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Comics A.M. | Stan Lee honor draws fire; Seth wins Harbourfront prize

Stan Lee

Creators | Some military personnel are upset that comics legend Stan Lee received the Honorable Order of St. Barbara award in July during the week of Comic-Con International, as the award is “traditionally reserved for career cannon cockers in the Army and Marine Corps who have made their mark on the field artillery or air defense communities.” While the award credited Lee, who served stateside in the Army during World War II, with writing “several training manuals and films for the artillery and all other branches of the service,” the co-creator of the Fantastic Four and other Marvel properties said he didn’t recall ever doing so. A spokesman for Maj. Gen. David Halverson, commander of the Army Field Artillery Center at Fort Sill, Okla., who signed off on the award, said it “was given to a former soldier and WWII veteran whose contributions, both in the Army and beyond, are in keeping with and representative of all the high standards of achievement and selfless service associated with the Honorary Order of Saint Barbara.” Lee actually missed receiving the award, as at the ceremony he also received an Army Certificate of Achievement and left before the second award could be given. [Air Force Times]

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Robot Reviews | Willie & Joe Back Home and Will Eisner’s PS Magazine

Willie & Joe: Back Home

Willie & Joe: Back Home
by Bill Mauldin
Fantagraphics, 288 pages, $29.99

PS Magazine: The Best of Preventive Maintenance Monthly
by Will Eisner; Selected and with an overview by Eddie Campbell
Abrams, 272 pages, $21.95

There can arguably be no finer example of how to completely sabotage a successful career than what cartoonist Bill Mauldin did upon returning back to the United States at the close of World War II. The youngest person (he was 23) to win the Pulitzer Prize at that time, his gag cartoons, featuring dirty, worn-down, battle-hardened, embittered soldiers (most notably the pair known as Willie & Joe), which ran in Stars and Stripes and later in national newspapers, allowed soldiers to vicariously let off steam — someone out there knew what they were going through — and gave the citizens back home a look at the war that few media outlets at the time provided.

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Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Jonny Rench

Passings | Colorist Jonny Rench, who worked on such DC Comics and WildStorm titles as The Authority, Gen13, Human Target and Ratchet & Clank, has passed away from a heart attack. He was 28. “He was an incredibly talented artist,” the WildStorm Twitter account states, “and also an amazing, kind, joyful man.” [Twitter]

Publishing | Fantagraphics Co-Publisher Kim Thompson reveals what was believed to be a sketchbook of early versions of several years’ worth of George Herriman’s Krazy Kat strips “is almost certainly the work of a very intense (perhaps contemporary with Herriman?) fan who diligently, even maniacally, copied each new strip into his sketchbook over a period of three years.” The publisher had planned to release the sketchbook but now, of course, won’t. Refunds will be issued on pre-orders. [FLOG!]

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