Comics Lowdown: Rest in peace Sam Glanzman, George Romero

Plus: teen romance, and Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and others become Disney Legends

Sam Glanzman (1924-2017): Navy veteran and and Eisner Award-nominated comic artist Sam Glanzman, 92, passed away July 12. Over the span of his 75-year career in comics, Glanzman worked for Marvel, DC Comics, Charlton, Harvey and Dell, among others, on titles like G.I. Combat, Sgt. Rock, Hercules, Jonah Hex, Fightin’ Army, Savage Tales, Semper Fi, Zorro and Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle. Marvel published his A Sailor’s Story graphic novel in 1987, a personal account of his time on the U.S.S. Stevens during World War II. A sequel followed. New stories about his time on the U.S.S. Stevens appeared in DC’s Joe Kubert Presents six-issue anthology limited series, and those stories, along with the two volumes of A Sailor’s Story, were collected in U.S.S. Stevens: The Collected Stories, which is nominated for the Eisner Award this year. A successful Kickstarter campaign to bring Red Range, a story drawn by Glanzman and written by Joe R. Lansdale, recently wrapped up.

“In a career that spanned over 70 years, Sam Glanzman chose to focus on the humanity of everyday people thrust into extraordinary circumstances,” said Jim Lee, DC Publisher, in a statement. “His own service aboard the USS Stevens gave birth to his seminal work about life as a sailor in WWII and informed many of his harrowing and heartfelt stories about soldiers in conflict. The industry will miss the authenticity of his unique voice.”

In his obituary for Glanzman, Mark Evanier writes, “I had the pleasure — and believe me, it was — of having Sam on a panel at the 1999 Comic-Con International where he also received its precious Inkpot Award. I saw him at other conventions and he was always glad to talk about his long career; that is, when he wasn’t servicing a long line of people who wanted to get his autograph and to tell them how much they loved Kona or Hercules Jonah Hex or any of the other fine, testosterone-loaded comics he drew. He seemed very humble and even a bit amazed that he was able to make a living so long in comics.”

It has also been confirmed that Glanzman will be featured in the ‘In Memoriam’ segment of the Eisner Awards ceremony this Friday.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to fund a tribute book and help raise money for his medical expenses.

George Romero

George Romero (1940-2017): Legendary filmmaker, father of the modern zombie story and comic-book writer George Romero passed away Sunday after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Best known as the co-writer and director of the film Night of the Living Dead and its sequels, Romero also wrote several comic book series, including Empire of the Dead, which was published by Marvel, and “The Death of Death” for DC Comics’ Toe Tags.

Many comic creators paid tribute to the legendary director on social media. Chris Roberson noted, “The modern conception of zombies is thanks entirely to George Romero. Without him, there would be no Walking Dead, and no iZombie,” while Ben Templesmith tweeted, “Rest in peace George. Your influence will always be incalculable.” The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman said, “Without George A. Romero, there is no Walking Dead. His inspiration cannot be overstated. He started it all, so many others followed.” Francesco Francavilla paid tribute with a stunning illustration on Tumblr.

Interviews and Profiles

Interview round-up: John Siuntres talks to upcoming Mister Miracle artist Mitch Gerads about his work on that title, Batman, Sheriff Of Babylon and more. Meanwhile, the Deconstructing Comics podcast talks to Ethan Rilly about his Pope Hats series. Finally, David Harper talks to Chip Zdarsky for his Off Panel podcast.

Jay Baruchel in Fanboys

From movie screen to behind the comics scene: Actor Jay Baruchel, whose credits include How to Train Your Dragon, Knocked Up and She’s Out of My League, talks about his role as Chief Creative Officer for Chapterhouse Comics. Baruchel recently made his comic co-writing debut in the Captain Canuck: Year One on Free Comic Book Day.

World domination of paperless comics: The co-founder and CEO of comiXology Dan Steinberger is featured in a Forbes article about the birth of digital comics distribution, his position as the head of Kindle comics worldwide and Amazon’s digital comic market expansion strategy.

Conventions and Festivals

Hey, this week is Comic-Con International in San Diego! So there are lots of CCI/SDCC stories popping up.

Even Comic-Con releases its taxes: Deadline takes a look at Comic-Con International’s most recent tax filings, which only goes through August of 2015 but “gives a glimpse at the increasingly robust financial underpinnings of the gathering and its sponsoring organization.”

Hotels v. Airbnb: Comic-Con is the event that causes stress over finding the best and most affordable accommodations near the convention center. The San Diego Union-Tribune looks at the economics of the local hotel scene compared Airbnb’s home-sharing service, along with price surges during the con.

Reviews, Roundups, and Commentary

Young Romance #158

Old romance: Kelly Faircloth of Jezebel takes a reflective look back at comic books made for teenaged girls. Romance was one of the best selling genres of comics. The article walks through the decades, including interest, sales, and how it was mostly men producing them.

California is out: Don MacPherson Eye on Comics reviews Calexit #1, a dystopian future story that takes place during the second term of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Awards and Accolades

Disney Legends Awards 2017: Jack Kirby was honored this weekend as Disney Legends at Disney’s D23 Expo held at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. Accepting the award for Jack Kirby was his son Kirby’s son Neal, who said his dad “didn’t create super heroes or super humans. He created super people.”

Stan Lee appeared to be visibly moved when he received his award. He reflected on his youth when he had to save money to buy a booked called The Art of Walt Disney. “I loved Walt Disney. He was more than a man, he was an inspiration. He was something to reach for, to be like him. To think that today I’m standing here in the house that Disney built, that paid tribute to Jack (Kirby) and all things Disney. It is so thrilling, I can’t tell you.”

Disney Animator Clyde Geronimi was also deemed a Disney Legend. The animation director worked on classic movies such as Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Sleeping Beauty before he moved onto television work and directed several episodes of the 1967 Spider-Man animated series.

The last comics-related Disney Legend award went to Manuel Gonzalez, best known as the man that brought Micky Mouse to the funny pages and Sunday comics. The veteran artist worked as a Disney comics illustrator from 1938 until his retirement in 1981, with a brief break for military service during World War II in his 43-year comic career.

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