Comics Lowdown: Jack Kirby special edition

A roundup of some of the Jack Kirby 100th birthday news this week!

Not only is it “Kirby Week” here on Smash Pages, but the entire comic industry has come together to honor and remember one of the industry’s greatest and most influential creators, Jack Kirby, for what would have been his 100th birthday. Here’s a round-up of links related to “The King.”

The first place to check is Marvel.com, which has an entire section dedicated to Jack Kirby. The colorful articles have been posted throughout the month of August, with reading lists, character features and articles by Jim Zub, Carlos Pacheco, Mark Waid and Mike Allred. Plus there are several videos about the life of Jack Kirby.

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Comics Lowdown: Wakanda fashion show, marketplace celebrates artisans and Black Panther

Plus: Roxane Gay thoughts on diversity, Jeff Smith, Cully Hamner, public-domain comics and more!

Excited for the increasing spotlight on Black Panther with the feature film coming out in 2018, retailer Fantom Comics in Washington, D.C. hosted a unique event known as Move or You Will Be Moved: A Black Panther Fashion Show over the weekend. The haute couture show included cosplay and Wakandan street fashion, and a marketplace of local black creators selling their jewelry, clothing and other Afrofuturist fashion accessories. Plus of course, Black Panther comics and paraphernalia.

“Where’s all the Black Panther merchandise? We’re less than a year out, and we don’t have any Happy Meal toys or anything we can just get on hand,” Sellars asked, introducing the concept to the crowd. “So with that came this idea of what about an Afro-futuristic showcase of what it means to be great? Of what it means to be in Wakanda.”

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Indy comics icon, Marvel Comics legend “Fabulous” Flo Steinberg passed away

Best known as one of Marvel’s original bullpen members and an independent comics pioneer, Flo Steinberg has passed away Sunday morning. According to Larry Hama, who reported her death on his Facebook page.

I am grieved to report that ‘Fabulous’ Flo Steinberg passed away this morning after complications from a brain aneurism and metastatic lung cancer. She will be interred at the Jewish cemetery in Kerhonkson NY. We are making plans for a memorial in September or October. I will update on this page.

“Fabulous” Flo Steinberg, art by Jack Kirby

Steinberg’s career in comics began in the 1960s as Marvel’s only employee besides Stan Lee. She was the company’s first receptionist, answered letters, managed the Merry Marvel Merry Marvel Marching Society, and making sure the company ran smoothly. She is considered one of the key people in growing Marvel into one of “the big two” in comic book publishing. And many times, she has been featured in comics along with the Marvel Bullpen as herself.

She eventually left Marvel. After a short break from the comics industry, she returned to New York City to help run Captain Company, the mail-order division of the horror-comics magazine firm, Warren Publishing.

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Ed Piskor to compile Uncanny X-Men #1-280 into one ‘Grand’ story

‘X-Men: Grand Design’ will retell the classic comics into retro-stylized six-issue miniseries.

During the “Marvel: The Next Big Thing” panel at San Diego Comic Con, the publishing giant announced a unique way to present classic comic stories to modern audiences. X-Men: Grand Design will retell the first 280 issues of The Uncanny X-Men into a stunningly compact six 40-page issue miniseries.

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Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee immortalized at the TCL Chinese Theatre

Plus: Batton Lash vs. Cancer, Donny Cates signs with Marvel, DC Girl Power, Texas Latino Comic Con and more!

Hollywood cannot seem to get enough of Stan Lee. Over the weekend, Lee became a Disney Legend and yesterday, the comic icon had his hands and feet immortalized in cement in front of the TCL Chinese theater.

“I can’t tell you what this means to me. I’m thrilled,” he said. “And if I’m half as good as everybody said I am, I’m far too good to be wasting time with ordinary people. But I seem to be spending my life with ordinary people, who are the best people in the world.”

Meanwhile, Variety continued the love affair and took a look back on the life of Stan Lee.
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Comics Lowdown: RIP James Vance

The man who finished ‘Omaha the Cat Dancer’ passes away, Frank Quitely finally gets that degree, and more.

James Vance

Passings: James Vance, the author (with artist Dan Burr) of the graphic novels Kings in Disguise and On the Ropes, died on June 5 at the age of 64. Kings in Disguise was first published as a limited series by Kitchen Sink Press in 1988 and in 1989 won the Eisner and Harvey awards for Best New Series, and the first issue won the Eisner for Best Single Issue. W.W. Norton published a collected edition in 2006, with an introduction by Alan Moore. The sequel, On the Ropes, was published by Norton in 2013. Vance was married to Omaha the Cat Dancer writer Kate Worley from 1994 to 2004, and many years later he collaborated with Omaha artist Reed Waller to complete the story, which was left unfinished at Worley’s death; it was published in 2013. Vance, who was also a playwright, talked about his work with Alex Dueben at CBR in 2013. His illness and death leaves his family in a difficult financial situation, so a GoFundMe has been set up to help.

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Rainbow Rowell to write ‘Runaways’

Critically acclaimed young adult author tackles Marvel’s teen heroes with villainous parents.

Young adult and contemporary fiction writer Rainbow Rowell dropped a big hint on Twitter earlier this week something was on the horizon, and she was excited about it:

At the annual BookCon festival held in New York, Rainbow Rowell announced her writing duties on the new ongoing series Runaways, with Kris Anka as the illustrator.

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Comics Lowdown: CxC guest list unveiled

Plus news and updates on Noah Van Sciver, Ivan Brunetti, Thom Zahler, Hannah Berry and more.

Tom Spurgeon unveils the logo and guest list for this year’s Cartoon Crossroads Columbus festival, of which he is the executive director. Here’s the roster:

That’s Derf Backderf, Peter Bagge, Kyle Baker, Darrin Bell, Howard Cruse, Lilli Carré and Alexander Stewart, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kat Fajardo, Emil Ferris, Ann Marie Fleming, Matt Fraction, Jennifer Holm, Kevin Huizenga, Nilah Magruder, Ann Nocenti, Laura Park, Dav Pilkey, Mimi Pond, Dana Simpson, Chris Sprouse, Leslie Stein, Tillie Walden, Connor Willumsen and Judd Winick.

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‘Love is Love,’ ‘Lumberjanes,’ ‘Black Panther’ among 2017 GLAAD Award nominees

DC Comics, IDW, Marvel, BOOM! Studios, Image and Black Mask Studios all represented as comics category expands to 10 nominations.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, have announced the nominees for their annual Media Awards, which recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives.

DC Comics and Marvel Comics both received three nominations apiece (Dc shares one of theirs with IDW, as the co-published the Love is Love anthology), while BOOM! Studios received two — which include last year’s winner, Lumberjanes.

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