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Hero Initiative on Russ Heath’s knee surgery, Cooke art auction results

Last month Parker: The Outfit creator Darwyn Cooke auctioned off some of his artwork to benefit the Hero Initiative. Now the organization, which provides financial aid for comic book veterans, has announced Cooke presented them with a check for $10,000 — complete with a hilarious faux check presentation ceremony:

According to the post, the Hero Initiative will use the money to help out Will Eisner Award hall of famer Russ Heath, who this past week underwent knee surgery.

“The deposit is well-timed, as yesterday was the day 1960s war comics legend Russ Heath went under the knife for knee replacement surgery,” said the Hero Initiative’s Jim McLauchlin in the post. “We’re happy to report that the surgery was a success, and Russ is resting comfortably. He’ll need the rest, as rehab is several months long, but if there’s one tough SOB who will get through it, even at age 84, it’s Russ Heath. Hero has been and will be along for the ride to help Russ out as well, of course.”

Comics A.M. | Borders executives resign, manga leads NYPL list

Borders

Retailing | Troubles continue for Borders Group as the retailer filed notice Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Executive Vice President Thomas D. Carney and Chief Information Officer D. Scott Laverty have resigned. Just last week Borders, the country’s second-largest bookstore chain, announced it’s delaying payments to some publishers as it attempts to restructure its credit lines. [GalleyCat]

Passings | Longtime retailer Carl Tupper, who owned BSI Comics in Metairie, Louisiana, for 30 years, passed away on Dec. 29. He was 70 years old. [BSI Comics, ICv2.com]

Libraries | Four of the top five young-adult titles checked out from the New York Public Library in 2010 were manga: Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto, Tite Kubo’s Bleach, Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece, and Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Z. Jennifer Holm’s graphic novel Babymouse and Jeff Kinney’s comics-prose hybrid Diary of a Wimpy Kid were the top two children’s titles. [NYPL Wire]

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SDCC ’10 | CBLDF activities

CBLDF_LOGO_PR_FINALThe Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is bringing parties, auctions, panels and exclusives to San Diego this week. You can find their complete press release after the jump, but a few items of note include …

  • Before the show begins the CBLDF is auctioning off lunch with DC’s CCO, Geoff Johns. There are about two days left on bidding, and it’s already over $500.
  • The CBLDF’s onsite art auction is scheduled for Saturday night; you can preview the artwork here.
  • They’re holding three parties during the con, the details for which can be found after the jump, but I thought it was worth noting that comics retailer Things from Another World has a contest going for tickets to “Scenes of a Graphic Nature,” at the Soda Bar on Saturday, July 24. You can find more details here.
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SDCC ’10 | Hero Initiative activities

The Hero Initiative

The Hero Initiative

You have about 21 hours left if you’d like to bid on one of the Hero Initiative’s San Diego Comic-Con auctions, which include the chance to hang out with Dan DiDio, Joe Quesada, David Lloyd and more. One of the is with Tom DeSanto, who produced the X-Men movie, and he’s bringing Wolverine’s jacket and dog tags for the winner to try on.

In addition, the Hero Initiative will host several signings at their booth during the con and will sell an exclusive edition of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #40, featuring a cover by John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson, and Dean White. Read their full press release after the jump.

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

Love & Rockets

Love & Rockets

Digital | Sean Kleefeld points out the launch of Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels, “the first ever scholarly, primary source database focusing on adult comic books and graphic novels,” the site’s home page says.

The site currently hosts 24,000 pages of comics and a small number of The Comics Journal issues — all with the permission of the copyright holders — with plans to eventually expand to 100,000 pages of materials. The site’s advisers and partners include Fantagraphics’ Gary Groth and Kitchen Sink Press’ Denis Kitchen. Access to the site is available for one-time purchase of perpetual access or as an annual subscription. [Underground and Independent Comics]

Publishing | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson rounds up reactions from the manga community on the recent layoffs by Viz Media. [Publishers Weekly]

Publishing | John Jackson Miller crunches direct-market sales estimates for April, comparing them with previous years. [The Comichron]

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Straight for the art | Meet Ms. Inkwell …

Ms. Inkwell

Ms. Inkwell

The Inkwell Awards, which recognize inkers for “their quality work and contribution to the comic book industry and sequential art process,” enlisted artist Randy Green to help them design a new “spokesperson” for their awards — Ms. Inkwell.

“While IA contributor Tom Schloendorn and I were selling raffle tickets,” said the group’s founder Bob Almond in a press release, ‘I joked about how if we had a female mascot wearing an inkwell bottle outfit and stopper on her head we could sell more tickets. And that idea percolated but I still needed a design for my idea. All I knew was that I didn’t want anything campy like what I originally joked about. We certainly didn’t want any silly super-heroine costumes or her riding a giant brush or pen quill, or even a scantily-dressed ‘booth babe’ as we were concerned how we would be perceived and we wanted to be taken seriously.”

Model Chrissy Cutler will play the role of Ms. Inkwell at several upcoming conventions. The full release can be found after the jump.

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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.

Reading With Pictures kickstarts comics in the classroom initiative with anthology

by Jay Piscopo

by Jay Piscopo

Reading with Pictures is a recently formed nonprofit that, according to their mission statement, “advocates the use of comics in the classroom to promote literacy and improve educational outcomes for all students.” And they’re kicking off their efforts with a Kickstarter project for an anthology called The Reading With Pictures Anthology Vol. 1.

The anthology will sport a cover by Jill Thompson and will feature stories by an impressive list of talent: Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, Jim Gownley, Jeffrey Brown, Eric Wight, Jay Piscopo, Raina Telgemeier, Vito Delsante and Rachel Friere, Chris Giarrusso and many more (you can find the complete list after the jump below).

“I believe in bringing comics into the classroom because comics were my ‘secret weapons’ in school,” said Josh Elder, the organization’s executive director. “All the creators involved in this anthology volunteered their time and considerable talents because they believe it too. Comics made us all better students, better citizens and better people, and we know they can do the same for everyone.”

According to a press release they sent over, the anthology centers on educational stories “with each story contains engaging and entertaining educational content.” Trevor Mueller and Gabriel Bautista tell the story of alien exchange student and his human classmates traveling back in time to learn about dinosaurs firsthand. In Kevin Pyle’s “The Order of the Secret Pencil,” a boy learns to read and write through the use of comics. The sciences are also represented along with the humanities when Chris Eliopoulos, an animation director for Yo Gabba Gabba! on Nick Jr., explains the unique biology of the electric eel.

Over at Kickstarter, you can donate anywhere from $5 to $1,500, with various prizes available for each level. A simple $5 donation will land you a digital copy of the book, while $15 gets you a softcover and $20 a hardcover. They’re offering the opportunity to be drawn into one of the stories and classroom packages as well.

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Inkwell Awards to be presented at Wizard’s New England Comic Con

Inkwell Hall-of-Famer Joe Sinnott

Inkwell Hall-of-Famer Joe Sinnott

After two years of posting their award winners on their website, the Inkwell Awards — which recognize inkers for “their quality work and contribution to the comic book industry and sequential art process” have found a venue to present their awards live. This year they will present their awards at the New England Comic Con in Boston Oct. 1-3.

The award recipients will be presented their trophies and then take part in a Q&A session with fans. Voting for the awards will begin in August.

“Previously the voting has taken place in June but due to the later in the year date of the show event, the ballot will be posted at the site on Aug. 1, so please bookmark the address”, said Bob Almond, founder and director of the Inkwell Awards. “There will be a lot of new developments coming from us this year and having Wizard’s support will be integral to increasing the awareness and exposure of these and future developments of the organization.”

For more information on the awards and to view previous winners, be sure to check out their website.

Winners announced for 2009 Friends of Lulu Awards

Friends of Lulu

Friends of Lulu

The winners were announced this morning for the 2009 Friends of Lulu Awards, which recognize “the people and projects that helped to open eyes and minds to the amazing comic and cartooning work by and/or about women.”

Nominees were selected by a panel of judges, with the winners voted on by the public.

The winners are:

Kim Yale Award for Best New Talent: Kate Beaton for Hark, A Vagrant

Lulu of the Year: Danielle Corsetto for Girls with Slingshots

Woman of Distinction: Joanne Carter Siegel

Leah Adezio Award for Best Kid-Friendly Work: Rapunzel’s Revenge, by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale

Female Comic Creator’s Hall of Fame: Gail Simone

Best Female Character: Monica Villarreal, from Wapsi Square by Paul Taylor

Brief biographies of each of the winners can be found here.

SDCC ’09 | CBLDF, creator updates and more

All the Fun

All the Fun

A few more updates on con activities, including the CBLDF, Tripwire Magazine, creator plans and more. I have more coming as well …

Creators | Artist Ryan Kelly shares his schedule and the cover to All the Fun, his art book he’ll be selling at the show.

Organizations | The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has updated their website with a lot of info on their activities at the con this year, including some offsite events with Amanda Palmer, an art auction and their “Master Sessions” panels. They’ll also host a welcome party on Thursday night, which is co-sponsored by Comic Book Resources, so be sure to stop by if you get a chance.

Free T-shirts | Capcom will be giving away this reversible zombie T-shirt at their booth this year, if you try out a co-op level of the new Resident Evil game.

Games | The SDCC folks have posted information on their games schedule, which includes Magic:The Gathering, Pokemon and a Tekken tournament.

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ComicsLive | A guide to upcoming comic-related events

geoffjohnsblackestnight-miniflyerWelcome to ComicsLive, a guide to upcoming signings, conventions and other comic-related events. Information on submitting your event can be found at the bottom of this post.

July 17

Multiple cities | Watchmen returns to theaters with additional footage for a limited run in Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas and Minneapolis. Details can be found here.

July 18

Baltimore | Geppi’s Entertainment Museum hosts Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology editor Keith Chow, art director Jerry Ma, artist Alex Tarampi and writer Larry Hama from noon to 4p.m. for a presentation, discussion and signing.

Portland | Cosmic Monkey Comics hosts a 24-hour zine challenge beginning at 10 a.m. and ending, naturally, at 10 a.m. the next day.

Jeffrey Brown's Hulk

Jeffrey Brown's Hulk

Puyallup, Wash. | Comic Evolution will host a March of Dimes benefit that includes a silent auction and several artists doing sketches for donations, including Paul Gulacy, Clayton Crain and many more.

San Francisco | Isotope Comics hosts a signing and party for Geoff Johns, writer of Blackest Night, Green Lantern and various other titles. They’ll have free buttons and a selection of Lantern Corps. cocktails. The signing begins at 4 p.m. and the 21+ party begins at 7 p.m.

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Bid today on lettered edition of Strangers in Paradise Omnibus

gn-sipomnibusfrag-2Terry Moore has teamed up with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab on a limited edition “lettered” version of the Strangers in Paradise Omnibus. Now I know some smart ass out there (other than me) is thinking: “Aren’t all comic books lettered? How else would we read them?” In this case, lettered means it’s limited to 26 copies — A through Z — and it includes the following:

  • One set of the strictly limited three-volume hardcover SiP Omnibus edition
  • An original drawing by Terry Moore
  • A bottle of “Parker Lily,” a fragrance based on Terry Moore’s beloved epic created by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and strictly limited to 26 bottles.

All sets can be available for pick up at Comic-Con in San Diego, or will be mailed in the first week of August … except for the “A” edition, which is up on eBay right now. The auction, which is currently over $1,000, ends tomorrow. The set costs $500 on the CBLDF site.

D.C.’s onslaught of superhero candidates

Green Lantern for Mayor

Green Lantern for Mayor

This post on Ecocomics left me scratching my head over why Kyle Rayner was running for mayor of Washington, D.C., or why someone would set up a snazzy-looking website for him. I mean, sure; I’d pick Kyle over Hal or Guy (but not John Stewart) any day for mayor, and like I said, it’s a snazzy-looking site, and he does have the endorsement of the Flash, but what’s up with the site? Is it some kind of viral marketing thing for the upcoming Green Lantern movie, or maybe an ad for a sequel to DCU Decisions?

Then I find out Kyle’s not running unopposed. It appears Spider-Man is also in the race. As is Superman. And the Atom. Even Batwoman, who is apparently for bird equality in D.C.

As it turns out, the sites are part of the New Organizing Institute’s BootCamp, where attendees are tasked with running their own mayoral campaigns for fictional characters as part of their training. You can find a full list of the sites they’ve created here.

And while I was hoping I could throw my own endorsement out there for Batwoman, her stance on bird equality sounds just a little too crackpot for me. So Kyle it is — Green Lantern gets my vote.

The Fifth Color | Our Own Heroes

fifth_color1Like boy bands, sentai teams and sitcom pals, the X-Men thrive on fan identification. Mutants aren’t just the outsiders, they are in many ways just like us. They’ve been multi-gender and multi-racial, with backgrounds as rich and diverse as they are simplistic and stereotypical. Just enough to give the reader something to identify with and hook them into the rest of the story. While it might seem odd since I certainly can’t ‘relate’ to being possessed by an innate cosmic power only to be resurrected while my genetic clone has had a baby with the boy I crushed on in high school, you have to admit that the X-Men, above all other Marvel comics, find a way to relate to all of us and we likewise see ourselves in Xavier’s students.

They have grown with us pop-culturally, from Kitty Pryde’s interest in home computers to Jubilee’s rollerblading mall-rat ‘tude to Pixie’s ‘Chemical Romance’ so to speak. They have loved and lost and grown older (but not too much older) and wiser (but not too much wiser) as we grew up along with them, each generation it seems getting their own freshmen class of mutants. They’ve been heroes, they’ve been villains and then they switch around in that gray area for a story or two, I could go on. But today is not for the X-Men as a whole, but one particular member not cited on Marvel.com or listed by the inexhaustible uncannyxmen.net. Someone I got to know through the talents of Joe Casey and John Paul Leon… and the funding of Steven Spielberg and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf.

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