Comics Lowdown: Retailer killed in Kansas City robbery

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Top News

• James Cavanaugh, the owner of Clint’s Comics in Kansas City, Missouri, was killed while attempting to stop a robbery at his store on May 12. According to the Kansas City Star, Cavanaugh was chasing a man who had just stolen about 10 or 15 comics from the shop, according to witnesses. He reached the thief’s car and pulled a gun; somehow the passenger side door opened and when the thief drove away, the door hit Cavanaugh, knocking him to the ground and critically injuring him. Police are still searching for the thief, who was described as a bald, 40-ish white man with glasses; the store posted a photo of the car on Facebook.

Clint’s Comics was a local landmark and a pioneering comic shop that had just celebrated its 50th anniversary in business. Actor David Dastmalchian, who grew up in Kansas City, paid tribute to Cavanaugh and the store, saying, “It was a sanctuary for me where I could go and read and escape and explore, a place where my favorite heroes and villains were discovered and where my imagination could run rampant thanks to that guy and his generosity. It was about sharing the magic of comic books and storytelling with kids from third grade to age 90.”

• Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh, who spent five months in an Israeli prison because of his political cartoons, talked about life on the West Bank and his own experiences while in detention; Sabaaneh kept a sketch diary during his imprisonment, then later developed the sketches into cartoons which have now been collected in the book White and Black.

Hometown Heroes

Comics fan Carl Scheckel with the comics he is donating to the troops in a local VA hospital and overseas

• Fourth-grader Carl Scheckel of Montclair, New Jersey, is sharing his love of comics with the troops: He recently combined his own superhero comics collection with donations from other and delivered 3,400 comics to the local VA hospital and to a military base that will ship the comics to soldiers overseas.

• Writer Jim Zub returned to his hometown of Oshawa, Ontario, to help celebrate the reopening of the local comic store, Comic Alley Toys.

Interviews and Profiles

Illustration by Chloe Poizat for the New Yorker profile of G. Willow Wilson (photo by Rob Latour/Variety/Rex)

• The New Yorker profiles Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson.

Andrea Colvin, the editor of Lion Forge’s Cubhouse (kids) and Roar (YA) imprints, talks about what she’s working on, the kids/YA graphic novel scene in general, and the challenges of importing French comics to the American market:

Honestly, it’s a challenge to figure out how to market those things. You’ll probably see them all over our list. In a lot of cases, we are going back and asking the publishers or their creators to tone down some images, if we think otherwise they are appropriate for kids, but there are naked breasts in them.

[Q] Or even smoking. Tintin has got some smoking in it and some people say it makes it inappropriate for younger readers.

Yeah, the colonialism and the racism in Tintin might also [make it inappropriate], right?

• Holly Brockwell has a nice In Memoriam post about Leo Baxendale, the British creator who brought so much goofiness to The Beano and The Dandy back in the day. Worth a look for the art alone!

Hope Nicholson goes on Canadian TV to talk about her new book, The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters from Comic Book History.

Roundups and Analysis

• At The Guardian, David Barnett looks at the popularity of graphic biographies. The story includes brief interviews with Peter Bagge (Fire!! The Zora Neale Huston Story) and Anne Simon, the artist for a series of biographies (most recently one of Albert Einstein) published by Nobrow Press.

• Mark De Vera looks at the top five Tokyopop manga, why they were popular back in the day and where they are now.

Incoming!!!

• Remember Marie Kondo, the decluttering guru who advised you to throw out any socks that don’t give you joy? Well, she’s turned her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up into a manga titled—wait for it—The Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up, to be published by Ten Speed Press in June, and Calvin Reid has the lowdown at Publishers Weekly.

The Pro Corner

• The deadline has been extended for the John Locher Award, which describes itself as “a contest for aspiring cartoonists, ages 18-25, whose work demonstrates both clear opinions and strong artistry on political and social topics.” Students can apply, and the winner gets a cool $1,000 plus a trip to the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists’ annual convention. If there was ever a year to be expressing your opinions in cartoon form, this is it, so go for it, people!

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