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Comics A.M. | Tony DeZuniga hospitalized; record 3.5M FCBD comics ordered

Tony DeZuniga

Creators | Legendary comic artist Tony DeZuniga, the co-creator of Jonah Hex, has been hospitalized in the Philippines after suffering from a stroke and pneumonia. The 70-year-old DeZuniga is reportedly in the intensive care unit as friends and family rally to help with his medical expenses. [GMA News]

Retailing | Diamond Comic Distributors announced that retailers have ordered more than 3.5 million comics for Free Comic Book Day, up 23 percent from last year. Diamond also confirmed a second event centered on Halloween. [ICv2]

Graphic novels | The Irish Education Minister, Ruairí Quinn, has given his blessing to a manga-style graphic novel intended to help teenagers develop “emotional intelligence.” [TheJournal.ie]

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New look at weird characters from Miéville and Santolouco’s Dial H

In a brief interview with io9.com, China Miéville, the Hugo Award-winning author of such novels as Perdido Street Station, The City & the City and Kraken, unveils some of Mateus Santolouco’s character designs from their upcoming revival of DC Comics’ Dial H, but holds back on the details:

i) I am superstitious as hell about talking about work before it comes out — it makes me very anxious, just seems like a hostage to fortune to me.
ii) As a reader I’d prefer to know little to nothing before I read something, so I always indulge my projected reading-self by being a bit coy about such. I will say, though that
iii) you called them ‘Dial H alter egos’ – I didn’t, nor did I confirm nor deny their status as such.
iv) There are various Easter eggs for hardcore/long-time fans of Dial H for Hero in the run. (As one of them, can we come up with a better noun for such people? Diallers? Dialups?)

Check out a page from Dial H, and one of Santolouco’s character designs, below, and visit io9 to see more. Dial H #1 arrives May 2.

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Comics A.M. | Middle-school mother objects to Dungeon series

Dungeon Monstres

Libraries | A middle school library in New Brunswick, Canada, has been asked to remove Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim’s Dungeon series for review after the mother of a 12-year-old student complained about the depictions of sex and violence in one of the volumes. The CTV News reporter goes for the easy gasp by showing the scenes in question to a variety of parents, all of whom agree they don’t think the book belongs in a school library, and in this case the mom has a good point: The book received good reviews but is definitely not for kids. [CTV News]

Publishing | John Jackson Miller has been looking at the fine print in old comics — the statement of ownership, which spells out in exact numbers just how many copies were printed, how many were sold, etc. One of the highlights is Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge, which sold more than 1 million copies, making it the top seller of the 1960s. “It’s meaningful, I think, that the best-seller of the 1960s should come from Barks, whose work was originally uncredited and who was known originally to fans as ‘the Good Duck Artist,’” Miller concludes. “Fandom in the 1960s was bringing attention to a lot of people who had previously been unheralded, and Barks is a great example. He changed comics — and now comics were changing.” [The Comichron]

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Grumpy Old Fan | Can the New 52 count on the Next Six’s Earth-2?

"You're not going out in *that*?!?"

Although they won’t be solicited for a few more weeks, DC has already been talking up the six new(ish) titles coming in May. G.I. Combat, Dial H, Ravagers, and Worlds’ Finest join the returning Batman Incorporated and the long-rumored Justice So– I mean, Earth 2 — as the replacements for most of the New-52′s lowest-selling books.

As with the original New-52 group, every new title except one is familiar to longtime DC fans; and as with the original New-52, that book spins out of an existing feature. (Then it was Batman Incorporated begetting Batwing; here it’s the Teen Titans/Superboy nexus spawning Ravagers.) However, where the New-52 tried noticeably to make many of its books accessible — or at least uprooted them from established DC lore — most of the new titles seem to require some prerequisite reading.

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