Wizard Comic Con Empire Grows, Takes Cincinnati
As part of an ambitious expansion program that has seen Wizard Comic Cons add two new cons in the month of January alone, Wizard has announced its acquisition of the Cincinnati Comics and Anime Show. Now renamed the Wizard World Cincinnati Comic Con, the relatively new show, which ran for the first time last year, brings the number of shows on the Wizard Comic Con Tour up to ten. No word is available yet on when they plan to schedule Wizard World Cincinnati.

Scott Kurtz at the Charles M. Schulz Museum
Eisner-winning webcomics creator Scott Kurtz is this month’s Cartoonist-in-Residence at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA. Kurtz, creator of the hugely popular Player vs Playerwebcomic, will give a presentation with a question and answer session and signing beginning at 1 p.m., as well as a master class in webcomics design for adults from 10-11:30 a.m. Admission to the presentation is included in the museum entrance fee of $10 for adults, $5 for students, children and seniors, while fees and reservation information for the master class can be found by calling (707) 284-1263. The Charles M. Schulz Museum is located at 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa, CA.

Neil Gaiman at UCLA, UC Santa Barbara
Comics legend and bestselling author Neil Gaiman will be making two of his rare public appearances at University of California Santa Barbara and University of California Los Angeles on February 3 and 4 respectively, discussing his Newberry Award winning novel The Graveyard Book. The UC Santa Barbara event will take place from 8 — 10 p.m. at the university’s Campbell Hall, and tickets will be $22 for visitors, $15 for students. The UCLA event will take place at 8 p.m. the following day at UCLA’s Royce Hall and tickets for visitors will be $24 - $48 depending on seating location, with tickets for students remaining $15. Details and tickets for the UC Santa Barbara talk are available here, while the UCLA lecture information is available here.

Becky Cloonan, Brian Wood at Rocketship
Acclaimed comics creators Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan are back together for the second volume of Demo, their breakout hit, and will be celebrating its launch on February 5 at the Brooklyn comics store Rocketship. The party starts at 8 p.m. and will also feature original art from the series. Rocketship is located at 208 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY.

Colin Upton Goes Webcomic
Canadian underground comics creator Colin Upton, known for his mini-comics and Colin Upton’s Other Big Thingpublished by Fantagraphics, has begun posting his mini-comics online. Currently available are the “computers” installment of The F-word Trilogy and Diabetes Funniesamong others. Upton’s works can be seen on his livejournal and facebook accounts.

This Week @ Good Comics for Kids
This week School Library Journal’sblog Good Comics for Kids had an interview with comics creator George O’Connor, a review ofThe Secret Adventures of Hamster Sam: Attack of the Evil Boll Weevils!, a review of Very Very Sweet vol. 1-5,the 1/27 listing of comics suitable for all ages and links roundup posts by Brigid Alverson aboutJellaby, Smile and The Olympiansand Marvel Adventures, Smile and the NASCAR mole.

This Week @ The Beat
This week Heidi MacDonald’s blog The Beat, hosted by Publishers Weekly, covered a new and significant change to Diamond Comics Distributor’s controversial minimum sales policy, had a wrap up post about last weekend’s Angoulême comics festival, alerted readers to Frank Miller’s (300, Sin City) new official twitter account, eulogized manga creator Keiko Tobe and author J.D. Salinger, discussed whether or not the new iPad would save comics, criticized Bluewater Production’s unusual artist-payment (and non-payment) plan and announced that The Beat itself will be leaving Publishers Weekly in the near future although MacDonald herself will remain.