Quick Hits | Behind the scenes at Oni Press

Plus: News on Ron Zimmerman, Paul Coker Jr., Frederik L. Schodt, Ed Brubaker and more.

Publishers | Although it might be hard to believe that there’s anyone left at the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Company to speak anonymously at this point, Popverse has an interview up with one such staffer, who gives more details on what’s been going on behind the scenes — and offers some context about that not-at-all-thought-out statement that was released on social media. The statement, the anonymous source says, came from parent company Polarity. “They thought it was so good. They did not listen to anyone who told them it was not, and then we reaped the whirlwind of their failure, like pretty much every week this month.”

This unsurprising account by the anonymous staffer follows several rounds of layoffs and departures from the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Company. Associate publisher Michelle Nguyen left the company voluntarily, following the layoffs of James Lucas Jones, Charlie Chu, Alex Segura, Amanda Meadows, Jasmini Amiri and Henry Barajas in July.

Publishers | Both The Beat and Popverse have reported that webcomics platform Tapas Media has laid off several staff in what’s being described as both a consolidation with sister companies Radish and Wuxiaworld, as well as a shift toward more user-generated content. Bleeding Cool reports that Tapas Media Chief Creative Officer Michele Wells is one of the people impacted by the layoffs. All three companies are owned by Kakao Entertainment, which acquired them in 2021.

Passings | Artist Paul Coker Jr., whose credits include MAD Magazine and the Rankin/Bass TV specials like Frosty the Snowman and The Year Without a Santa Claus, has passed away at the age of 93. Coker joined the “Usual Gang of Idiots” staff in 1961 and contributed to the magazine for four decades, including the “Horrifying Clichés” series.

Passings | Film and television producer Ron Zimmerman, who had a brief career writing comics for Marvel, has passed away. Deadline reports that Zimmerman passed away from cancer in July at the age of 64.

Zimmerman started writing for Marvel in the early 2000s, on titles like Spider-Man: Get Kraven and a relaunched Rawhide Kid that re-imagined him as a gay man as part of the Marvel MAX line. Zimmerman was also the writer of Ultimate Adventures, one of three titles that went head-to-head in a sales competition/bet between Bill Jemas, Peter David and Joe Quesada, as part of the U-Decide campaign.

Passings | The Anime News Network reports that Solo Leveling artist DUBU, whose real name is Jang Sung-Rak, passed away July 23 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage from a chronic illness. DUBU was the CEO of REDICE, a Korean studio that produced Webtoon adaptations of novels.

Awards | Cartoon Crossroads Columbus has announced the recipient of the second annual Tom Spurgeon Award — writer, translator and manga scholar Frederik L. Schodt.

“Frederik Schodt’s 1983 book Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics was the first significant book to introduce English speakers to Japanese comics,” said Lucy Shelton Caswell, CXC co-founder and the founding curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, in a press release. “He also made major contributions to the field through his translations into English of such works as Astro Boy by Tezuka, Ghost in the Shell by Shirow and The Rose of Versailles by Ikeda.”

This year’s CXC will run Oct. 6-9.

Interviews | At Crime Reads, crime novelist Alex Segura interviews crime comics writer Ed Brubaker about his crime comics.

Profiles | This round-up of several Indian artists includes Anand Radhakrishnan, the award-winning artist of the graphic novel Blue in Green.

Culture | The Matador Network looks at seven pop-culture themed coffee shops in Buenos Aries, including a couple with manga and comic book themes.

Graphic novels | I’m not sure what to say about this article about a Reddit post about a sixth grader who tried to do a book report on Watchmen, except that a) you shouldn’t call your kid’s teacher dumb, especially before the school year starts and b) Watchmen is always book report-worthy.

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