"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Comics strips | Andrews McMeel Universal has combined its Universal Press Syndicate and Uclick divisions to form Universal Uclick, a combined print and digital syndication and licensing service.
Lee Salem, president of Universal Press Syndicate, will serve as interim CEO. Douglas Edwards, who had been CEO of Uclick, has resigned.
Established in 1970, Universal Press Syndicate distributes comic strips, editorial cartoons and other features to newspapers worldwide. Uclick sells comics, games and puzzles for the Internet and mobile phones. In 2006, it launched a comics application for mobile phones, distributing such titles as The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Godland and PvP. It later added Bone and titles from other comics publishers. [Kansas City Business Journal, press release]
Conventions | Todd Allen compares the exhibitors list for this year’s Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con to the one from 2007. Among the publishers missing from the 2009 list are DC Comics, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image and Devil’s Due: “I’m at a loss for what the publisher area is going to look like. I’m used to walking into the Rosemont Convention Center and seeing the DC booth. Not going to be a lot of action from the usual suspects. My best guess is Avatar takes over the entrance.”
Johanna Draper Carlson, meanwhile, notes that Wizard, which canceled its anime magazine in March, is incorporating a mini-anime convention into the Aug. 6-9 show with Anime Central Aftershock. [Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con]
Events | Geppi’s Entertainment Museum in Baltimore will play host to a “Carl Barks Retrospective” from July 17 to Sept. 8. It’s billed as “the largest exhibit ever assembled of the late Disney creator’s compositions.” [via Disney Comics Worldwide, which also embeds a 12-minute video documentary on Barks]
Comics | The Weekly Crisis provides an extensive primer for DC Comics’ big “Blackest Night” Green Lantern crossover event. [The Weekly Crisis]
Creators | Jeff Parker discusses his approach to writing Marvel’s Agents of Atlas: “I first remind myself that we’re a multi-genre book, and that we can do Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Crime — or all of them if we want. And then I try to project back to me in college when I was purely a comics reader, and think ‘what does that guy want to read?’ The answer is usually ‘something he hasn’t seen before” or at least, ‘hasn’t seen all the time’.” [AICN]
Creators | Rachelle Goguen chats briefly with Jeff Lemire about his Essex County trilogy and his Vertigo books The Nobody and Sweet Tooth. [Living Between Wednesdays]
Creators | I’ve gone back and forth as to whether this piece about Ryan Sohmer and his webcomic Least I could Do is an actual profile or simply a press release. Whichever it is, the headline emerges as the clear winner: “Can A Graphic Novel Hold The Secrets To Living A Happy, Consequence-Free Life?” [Hot Indie News]
Comic strips | On this day in 1967, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century ended its 40-year run in newspapers. [Wired.com]
Chicago | Green Lantern inker Christian Alamy will sign at Challengers Comics. Details here.
Dallas | Matthew Spradlin and Barry Wernick sign their new comic, Bad Kids Go to Hell, at the always-worth-the-trip Zeus Comics from noon to 8 p.m. Details here.
New York | A “glittery, burlesque-inspired” launch party for Molly Crabapple and John Leavitt’s Scarlett Takes Manhattan at the Slipper Room. It’s a free event, but an RSVP is mandatory; details here.