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Comics A.M. | Teen sentenced in comics burglary; Reuben Awards adds webcomics

Legal

Legal | A teenager was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison for his role in the July 2010 theft of a valuable comic collection from an elderly Medina, New York, man, who later died of a heart attack. Eighteen-year-old Juan C. Javier, who pleaded guilty last fall to attempted second-degree burglary, is one of seven people whom police say were hired by businessman Rico J. Vendetti to break into the home of Homer Marciniak to steal his comics. Marciniak, 77, awoke during the burglary and was beaten, suffering only cuts and bruises. However, he had a fatal heart attack later that day. Eight people, including Vendetti and Javier, were indicted in November 2010; the indictments were dismissed against four of the accused so the U.S. Attorney could charge them with murder under federal law. [The Daily News]

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Comics A.M. | Archie-Valerie romance rekindled; cartoonist resigns

Archie #631

Creators | Dan Parent discusses an upcoming Archie storyline that will bring Valerie Brown from Josie and the Pussycats to Riverdale, causing sparks to once again fly: “The fans can expect the next step in what I think is the most romantic story in Archie history. The chemistry between Archie and Valerie was hot the first time they got together, and now you’ve really got to see it simmer, all the way from the rekindling of their romance to getting much more serious than we’ve seen before.” [USA Today]

Editorial cartoons | Cartoonist Jeff Stahler has resigned from The Columbus Dispatch following accusations that he lifted ideas from other cartoons, including one that ran in The New Yorker. [Poynter]

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Ken Burns-style documentary parodies world’s longest comics bio

In 2008, 12 families set out to accomplish a monumental task: To read all of R.C. Harvey’s biography of Milton Caniff. “What no one knew at the time,” the narrator intones, as a fiddler keens behind him, “is that it was over 900 pages long.” Tom Gammill’s five-minute parody film The Donner Book Party juxtaposes wistful, old-timey music with sepia-toned photos of funny-looking Victorian people as it tells the story of the families’ struggles—the readers’ dismay at the world’s longest sentence, the ill-fated advance party sent ahead to edit the book, the scout who warned some of them off, suggesting they read Milt Caniff: Rembrandt of the Comic Strip, or maybe a book about budgies, instead. There’s even a bit of a twist at the end. The video was presented at the Reuben Awards ceremonies as a preview of an upcoming Ken Burns history of the comic strip, and Mike Lynch says he was actually fooled for the first few seconds.

Via The Daily Cartoonist.

NCS invites webcomics creators to the party

It’s not exactly pirates vs. ninjas, but there has been, shall we say, some ill feeling between webcomics creators and the National Cartoonists Society over the years. But there comes a time to put away childish things, including feuds, and this year the NCS actually invited three webcomics creators—Kate Beaton, Randall Munroe, and Dave Kellett—to present a panel at their annual meeting, which was held this past weekend in Boston. Naturally, Kellett worked this event, along with some of the high points of the evening, into his daily webcomic, Sheldon.

The big news of the evening was that Richard Thompson won the award for outstanding cartoonist of the year, an honor that anyone who reads Cul de Sac can tell you was well deserved. The award for best newspaper strip went to Jeff Parker and Steve Kelley’s Dustin, Jill Thompson won the Best Comic Book Award for Beast of Burden, and Joyce Farmer took Best Graphic Novel honors for Special Exits.


Comics A.M. | Four indicted in comic collector’s death

Legal

Legal | A Rochester, N.Y., businessman and the three men he allegedly hired to steal $40,000 worth of comics have been indicted on federal murder charges in connection with the death last summer of an elderly collector.

Authorities allege that Rico Vendetti hired Rochester residents Arlene Combs, Albert Parsons and Donald Griffin to break into the rural Medina home of Homer Marciniak, a 77-year-old retired janitor, on July 5 to steal his comic collection, described as “his pride and joy.” Police say the burglars entered the house in the pre-dawn hours after cutting the telephone line. When Marciniak awoke and surprised them, he was allegedly beaten and knocked to the floor. Although his injuries weren’t life-threatening, Marciniak died of a heart attack later that day. The four defendants face mandatory terms of life in prison if convicted. [The Buffalo News]

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