Mike Friedrich, E. Nelson Bridwell to receive Bill Finger Award

Annual award will be presented during the Eisner Award celebration at Comic-Con International in July.

Comic-Con International has announced the recipients of this year’s Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Writing, which goes to writers who have not been given due recognition for their work.

This year’s award will go to Mike Friedrich, a pioneer of independent comics as well as a writer for both DC Comics and Marvel, and E. Nelson Bridwell, who worked on MAD Magazine and co-created The Inferior Five, The Secret Six and The Angel and the Ape for DC Comics. Before becoming professional writers, both men were active letter-writers to comics letter columns. You can read more about both men on the CCI website.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Brian Azzarello and Sierra Hahn

The writer and editor of Faithless from BOOM! Studios discuss the lead character, working with artist Maria Llovet and more.

Faithless is a new miniseries written by Brian Azzarello, and it’s a somewhat different project for him.

It’s the story of a young woman who is playing around with magic, and by the end of the first issue, it’s clear that she’s in much deeper than she thought. Which admittedly, structurally sounds like a lot of the crime stories that Azzarello has written.

I spoke recently with Azzarello and Faithless editor Sierra Hahn. The two have known each other for years but never worked together, and we spoke about how this project came together, working with artist Maria Llovet, and Dante Alighieri.

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Impeach Pedro: ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ comes to comics

Sequel to the film launches from IDW in September.

IDW Publishing has announced a comic book sequel to the 2004 movie Napoleon Dynamite. The story directly follows the movie, as Napoleon’s friend Pedro fights to remain student body president after being accused of cheating.

“Fifteen years ago, an unsuspecting world was introduced to the bizarre cinematic world of Napoleon Dynamite… and it was flippin’ sweet!” said Editor Tom Waltz. “And now we have the freakin’ awesome opportunity to show off our really good comic-book-making skills with a tale that picks up right where Napoleon and his friends left off. It’s almost like we borrowed Uncle Rico’s mail-order time machine… and it actually worked this time!”

The story will be written by brothers Carlos Guzman-Verdugo and Alejandro Verdugo, who wrote Time Machine Cheetah. Jorge Monlongo will provide the art

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Rest in peace, Justin Ponsor

The 42-year-old colorist died of cancer this past weekend.

Comic artist/colorist Justin Ponsor, whose work graced the pages of comics for Marvel, CrossGen, Image Comics, DC Comics and others over the years, died this past weekend after a long fight with cancer. Ponsor was 42 and shared the details of his medical battles (and a lot of humor) over the last few years on his “Blarg.”

Ponsor began his career in the mid-1990s at Wildstorm, working on titles like Danger Girl, Divine Right and WildCATS. In the early 2000s he went to work on CrossGen’s titles, including Scion and Sojourn. In 2004 he started working for both DC and Marvel, the latter where he’d spend the majority of his career, working on titles like Ultimate X-Men, Gambit, Phoenix: Endsong and Young Avengers, among many others. He touched probably every major Marvel character over the course of his career, working on interiors as well as covers.

The news of Ponsor’s passing was revealed on his Facebook page:

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Pastis wins the Reuben; ‘Kafkaesque,’ ‘Vampironica’ win NCS division awards

Winners of the annual awards presented by the National Cartoonists Society given out this weekend in Huntington Beach.

The National Cartoonists Society announced the winners of the annual Reuben Award and other divisional awards this weekend during NCS Fest in Huntington Beach, California.

After 11 nominations,Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis took home the Reuben Award, beating out Lynda Barry, Hilary Price, Brain Basset and Mark Tatulli for the honor.

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McFarlane’s ‘Spawn’ celebrates 300 issues in August

Greg Capullo, Scott Snyder, J. Scott Campbell and more help celebrate the milestone.

Todd McFarlane’s Spawn will reach its 300th issue in August, and the creator has gone all out for the big occasion.

“I created Spawn back when I was a teenager hoping to someday break into the comic book industry,” McFarlane said in a press release.  “Now, over 40 years later, not only was I able to have a career drawing and writing comics, but Spawn has been by my side for most of that journey. Even more exciting, Spawn is becoming the longest running creator-owned comic in the world!”

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Lou the Cat saves the galaxy in ‘Strayed’

Meet your new favorite feline in a miniseries from Dark Horse, coming in August.

It’s not secret that cats rule the world, and starting in summer they’re going galactic. Strayed, a new series by Carlos Giffoni, Juan Doe and Matt Krotzer, blasts into space — and comic shops — in August.

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‘Ghost Spider’ relaunches in August

Seanan McGuire and Takeshi Miyazawa bring Spider-Gwen over to the 616.

While she’ll always be Spider-Gwen in our hearts, the character now known as Ghost Spider (which is a pretty cool name, too) is getting another reboot in August. This time around she’ll be spending more time in the 616, as she enrolls at Empire State University, where Peter Parker has spent a few semesters over the course of the last five decades.

“After dipping her toes into the main Marvel Universe, Gwen Stacy is finally taking the leap part-time as she enrolls in Empire State University,” Assistant Editor Danny Khazem told Marvel.com. “But Gwen’s going to need to do her Spider-History research if she’s going to figure out just who from Spider’s past is keeping tabs on her!”

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‘Ruby Falls’ is a modern murder mystery with a feminist edge

Ann Nocenti, Flavia Biondi and Lee Loughridge team for a new title from Berger Books.

The Seeds writerAnn Nocenti will team with Italian artist Flavia Biondi and colorist Lee Loughridge on Ruby Falls, a new noir murder mystery title from Dark Horse’s Berger Books line.

Described as “a dazzling and unforgettably modern murder mystery with a feminist edge,” the story revolves around three generations of women and the mysterious disappearance of one of Ruby Falls’ residents during the town’s “mobster-ruled heyday.”

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