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Al Plastino’s Superman artwork on display at Kennedy library

plastino-supermans missionAl Plastino’s original artwork for the 1964 story “Superman’s Mission For President Kennedy” is at last on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, where the late artist thought it had been for the past five decades.

“We are just thrilled that these came home to where they belong,” his daughter MaryAnn Plastino Charles, who traveled from Alabama to Boston to see the art, told The Associated Press. “This has been a long time coming. My father thought for so many years that it was here.”

A prolific Golden Age artist who passed away Nov. 25 at age 91, Plastino was surprised to discover at New York Comic Con a month earlier that the pages hadn’t been given five decades earlier to the library, as he’d been led to believe, but were instead set to be sold at auction by a private owner on the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. Plastino spent the last weeks of his life campaigning for the return of the artwork, leading Heritage Auctions to put the sale on hold until questions about ownership could be resolved; in December, DC Comics purchased the art for donation to the library.

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Comics A.M. | Steve Ditko won’t be appearing at London convention

Steve Ditko self-portrait

Creators | Contrary to some reports this morning, reclusive comics legend Steve Ditko won’t be a special guest at the second annual London Super Comic Convention, to be held Feb. 25-26 at the Excel Centre in London. A press release that circulated has been confirmed as a hoax. [ComicConventions, Bleeding Cool]

Publishing | Trajectory, publisher of the Classics Illustrated comics, announced at the Beijing Book Fair that it has begun publishing Chinese translations that will be available as ebooks. The first two titles: Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. [press release]

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Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker has ended, apparently [Updated]

Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker #8

A recent Comic Book Resources interview with Joe Casey appears to have exposed a rift with his Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker collaborator Mike Huddleston, who indicates the critically acclaimed, but much-delayed, series has come to an end.

Asked by CBR columnist Timothy Callahan about the nearly 10-month delay between the release of Issue 7 and Issue 8, which arrived in stores today, Casey said, “My TV workload is batshit crazy and I’ll completely cop to that, but it actually has nothing to do with the interminable wait between Butcher Baker #7 and #8. The fact is, Huddleston found himself in a tough spot, having over-committed himself beyond the point of rational thought. He fell way behind and there was nothing I could do about it. It’s frustrating as hell and, in my opinion, supremely embarrassing. It’s not helping the cause of creator-owned comic books when creators can’t keep their shit together. Going into this, I thought it would be a fun, breezy ride that I could kick back and get my rocks off doing every month. Turns out, I’ve had to learn some harsh lessons from the experience.”

Responding Tuesday to Casey’s remarks, which he characterized as “taking a moment to dump on me,” Huddleston wrote on Facebook, “Not to take a personal conflict public (although Joe wasn’t shy about giving his opinion via interview), but for the record: ‘overcommitment’ was not the issue with Butcher’s schedule. As much as I love Butcher Baker it was a project that just didn’t make enough money for me to live on. I had to take other work to keep the lights on and work on Butcher when I could. I’ve apologized to fans and to Joe for the delay.”

According to Bleeding Cool, Huddleston continued, “Yeah, I think that answers any questions about future collaborations … it’s too bad,” adding in reference to a question about the end of Butcher Baker that, “Yep, that’s the end. We haven’t been able to communicate on the trade either, so I think we are going to have the extra art, covers and pinups appear only in the European versions.”

Debuting in March 2011 from Image Comics, Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker is a Superexploitation story that Casey described as “a twisted, adults-only, epic tale of deranged superfiction and two-lane blacktop mayhem” starring an all-American superhero who drives a big rig dubbed Liberty Belle.

Update: Callahan emailed this afternoon that in the second part of his interview, which will appear Monday on CBR, Casey indicates that Butcher Baker was always planned as an eight-issue miniseries.

Robert Washington’s memorial service planned for Monday

A memorial service will be held Monday evening in New York City for original Static co-writer Robert L. Washington III, who passed away June 6 at age 47.

Upon learning that Washington, who had been homeless a few times and only sporadically employed in recent years, faced indigent burial in an unmarked grave on Hart Island, former classmates and colleagues joined with The Hero Initiative to raise money for a funeral and interment. According to Craig Hicks, who attended school with Washington from fifth through eighth grades and helped to spearhead the fund-raising campaign, that goal has been reached.

“Thanks to the efforts of many generous fans and friends — and loads of support from the Hero Initiative — Robert Washington’s remains will now get a proper burial,” Hicks wrote last night in a comment on Robot 6.

Fans, friends and colleagues are invited to the memorial service Monday at 7 p.m. at Ross-Roden Funeral Home, 725 E. Gun Hill Road, Bronx, New York City. Those unable to attend can sign the guest book, or send flowers or sympathy cards, through the funeral home’s website.

Comic Book Resources last week published Washington’s final interview, in which the writer discussed his comics work, receiving assistance from The Hero Initiative, and contributing a story to the organization’s 2012 anthology.

Matt Fraction and David Aja to reteam for new Marvel series

Marvel released a teaser this morning touting a reunion of The Immortal Iron Fist collaborators Matt Fraction and David Aja for an all-new ongoing series. Alas, we’ll have to wait to wait until April 14 “Cup O’Joe” panel at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo to learn the details. Until then, we’ll just have to busy ourselves with wild speculation based on the above teaser …


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