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Stan Lee sketches Spider-Man for young autistic fan

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Drawing may never have been Stan Lee’s forte, but when called upon for a good cause, even Stan The Man can put pencil to paper.

That’s the focus of a rather heartwarming story that ran in The New York Times this weekend focusing on 8-year-old autistic Harlem resident Jamel Hunter. The youngest of five children to a mother who herself has physical disabilities, Hunter was the subject of a profile in the paper late last year when he received a Spider-Man themed birthday party. The story caught the notice of retired jazz musician Corky Hale — who just happens to be the neighbor of the 92-year-old Marvel Comics legend. Hale enlisted Lee to draw a sketch of Spidey declaring “Hi Jamel!” and sent it to the boy via Times reporter Michael Wilson.

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Diplo sort-of apologizes for swiping GIF, ‘trollish tendencies’

diplo

After responding first with vulgarity and flippancy to criticism that he used an artist’s GIF without permission or credit, Grammy-winning producer Diplo has changed his tune, even if he can’t quite muster a full-throated apology.

“Sorry if I hurt your feelings, or trivialize your art,” he wrote in a message to illustrator Rebecca Mock, before effectively blaming everyone else for Wednesday’s social media firestorm that led Defamer to run the headline “Diplo Is a Dick.” Which really, at this point, is pretty difficult to dispute.

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Producer swipes art, responds with vulgar tweets when called out

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Grammy-winning producer Diplo on Wednesday teased the new Jack U collaboration with Missy Elliot with an Instagram video, which should’ve been a harmless bit of self-promotion. Instead, it led to a flurry of mocking and misogynistic tweets aimed at Rebecca Mock and others after the illustrator pointed out the DJ had used one of her GIFs without permission or credit.

Diplo, whom In the Mix once ironically dubbed the “King of Twitter,” added Mock’s credit to the Instagram post, only to trumpet his action with this vulgar exchange:

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Bill Finger biographer proposes NYC memorial bench for Batman co-creator

Bill Finger

Bill Finger

Last year Bill Finger biographer Marc Tyler Nobleman campaigned unsuccessfully for a Google Doodle to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the writer’s birth, but now he’s proposing a more attainable goal: a commemorative bench in Poe Park in The Bronx, New York, honoring the uncredited co-creator of Batman.

In a blog post published Sunday — Finger’s birthday — Nobleman dusts off a Kickstarter proposal he’d written in 2013 that lays out the plan, which calls for $6,000 to install the bench and plaque as part of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation’s Adopt-a-Bench program. “If it generates enough enthusiasm here, it might embolden me to launch it immediately!” he writes.

Nobleman, author of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, states that the project would not only “help right a wrong,” but also make pop-culture history as “the first memorial honoring a superhero creator in NYC, the Superhero Capital of the World.”

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Colorist Lee Loughridge mentors at SCAD Atlanta

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Last week Lee Loughridge, colorist of Deadly Class, Southern Cross and Catwoman, spent a few days last week at the SCAD Atlanta campus lecturing and working with students in conjunction with the institution’s Alumni Mentor Program.

According to Pat Quinn, associate chair of sequential art: “The Alumni Mentor Program’s intent is to show current students how alumni found success in their field. Lee is an incredible example for our students, not just because he’s great at what he does, but more importantly because he knows the business inside and out. His insights into the art of making comics and how to survive as an artist are really invaluable.”

Quinn offered ROBOT 6 photos that he took over the course of the colorist’s visit, and we were able to chat briefly with Loughridge and some of the students about the experience.

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Norm Breyfogle: ‘I’m crying tears of joy every day’

norm breyfogleIn a whirlwind of updates over the past few days — including a video from his Michigan nursing home — we learned veteran Batman artist Norm Breyfogle is making headway following his Dec. 17 stroke.

“This is just another little video for me to express my thanks to all you out there who have provided such great moral and financial support,” he says in a message recorded by BJ Litsenberger. “I want to show you I can move my afflicted side. I can even stand. Check this out!”

That video arrives amid a New York Times story about crowdfunding medical expenses that highlights Breyfogle’s situation, and a Paste magazine profile of the 54-year-old artist.

Famed for his stints on Batman and Detective Comics in the late 1980s and early ’90s, Breyfogle was hospitalized in mid-December after suffering a stroke that paralyzed his left side, including his drawing hand. According to the online fundraising campaign launched by his brother Kevin Breyfogle and sister-in-law Wendy Wiegert, he has no health insurance and a savings eaten away by his hospital stay, yet requires months of care and physical therapy at a nursing home. (The artist tells Paste had hadn’t signed up for Obamacare at the time of his stroke, explaining, “I just never got around to it. I was on the hamster wheel of meeting deadlines. I was in denial.”)

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Brian Michael Bendis recommends comics in ‘Late Night’ video

bendis-meyers-comics

When Brian Michael Bendis appeared last week on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, he did more than promote Playstation Network’s Powers adaptation and Marvel’s Secret Wars. He also offered up some comic-book recommendations.

In “Comic Book Gateway,” a video shot backstage at Late Night and released this week, the writer suggests some titles for newcomers. While he gives nods to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars, Bendis devotes most of his time to creator-owned comics.

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Sean Murphy tackles creator’s rights for conventions

Illustrators Christian Dibari, bottom left, and Sean Murphy above left, at the Maine Comics Arts Festival in 2013.  Photo by Tim Greenway.

Illustrators Christian Dibari, bottom left, and Sean Murphy above left, at the Maine Comics Arts Festival in 2013. Photo by Tim Greenway.

Speaking up is a hard thing to do for many creators, because as freelancers they often work at the whim of others. But Sean Murphy has made a name for himself beyond his actual work as an outspoken member of the artist community. Recently, he took to his deviantART page to pull back the curtain on an overlooked aspect of a creator’s life — one rife with doubts and unfulfilled promises, but with the occasional bright spot: conventions.

“While many of my pro friends are eternally grateful for their careers and for these generous invites, some of the shows are taking advantage of creators — ALL levels of creators — and not following through with what’s promised,” Murphy wrote. “Believe me, I love traveling and I want to visit all my readers in every country I can, but there’s nothing worse than getting to the ‘convention reserved’ hotel room and finding out you wasted your money staying in some foreign ghetto.”

While Murphy might now be in the upper echelon of creators vied for by conventions and stores, the New England artist has been attending cons for more than a decade.

Murphy is doing more than just complaining, however; he’s offering a solution — what he calls a list of “Creator’s Rights” pertaining to conventions.

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Excelsior? Stan Lee thinks the world will probably blow itself up

stan-lee-steve-aoki

With collaborators like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Stan Lee dreamed up futuristic technology and alien civilizations, but he still marvels at the advancements he witnesses in our world.

I always knew new inventions and new things would come along,” he tells music producer Steve Aoki the latest edition of Wired’s “Neon Future Sessions.’ “I didn’t think it would happen so fast. I didn’t think in my lifetime we’d have things like navigators in automobiles, that we’d have smartphones that can talk to you, but, boy, science is moving so fast. They’re actually managing to keep up with me.”

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Todd McFarlane swears off the possibility of DC/Marvel freelance, but not crossovers

mcfarlane_todd-ROBOT6

Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane has made it a habit of late to open up his archives via his Facebook page, sharing everything from early Spawn designs to evolutionary charts. But this weekend, he held court on some of his publishing philosophy as it applies to his past life as a Marvel Comics superstar.

“Here’s the the answer to a question I get asked a lot: ‘NO!… I WILL NEVER DRAW for Marvel or DC Comics AGAIN!'” the artist wrote in a new post. “But it’s not why you might think…”

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Brian Michael Bendis talks ‘Powers,’ ‘Secret Wars’ on ‘Late Night’

bendis-seth-meyers

Writer Brian Michael Bendis appeared last night on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, where he talked about Marvel’s big Secret Wars announcement, how he stumbled into a job at a comic store, and consulting with Sony Pictures on The Amazing Spider-Man.

But first and foremost, he was there to promote the upcoming premiere ofPowers , the long-developing adaptation of the comic he created with Michael Avon Oeming (note how Bendis politely corrects Meyers, ensuring his collaborator receives proper credit).

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Flash back to Stan Lee’s 1970 appearance on ‘To Tell the Truth’

stan-lee-to-tell-the-truth

Given that just yesterday we were spotlighting Stan Lee’s Kpop video debut, it seems only appropriate that footage of one of the legendary creator’s earliest media appearances has begun to make the rounds again: a 1970 episode of To Tell the Truth.

For those not well-versed in game-show history, each segment of To Tell the Truth introduced three contestants, one who had an interesting occupation or experience (who was sworn to tell the truth), and two imposters (who were permitted to lie). It was up to a panel of celebrities — here, Bill Cullen, Peggy Cass, Tom Poston and Kitty Carlisle — to ask a series of questions to try to identify the real person.

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Cartoonist goes to jail, makes a difference

4 a.m. count

Cartoonist and animator Elana Pritchard violated a court order in June and wound up spending two months in jail, first in the Century Regional Detention Facility (CRDF) in Lynwood, California, and the last three weeks in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles.

Placed in a difficult situation, Pritchard made the most of her time behind bars. Using a golf pencil and whatever paper she could find, she documented what she saw in a series of fascinating cartoons that LA Weekly published together with Pritchard’s commentary.

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Retired ‘Asterix’ artist Albert Uderzo surprises with ‘Charlie Hebdo’ tribute

AsterFixIn the long week since the horrific massacre at France’s Charlie Hebdo magazine, there have been a number of tributes from artists worldwide to the fallen comic satirists. But today as the story of the attack reached a violent end, one more creator surprised fans with some social media solidarity: Asterix co-creator Albert Udzero.

Retired since 2011, the artist returned to the drawing board today to pencil two “Je suis Charlie” tributes featuring his famed characters Asterix and Obelix which were sent out in a pair of tweets on the official Asterix account.

Charlie [Hebdo] and Asterix have nothing to do with each other obviously,” the artist told Le Figaro in an interview. “I simply want to express my affection for those designers who have paid with their lives.

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Creators take to social media in support of ‘Charlie Hebdo’

JeSuisCharlie-banner
Following the devastating attack Wednesday on the Paris headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead — among them, five cartoonists — countless creators turned to social media to express their outrage and grief, but also their support of free speech and solidarity with those who risks their lives when they put pen to paper.

Hashtags such as #JesuisCharlie, #CharlieHebdo, #weaponsofchoice, #WeaponsOfMassConstruction have sprung up across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, many accompanying photos of artists wielding their “weapons of choice”: pens and pencils.

We’ve highlighted just some of those posts, as well as a few others that address the killings.

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