter from the local police expressing “strong dissatisfaction and concerns over this cartoon’s unreasonable allegations.” Wong, an assistant professor of visual arts at the Hong Kong Baptist University, said this is the first time the police had sent him a letter like this since he started drawing comics for the local paper in 2007.

Substack Update: Adrian Tomine is the first writer in residence at Substack, and he has launched his newsletter through the service. He plans to discuss questions his readers have asked as well as his process. All the content on his newsletter will be free.

Comic Cons in the Age of COVID: With New York Comic Con coming up this week, ReedPop VP Mike Armstrong talks to ICv2 about how the company survived the COVID epidemic and shutdowns, and what shifts they will be making going forward.

Political Cartoons: In an interview with Omaha Public Radio, political cartoonist Jeffrey Koterba talks about the importance of satire and the future of cartooning.

Below the Fold

Cover of Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall showing four teenage girls, one looking over her shoulder and the other three facing away from the viewer, and behind them, a rising moon with three wolves silhouetted against it.

Local Hero: San Francisco creator Maggie Tokuda-Hall talks about her new YA graphic novel Squad, which features a group of teenage girls who turn into werewolves and wreak bloody revenge on sexually aggressive guys.

Diamond Flaws: Johanna Draper Carlson points out a big problem with Diamond’s Pullbox system: When a book she ordered was delayed (increasingly common with the continuing supply chain problems), it simply disappeared from the system altogether—both from her Pullbox and from Previews—with no indication of what happened.

Cover of Iranian Love Stories, showing a couple embracing and kissing surrounded by the heads of turbaned, bearded men.

Recommended Reading: Paul Gravett presents his picks for the best graphic novels and manga coming this December.

My Kingdom for an Anime: ANN reports that the anime version of Aya Kanno’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III, Requiem of the Rose King, is set to premiere in January 2022, and they have some visuals as well as the trailer.

A Guide for the Perplexed: Newsarama has a nice article explaining how comic shops work and how to find one near you.

What’s Up with Bob?: Colleagues react to British cartoonist Bob Moran’s recent spate of COVID-denialist venom.

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