Quick Hits | Rest in peace, José Delbo

Plus: Amy Chu, Rob Liefeld, Frank Johnson and what the heck is going on with Cadence Comic Art?

José María Del Bó, known professionally as José Delbo, passed away at the age of 90 yesterday. The news was reported on social media by his grandson.

The Argentine comics artist career began in the 1940s as a teenager, with a science fiction tale that appeared Carlos Clemen’s Suspenso title. He left Argentina in the 1960s, migrating first to Brazil and then to the United States in 1965. He worked for Charlton, Dell and Gold Key, contributing art to many of their TV adaptations, including The Brady Bunch, Gentle Ben, The Monkees, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and Yellow Submarine.

In the late 1960s, he began drawing comics for DC, working on Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, World’s Finest, Batman Family and Wonder Woman, which he drew for about five years in the late 1970s. From there he moved to Marvel, where he worked on their popular Transformers comic, as well as ThunderCats, Captain Planet and the Planeteers and NFL SuperPro. He also worked on The Phantom and the Superman comic strips.

Together he and writer Simon Furman created Brute Force, a short-lived Marvel series that was intended to be a toy line, but that never came to pass. The series was revived a couple years ago as an Infinity Comics title.

After leaving Marvel, he drew several titles for the original Valiant, including issues of Shadowman and X-O Manowar. He also worked for the short-lived Tekno Comix, where he drew issues of Neil Gaiman’s Mr. Hero – The Newmatic Man and Neil Gaiman’s Wheel of Worlds.

Delbo would go on to work as an instructor at the Joe Kubert School in the 1990s. One of his students, Amanda Conner, remembered him on social media:

And even in his late 80s, he continued to create artwork, as he released a comic called Death … No Escape as a limited edition NFT, which he followed with a line of Wonder Woman NFTs.

Creators | Longtime creator and Image Comics co-founder Rob Liefeld has announced he’s “retiring from Deadpool,” the character he created in the pages of New Mutants back in 1991.

“One of the fun parts about getting older is you can retire from things, so here I am,” Liefeld said on social media. “So I worked up one last crazy Deadpool yarn for the fine folks at Marvel and they responded with electric glee and I started producing it last month for release Summer 2024.” The 57-year-old creator said he wanted to “go out with the best effort I can muster” as he gets older. His final Deadpool project has not yet been announced by Marvel.

Creators | If you follow any creators on social media, you’ve probably seen that many of them are “no longer represented by Cadence Comic Art” for original art sales. And they’ve been posting very similar messages announcing the break. The Beat has a good round-up of who is no longer associated with them, which seems to be just about everybody at this point, although no reason for the mass exodus has been shared. Dustin Weaver’s tweet on the matter seems to break rank from everyone else’s:

Creators | At boing boing, cartoonist Ruben Bolling writes about Frank Johnson: Secret Pioneer of American Comics, a collection of comics that Johnson created between 1928 to 1979 — and no one knew about until Dan Nadel discovered them in 2003.

International | Writing for the Guardian and coming out of the annual Angouleme festival, Phil Hoad has a report on the continued popularity of comics and graphic novels in France, where one out of every four books sold is a comic. Meanwhile, Good e-Reader notes the growing popularity of fiction comics in France.

Interviews | Nerdist talks to Amy Chu about Fighting to Belong!, a graphic novel created in association with Third State Books and The Asian American Foundation to help educate kids about Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander history.

Commentary | I’m not 100% sure what to make of “A Speculative Account of a Possible Future of Comics” by Shea Hennum over at SOLRAD, but it is worth a read if you love comics (or Portlandia). It kind of reminds me of Dylan Horrock’s Hicksville, actually.

Commentary | At The Comics Journal, Chris Mautner dives into Jay Stephens’ Dwellings.

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