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Comics A.M. | Former Archie Comics artist Janice Valleau dies

Toni Gayle

Toni Gayle

Passings | Artist Janice Valleau Winkelman, creator of the detective Toni Gayle, passed away on Dec. 8 at age 90. Winkleman, who drew under her maiden name Janice Valleau, had polio as a child and wore a brace through school. Her first work was published in Smash Comics in 1939, when she was 16. She studied at the Phoenix Art Institute and moved to New York, where she found steady work as a penciler and inker for Archie Comics and Quality Comics. She left the industry during the anti-comic crusades of the 1950; author David Hajdu profiled her in the prologue to his chronicle of those times, The Ten Cent Plague. According to the Grand Comics Database, one of her stories was reprinted as recently as last April, in Archie Double Digest #238. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

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Interactive comic defines comics journalism

Dan Archer has a very nice comic at the Poynter Institute website—a site devoted to journalism, not comics—about the use of comics in journalism. It’s an explanatory comic about comics, in the Scott McCloud tradition (complete with bold-face for the important terms), but it adds a new dimension: Click on a panel and you are taken to a new page with source material and background information. That’s the sort of thing you can only do on the web, and I can only think of a handful of comics that have used it (Josh Neufeld’s AD: New Orleans After the Deluge being a stellar example). It’s a natural for online journalism, and with more periodicals shifting to the web and the iPad, it’s something I’d like to see more of.

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