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All-Star Superman #1

All-Star Superman #1

Publishing | The big news of the day, obviously, is DC Comics’ entry into the digital-distribution arena with its comiXology-developed application for the iPad, iPhone and iPad Touch. CBR’s Kiel Phegley gets the details from Co-Publisher Jim Lee and John Rood, executive vice president of sales, marketing and business development. (ComiXology is already updating the app to fix a bug that apparently caused early iPhones and iPods to crash.)

David Brothers has early analysis, looking as day-and-date digital release for Justice League: Generation Lost, and a tiered pricing structure. Meanwhile, Matthew Maxwell writes: “… This does mean that both of the Big Two are now officially putting pinkie toes, if not entire feet into the pool. But who will jump in along with them?” We’ll round up more reactions later today. [Comic Book Resources]

Organizations | Mark Waid has joined the board of directors of The Hero Initiative, replacing Guillermo del Toro. [press release]

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HeroesCon starts today!

The X-Men, as seen by Chris Schweizer

The X-Men, as seen by Chris Schweizer

HeroesCon is just getting under way at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC. Here’s a sample of what you have to look forward to if you are going—and what you will miss if you’re not.

Chris Schweizer, creator of Crogan’s Vengeance and Crogan’s March, will be there, and he’ll have some sweet art to sell.

Jeff Parker has created a handy map to make it easier for fans to find him.

Raina Telgemeier will be in Indie Island, and you can also spot her on the panels on Comics as Career and Autobio Comics.

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Police confirm that ThunderCats writer Stephen Perry was murdered

Stephen Perry

Stephen Perry

Police in Zephyrhills, Florida, have confirmed that ThunderCats writer Stephen Perry, who has been missing for more than two weeks, is the victim of an apparent homicide.

His van was discovered on May 16 at a Tampa motel, reportedly near a severed arm. More remains were found in a dumpster at a gas station two miles from his ransacked home. Perry’s roommates, James Davis, 45, and Roxanne Davis, 49, were missing as well. However, police later arrested the couple on unrelated charges. They’re now considered “persons of interest” in the case.

Perry, 56, suffered from bladder cancer and had been jobless, without health care and, for a time, forced to live in his van with his 5-year-old son Leo. Over the past eight months he received assistance from the Hero Initiative, which helped him to line up work and pay rent, utilities and medical bills.

The Tampa Tribune reports that Krystal Carroll, his 26-year-old ex-girlfriend and the mother of Leo, was told on May 19 that Perry was dead. The two had a tumultuous relationship, with Carroll seeking emergency custody of their son and Perry getting a domestic violence injunction against her, all in late April.

Earlier this week the newspaper spoke with Perry’s longtime friend, artist Steve Bissette, who had been instrumental in bringing the writer’s plight to the attention of the comics industry. Since Perry was reported missing, Bissette has devoted his blog to remembering his friend’s life and career and tracking news reports of his disappearance.

Perry was best known for his work on the mid-1980s animated series ThunderCats and SilverHawks, both developed by Rankin/Bass. However, he also wrote comics like Timespirits and Psi-Force for Marvel and Wally Wood’s THUNDER Agents for Deluxe. Nat Gertler revealed that, to help the writer, he recently purchased the rights to Salimba, the jungle-heroine comic that Perry created in the 1980s with Paul Chadwick.

Roommate, friend paint a grim picture of Stephen Perry’s last months

Timespirits #9

Timespirits #9

Police have released few details of the investigation into the possible murder of ThunderCats writer Stephen Perry, who disappeared from his home in Zephyrhills, Florida, at least nine days ago.

However, in an interview with the St. Petersburg Times, Perry’s roommate James Davis, considered a “person of interest” in the case, recounts details of what may have been the writer’s final months.

Perry, who suffered from bladder cancer, had been jobless, without health care and, for a time, forced to live in his van with his 5-year-old son Leo. Over the past eight months, the writer’s plight was brought to the attention of the comics industry by the likes of artist and longtime friend Steve Bissette and the Hero Initiative, a charity that helped him to line up work and pay rent, utilities and medical bills.

But on Sunday police discovered Perry’s van abandoned at a Tampa motel with a severed arm nearby. More remains were found in a dumpster at a gas station two miles from his ransacked home. On Friday police arrested James Davis and his wife Roxanne Davis, who shared the house with Perry, on unrelated charges.

In the interview, James Davis contends Perry had a crippling addiction to oxycodone, which he was prescribed for cancer pain. But he also questions whether the Timespirits creator was actually ill, and accuses him of hatching eBay scams to support his drug habit. However, Bissette assures the newspaper that Perry underwent surgery to have a cancerous tumor removed in March 2009, and quit painkillers “cold turkey” that summer.

Davis also claims he received a text message from Perry on May 14, two days before police discovered the van, thanking him for watching the house and saying “he was going somewhere.”

Related:
• Bissette continues his remembrance of Perry.
• David Allen Jones writes about his interactions with Perry.
Mark Evanier and Colleen Doran consider Perry’s financial plight, and “the roller-coaster-ride lives of those who freelance.”

Nat Gertler on Stephen Perry and the Hero Initiative

Salimba 3-D (1986)

Salimba 3-D (1986)

About Comics publisher Nat Gertler posted the following over the weekend in response to the news about writer Stephen Perry., and we thought it was worth posting on its own.

by Nat Gertler

I hadn’t known Steve over the years (although I am quite fond of some of his work), but over the last few months I’d been interacting with him, mainly via email – first with small amounts of charity, then with helping him through straightforward business, buying out the rights to the Salimba work he did with Paul Chadwick, then with buying a new Salimba prose story from him.

Steve struggled hard during those few months, from his physical failures, from problems of access to health care, and from the various other difficulties brought on by lack of money. But through all that, he continued expressed his appreciation for all that his supporters had brought, feeling that he only had a roof over his head and what health care had held him together this long thanks to that support, which came largely from those within the comics community, whether it was old friends like Bissette, or from both pros and fans he had not known, or from the wonderful Hero Initiative. He knew the end was coming (although not in the way it appears to have come), and was doing whatever he could to smooth the path for his son. (That concern permeates the prose story, which he felt was the last he would write; in it, Salimba struggles to care for a child that she is not equipped to handle.) It is such a relief that, whatever has befallen Steve, it has not befallen Leo.

Give to the Hero Initiative — they’ve got a lot of way to give, some quite painless. If you want to keep up your tough-guy image, they have a variety of cool products you can buy so you can pretend you’re not being charitable when you send them your money. They do a lot of good with what they get.

ThunderCats writer Stephen Perry missing after grisly discovery [Updated]

Stephen Perry

Stephen Perry

Police in Florida are searching for ailing ThunderCats writer Stephen Perry, who disappeared from his Zephyrhills home under suspicious, and possibly ghastly, circumstances.

His van was found Sunday abandoned in a motel parking lot. Nearby, FOX 13 reports, was a man’s severed arm. More remains were discovered at a gas-station dumpster two miles away from Perry’s home, which had been ransacked.

On Friday authorities arrested Perry’s two roommates, Roxanne D. Davis, 49, and James W. Davis, 46, who had been missing since Sunday. The St. Petersburg Times reports that James Davis is charged with trafficking of controlled substances, possession of paraphernalia, possession of controlled substances and two warrants for failure to appear in court. Roxanne Davis is charged with violation of parole, grand theft and burglary.

Police have avoided publicly referring to the case as a homicide investigation, but signs obviously point to that. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement told The Tampa Tribune the agency had been called in to assist with an apparent homicide, but wouldn’t say whether it was related to the missing persons investigation. However, Zephyrhills Mayor Cliff McDuffie said, “I assume it is the same investigation. I assume it is a homicide.”

Perry, 56, is best known for his work on the mid-1980s animated series ThunderCats and SilverHawks, both developed by Rankin/Bass. However, he also wrote comics like Timespirits and Psi-Force for Marvel and Wally Wood’s THUNDER Agents for Deluxe.

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Straight for the art | Cliff Chiang rocks the Archie 50 covers project

Cliff Chiang rocks an Archie cover

Cliff Chiang rocks an Archie cover

Cliff Chiang shares his cover for the Hero Initiative’s newest cover project, which features artists drawing their own rendition of the cover to Archie #600. You can check out more covers and read more about the project here.

Straight for the art | John Romita Jr.’s Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide cover

Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide

Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide

I remember as a kid going all the way to Washington, D.C. to visit the Smithsonian Museum on a two-week family road trip (shudder), and the only thing I walked out of the gift shop/bookstore with was a copy of the newest Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. Not that I really cared about how much any of my comics were supposedly worth — I never planned on selling them anyway — but the draw for me was the tons of advertisements for various comic shops around the country. I spent part of the trip back to Dallas circling all the ones I needed to order comics or catalogs from.

Nowadays I’m really out of touch with the segment of fandom that does care about how much their comics are worth, and I haven’t seen one of the guides in ages. But I do like the 1970’s Conan #1 cover recreation that John Romita Jr. provided for the Hero Initiative’s limited edition version of the guide. They’ll have 500 copies of them in San Diego this year for $35, with the full cover price going to the Hero Initiative.

C2E2 | Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark, BOOM!, smells like Witchblade and more

C2E2

C2E2

C2E2, the new Chicago convention brought to you by the makers of the New York Comic Con, will hold its inaugural convention this weekend at the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. If you’re exhibiting at the show, debuting a new comic or just have some exciting plans for attendees you’d like to share, drop me an email and I’ll run it in one of the many round-ups we’ll be doing between now and Friday.

Also, I probably wouldn’t get anything good for Boss’s Day this year if I don’t mention that Robot 6’s own Brigid Alverson will be on a panel Friday night, titled “Old Media, New Media, Comics Media.” It’s moderated by Heidi MacDonald of the Beat and features several other comics media/blogging folks. So go say hi to Brigid at 7:45 p.m.

Michael May will also be at the show, and both he and Brigid should have some reports to file from it over the weekend. So be sure to check back for those if you aren’t in Chicago yourself. And if you are attending the show, here’s some stuff to check out …

*****

Artist Ryan Ottley will have some cool stickers at the show to promote the upcoming Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark: They Got Mixed Up! one-shot he’s doing with Jason Howard. Choose your side:

BEAR-SHARK-STICKER

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C2E2 | Funrama debuts, I Rule the Night print, tats, Dark Horse and more

C2E2, the new Chicago convention brought to you by the makers of the New York Comic Con, will hold its inaugural convention this weekend at the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. Our buddy Kiel spoke with Lance Fensterman of Reed Exhibitions about the show yesterday, if you’re curious about Reed’s plans for it.

If you’re exhibiting at the show, debuting a new comic or just have some exciting plans for attendees you’d like to share, drop me an email and I’ll run it in one of the many round-ups we’ll be doing between now and Friday.

And if you are attending the show, here’s some stuff to add to your agenda/buy list …

*****

funrama

Artist Ryan Kelly will debut his self-published book Funrama at the show. He’ll be in Artist Alley at booth K-9. You can also purchase it online for a couple dollars more.

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WonderCon | Hero Initiative’s Ed Hannigan print

HeroInitiative_EdHannigan

The Hero Initiative has several things planned to raise money for comics creator Ed Hannigan, not the least of which is this limited edition print of the cover to Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #64. It is a limited edition of only 150 pieces signed by Hannigan, and can be bought for $25, first come-first served, at the Hero Initiative booth at WonderCon.

Cartoon Art Museum, Hero Initiative host benefit for Ed Hannigan during WonderCon

by Tom Lyle

by Tom Lyle

The Cartoon Art Museum and The Hero Initiative are teaming up for a party in honor of and to benefit veteran comics artist Ed Hannigan, who is suffering from multiple sclerosis, during the upcoming WonderCon in San Francisco. Hannigan’s work is also currently the subject of an exhibit at the museum.

Tickets for this event, scheduled for Friday, April 2, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., will be sold on a sliding scale. Ed Hannigan will receive a portion of the proceeds of all ticket sales above $20. Those who donate $35 or more will receive a special gift bag courtesy of the Cartoon Art Museum.

A silent auction will be held at the party, and all proceeds from the auction will go directly to Hannigan. Some of the pieces for the auction are recreations of past Hannigan covers, like the one to the right by Tom Lyle that recreates the classic cover to Avengers #223. You can check out the original here.

Many creators will be in attendance as special guests of the Cartoon Art Museum and the Hero Initiative. Confirmed guests include Arthur Adams, Amanda Conner, Sergio Aragones, Joyce Chin, Jimmy Palmiotti, Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, Jen Van Meter and more to be announced. You can find more information on the event here, and information on how to bid by proxy in the auction here.

Mid-Ohio-Con holds charity auction to benefit Hero Initiative

The Mid-Ohio-Con is holding a charity auction to benefit the Hero Initiative:

Wolverine by Todd Nauck

Wolverine by Todd Nauck

I wanted to let you know that the Mid-Ohio-Con charity auction is now up and running on eBay. The auction features original art and other work, including books and DVDs from our creative guests at Mid-Ohio-Con 2009, many of whom made incredibly generous contributions of their talent and time. Of particular note, the auction includes all the giant sketches (19″ x 24″) done by artists on the Main Stage easel during last October’s show.

Among the artists whose work is featured in the auction are Dave Aikins, Arvell Jones, Dick Ayers, Art Baltazar, Darryl Banks, Andy Bennett, George Broderick, Pat Block, Jacob Chabot, Jay Fife, Sean Forney, Michael Golden, Chris Giarrusso, Fred Hembeck, Lora Innes, Scott Kolins, Gary Kwapisz, Ren McKinzie, Todd Nauck, Chris Sprouse, Steve Scott, Mark Texeira, Billy Tucci, Uko Smith, Chris Yambar, and Thom Zahler.

All proceeds from the auction will go to benefit the Hero Initiative, a nonprofit organization that creates a financial safety net for comic creators who need emergency medical aid, financial support for the essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work, so I’d really appreciate it if you would spread the word so that we can get a lot of attention and proceeds for this year’s auction.

You can check out all the auction items here.

The Hero Initiative needs your Ed Hannigan art

ehc_cover_colors_02

The Hero Initiative is putting together an art exhibit featuring the work of Ed Hannigan, whose work was featured in and on comics like Green Arrow, The Defenders, Superman, Batman and Spectacular Spider-Man, among others. They’re looking to borrow any original art for the exhibit from Dec. 15 through April 30; if you own any, contact Jim McLauchlin at jmclauch@aol.com.

Wolverine: Weapon X 100 covers up for bid at eBay

by Josh Medors

by Josh Medors

Several pieces of original art from The Hero Initiative’s Wolverine: Weapon X 100 Project are available for bidding on eBay … including this one by Josh Medors, which just looks absolutely incredible. Also pieces from Chris Bachalo, Colleen Coover, Art Adams, John McCrea and several others can be found as well.

Go check’em out and place a bid; it’s for a good cause.


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