"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Publishing | In the latest twist in a bitter, and prolonged, family feud, the daughter of Asterix co-creator Albert Uderzo is seeking to have her parents declared mentally incapable of running their affairs. Uderzo’s only child, Sylvie, accuses her parents’ advisers of “pillaging” and “destroying an entire family.” Albert Uderzo, 83, fired back by accusing his daughter and her husband of “legal harassment” stemming from his 2007 decision to remove them from senior positions in Editions Albert-Rene, the publishing company he founded in 1979, following the death of Asterix co-creator Rene Goscinny. The family quarrel erupted into the public eye in 2009, when Sylvie Uderzo criticized her father’s decision to sell his stake in the company to Hachette Livre and authorize the publisher to continue Asterix after his death. [The Independent]
Conventions | Marc Graser previews this weekend’s WonderCon in San Francisco, “a more intimate affair than Comic-Con” — it will attract about 39,500 people — that’s appealing more and more to film studios and television networks. “It’s not a regional show any longer,” says David Glanzer, director of marketing and public relations for Comic-Con International. “It’s a national show. We like to call it the comic industry’s biggest little secret. It’s intimate enough where people have a good time but attracts superstar guests.” [Variety]
Retailing | Calvin Reid Ada Price surveys a half-dozen comics retailers, who offer a perhaps surprisingly upbeat snapshot of the direct market. [Publishers Weekly]
Creators | By now you’ve probably seen something about Rob Granito, who for several years has traced other artist’s work — everyone from Ty Templeton to David Finch to Arthur Adams — and passed it off as his own on eBay and at conventions. In addition, his list of fake credits includes everything from Calvin & Hobbes to Batman to Iron Man 2. Following the death of Dwayne McDuffie last month, Granito even posted a Facebook message saying “he was a pleasure to work with,” despite never actually working with the well-respected creator.
Several sites have already hashed through the details: Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston has been on the story since last week, while Andy Khouri at ComicsAlliance has a thorough summary on the situation.
Heidi MacDonald Kate Fitzsimons has an editorial up over at The Beat, while the site Legit-o-mite has a collection of exhibits that include not only pieces of artwork Granito is alleged to have copied, but also a news article that shows he appeared at a post office in Kiamesha, N.Y., in 2006 and signed DC Comics postage stamps he didn’t draw. Since the allegations came to light, Granito has reportedly been banned at several conventions, including DragonCon and Wizard World. [RobGranito.com]
Creators | Art Spiegelman talks about the evolution of comics: “There was this generation that grew up reading comics, having been turned into social misfits by them, and they wanted to make comics for their peers. It was the first time you had comics by and for adults that weren’t just about making money. That movement planted the seeds for what we have today.” [Calgary Herald]
Creators | In a wide-ranging Q&A, Todd McFarlane discusses everything from toys to plans for another Spawn movie to his approach to comics: “Sometimes being different — not better, just different — can score you a lot of points for your career. So when I went off to do Batman, I put my interpretation down for that. People thought it was cool. There was lots of black and big giant capes. Then with Spider-Man I put these new webbings on him, and changed the way he swung and even the way the webs looked. I remember thinking, what if you shoot the webs toward camera and do all these kinds of clever shots? So I had to create the webs to feel like they were three-dimensional instead of the way they had been doing them for, literally, 30 years which was three lines and a bunch of Xs through it. It looked flat. Some of the management thought I was messing with Spider-Man because I didn’t think what they had done was [relevant] anymore. They wanted to know why I didn’t draw the classic Spider-Man? My answer was that John Romita Sr. had done that already. I’d be a fool to draw like that. So why don’t I draw a funky Spider-Man that no one has ever seen and just let the chips fall where they may? Luckily, people were looking for a refresh at that moment and they went ‘Oh!’” [My DVD Insider, via The Comics Reporter]
Comics | The secret origins of Charlton’s Thunder Bunny. [Big Shiny Robot]