Quick Hits | Rachel Pollack hospitalized

Rest in peace, Lily Renée. Plus news on IDW Media, censorship in Missouri, Paul Allor and more.

Creators | Former Doom Patrol writer Rachel Pollack has been hospitalized and is currently in the ICU, according to a GoFundMe page started by Patricia Nolan. The page is seeking financial help for Pollack’s health care. “If she is able to go home, she will need 24-hour care. Up to now, we haven’t needed your help. It is time now,” the message reads. Pollack, who is also a novelist and Tarot expert, in addition to writing comics, most recently worked on the Comixology Originals title The Never Ending Party.

Passings | Lily Renée, who worked as a penciller and inker on titles for Fiction House and St. Johns Publications back in the 1940s and 1950s, has passed away at the age of 101. Trina Robbins reported the news on Facebook after hearing from Renée’s son Rick. “She died peacefully at home, as was her wish, yesterday after living a full life of more than 101 years. There is a time for all of us and her death comes on the heels of the birth of her third great grandchild earlier this year,” he said in his message.

Renée, who was also known as Lily Renée Phillips, was among the many women who began drawing comics when male artists were drafted into fighting World War II. She worked on “Jane Martin,” which was about a female pilot working in the male-dominated aviation industry, as well as on “The Werewolf Hunter,” “The Lost World” and “Señorita Rio,” as well as on comics featuring Abbott & Costello and Borden’s mascot Elsie the Cow. She joined the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2021.

People | Allan Grafman has been named CEO of IDW Media, the parent company of comics publisher IDW. Grafman is a former president of Archie Comics Entertainment, and also has worked at Hallmark, the Tribune Company and Disney. He also served on IDW Media’s board prior to the appointment. Grafman replaces Ezra Rosensaft as CEO.

Distributors | Diamond Comics Distributors has announced a new “tier” for publishers it distributes, the “Deluxe Tier.” AfterShock Comics, Titan Comics, ABLAZE Publishing and Frank Miller Presents are all listed as part of this new tier, which means they’ll receive preferred coverage in the Previews catalog and expanded support on the PreviewsWorld website, along with exclusive distribution agreements.

“This change recognizes the current and projected market share of AfterShock, Titan, ABLAZE, and FMP,” said Tim Lenaghan, chief purchasing officer for Geppi Family Enterprises and Diamond Comic Distributors, in the press release. “We are excited to continue our relationship with them as their exclusive distributor, and we look forward to leveraging this expanded partnership to help nurture and grow the entire comic book specialty market.”

Censorship | The Fulton Sun reports on a new Missouri law that makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail or a $2,000 fine, for librarians and other educators to give students access to books containing sexually explicit images. It does not apply to text descriptions, and as the president of the Missouri Association of School Librarians points out, the law likely “will only apply to certain comic books and graphic novels.” Republican state Sen. Rick Brattin, who spearheaded the bill, specifically called out Alison Bechdel’s award-winning Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic as one book he’d like to see removed from school shelves.

Features | The Guardian looks at Altopía, a new graphic novel depicting the possible future of Bolivian capital La Paz, by Alejandro Barrientos and Joaquín Cuevas.

Features | The New Yorker spotlights The Five Lives of Hilma af Klint, the debut graphic novel by Berlin-based cartoonist and graphic designer Philipp Deines

Commentary | Greg Burgas examines the unevenness of Tom King’s Batman work vs. his non-Batman work.

Awards | Congratulations to writer Paul Allor, who has received an Indiana Authors Award. Allor is the writer of Hollow Heart, Past the Last Mountain, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Tet, among other titles. The write-up calls out Allor’s work for “increasing queer representation in comics, and for co-creating some of the first queer characters in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and G.I. Joe franchises.”

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