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Comics A.M. | Cul de Sac inker celebrates Richard Thompson

Cul de Sac

Creators | Cartoonist Stacy Curtis talks about inking Cul de Sac for creator Richard Thompson, who announced last week he’s ending the celebrated comic strip because Parkinson’s disease has left him unable to maintain the schedule: “I never felt inking Cul de Sac for Richard worked. It was like going into a theater to see Jerry Seinfeld do stand-up and watching Steve Martin deliver his lines. And that’s what it felt like. Every time I sat down at my drawing table to ink Cul de Sac, I could hear a narrator’s voice say, ‘For tonight’s performance, the part of Richard Thompson will be played by his understudy, Stacy Curtis.'” The final strip will appear Sept. 23. [Stacy Curtis]

Graphic novels | Andrews McMeel Publishing, which has focused on comic strips and comic strip compilations up to now, has announced its first original graphic novel series: The Chronicles of Desmond, by Mark Tatulli, creator of Lio and Heart of the City. The books will be published in October 2013 under Andrews McMeel’s new AMP! imprint and will be aimed at middle-grade readers. [Publishers Weekly]

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Andrews McMeel launches AMP! Comics for Kids line

Andrews McMeel Publishing, a corporate sibling of Universal Uclick, in August will launch AMP! Comics for Kids, a line of paperback graphic novels aimed at middle-school readers, Publishers Weekly reports. The initial lineup will feature Lincoln Peirce’s Big Nate #4 and Big Nate Sunday Treasury, Bill Amend’s FoxTrot and Mark Tatulli’s Lio #1 and #2.

The publisher already releases collections of such Universal Uclick comic strips as FoxTrot, Lio, Garfield and Cul de Sac. Kirsty Melville, president of the AMP division, told PW the initial kids’ line will include both original material and adaptations of previously published work.

She also credited the success of the Big Nate collections — there are more than four million copies in print — for spurring the launch of AMP. The popular strip centers on a rebellious sixth-grader and his classmates and teachers.

“Big Nate set us on the path that we could do comics for kids,” Melville said. “We’re trying to build a list that will go on for years. We’re reaching out to our comics artists community, some of whom have never created just for kids before.”

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