Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Passings | Writer Peter O’Donnell, creator of the Modesty Blaise comic strip, died May 3 at age 90. Steve Holland notes that although the prolific novelist suffered from Parkinson’s disease, he “kept in touch with fans and continued to pen introductions for Titan’s Modesty reprints.”
Born in south London on April 11, 1920, O’Donnell wrote such adventure strips as the long-running adaptation of the James Bond novel Dr. No, Garth, and Romeo Brown before being asked in 1962 to create a new character for the Daily Express. He came up with Modesty Blaise, whose catsuit-wearing heroine fought villainy with the help of her right-hand man Willie Garvin. The strip was quickly picked up by the Evening Standard, and ran from May 1963 to July 2002.
Publishing | Marvel has signed separate deals to launch a children’s books line at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and to expand its partnership with Bendon Publishing. [Publishers Weekly]
Awards | A look at the Eisner Awards nominees for best continuing series. [Suvudu]
Creators | A spotlight on, and video interview with, artist Alex Ross. [Chicago Now]
Creators | Sam Thielman chats with Berkeley Breathed about IDW’s Bloom County: The Complete Library, fans and the controversy surrounding his 1987 Pulitzer Prize: “It was really spearheaded by this guy Pat Oliphant. He did not like me, he was sure that I had stolen the penguin from him — that little character down by his signature is a penguin, apparently. It was a cover story in the Washington Journalism Review. I took it lightly, but I should have gone over and punched him in the face. In their minds, you don’t win a Pulitzer unless you’re cutting heads off. Now it’s no longer called editorial cartooning — it’s called cartooning, which is what it should be called.” [Publishers Weekly]
Creators | Daniel Clowes talks about his latest book, Wilson, and where the name comes from: “I wanted a very bland name, the type of comic strip name you’d see in a ’50s or ’60s comic strip that has no distinguishing characteristic at all. Of course, there’s Mr. Wilson, who lives next door to Dennis the Menace. There are lots of people with the last name Wilson, it’s probably like the eighth most common name in America, something like that. It’s not as obvious as Smith, but I wanted it to seem generic, I wanted him to seem in some way like he’s a comic character. You don’t even know if it’s his first or last name because I changed my mind about that so much that I decided it’s just a single name, like Cher.” [Gothamist]
Creators | Lauren Helman talks with Dash Shaw about BodyWorld, process and the future of comics: “Right now in bookstores, all of the comics are grouped together: the reprints are right next to the contemporary comics, next to Marvel and DC, next to a nonfiction comic, etc. It’s as if you went into the book store and everything, all of it, was organized alphabetically. So I think what’ll happen in comics is that it’ll become more like other books, in that a Web cartoonist doesn’t necessarily read print comics, in the same way that some romance author doesn’t necessarily read the latest science fiction works. That’s already happening. But that’s unusual in comics. It’s usually been a small community. But, at the same time, I think there will be people who are viewing everything as a whole. So someone will like Robert Crumb, Otto Soglow, and Suehiro Maruo and then make comics that they’d want to read. Everything will move farther apart and also come closer together at the same time.” [Suvudu]
Creators | The National Post rolls out more Q&As with creators attending this weekend’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival: Leslie Fairfield; Clayton Hanmer; Tara Tallan; Diana Tamblyn; Dalton Sharp; Jason Kieffer; Sam Logan; Adam Bourret; Faith Erin Hicks; Ethan Rilly; Hyein Lee; Will Dinski; and Rachel Dukes. [Toronto Comics Art Festival]
Creators | Cullen Bunn continues his interview tour in support of The Sixth Gun, his new supernatural Western (with artist Brian Hurtt) from Oni Press. [Comic Monsters]
Creators | David Harper talks with Aaron Alexovich and Drew Rausch, the team behind Eldritch, Zuda’s winning entry for April. [Multiversity Comics]
Creators | Sword of Dracula and Psy-Comm writer Jason Henderson discusses his new young-adult prose novel Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising. [KansasCity.com]
Comics | Kevin Guhl counts down the 10 best deaths of Spider-Man from Marvel’s What If …? series. [Topless Robot]