Quick Hits | Rest in peace, Tim Kennedy, Aline Kominsky–Crumb

Plus news on Hunter Gorinson, Steve Ditko, Anders Nilsen, Angoulême and more.

Archie Comics artist Tim Kennedy, who collaborated artistically with his twin brother Pat, has passed away. No cause of death has been reported.

The Kennedy brothers began working for Archie in the late 1980s, after graduating from the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning and Graphic Design. They’ve been regular contributors ever since, drawing classic Archie stories as well as projects like the popular Life With Archie, which showed two alternate takes on Archie marrying Betty and Veronica.

“For decades, the Fabulous K Bros have dazzled fans around the world, bringing some of the funniest and most difficult stories from idea to the page,” said Archie Comics President and Editor-in-Chief Mike Pellerito. “No matter the challenge of illustrating a difficult scene with a giant Ferris wheel, intricate architecture, spaceships, car chases or any other wild story idea, they handled it seemingly with ease. Over the past decade or so I think their work has become some of the best and most versatile at Archie.”

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Read Kevin Conroy’s ‘DC Pride’ story for free

Conroy, who passed away yesterday from cancer, shared his secret origin in the story drawn by J Bone.

One of the highlights of the DC Pride anthology special that came out earlier this year was an autobiographical story written by Batman: The Animated Series voice actor Kevin Conroy. Drawn by J Bone and lettered by Aditya Bidikar, the moving story was about Conroy’s life prior to becoming the voice of Batman and the abuse he suffered as a gay man in Hollywood, and how he channeled those experiences into bringing the character to life.

Conroy passed away at the age of 66 yesterday after a short battle with cancer. In his honor, DC has released not only Conroy’s “Finding Batman” story, but also the entire 2022 DC Pride anthology. You can read it on the DC Universe Infinite website.

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Rest in peace, Carlos Pacheco

The artist of ‘Arrowsmith,’ ‘X-Men’ and so many other comics has passed away at the age of 60.

Carlos Pacheco, the artist of Arrowsmith, Avengers Forever, X-Men Legacy, Fantastic Four and so many other titles, has passed away at the age of 60.

Rumors of his death began circulation on social media this morning, but those rumors proved to be premature, according to his Arrowsmith collaborator Kurt Busiek. Since then, Spanish newspapers, as well as creators and Pacheco’s publishers, have reported that Pacheco has passed away.

Earlier this year the artist had announced a sabbatical from comics after suffering paralysis in his right leg and undergoing spinal surgery. He later revealed he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, commonly known Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, and has no known cure.

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Rest in peace, Kevin O’Neill

The co-creator of ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ and ‘Nemesis the Warlock’ has passed away ‘after a long illness.’

London comic retailer Gosh! Comics is reporting that Kevin O’Neill, known for his work on the earliest issues of 2000AD as well as for being declared objectionable by the Comics Code Authority for his entire art style, has passed away. No cause of death was reported, but Gosh! did say O’Neill had been suffering from a “long illness.”

“We had worked a lot with Kevin over the past two decades and had the highest personal and professional regard for him, and of course the impact he has had on the comics landscape cannot be overstated,” their post reads.

O’Neill’s impact included the co-creation of several comics, including Nemesis the Warlock and Marshal Law, both with writer Pat Mills, as well as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with Alan Moore. He’s won multiple Eisner and Harvey awards, as well as an Eagle Award and a Bram Stoker award.

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Quick Hits | Rest in peace, Kim Jung Gi

Plus: Heavy Metal teams with Whatnot Publishing, Chuck D enters a ‘Rogue State’ and more news from New York Comic Con!

A lot of comics news came out this week in the buildup to the New York Comic Con, so here’s a round-up of some of the headlines. We start with some very tragic news about an artistic legend.

Artist Kim Jung Gi, who worked on manhwa like Tiger the Long Tail and drew covers for Marvel and DC, passed away from a heart attack this week as he prepared to travel to the New York Comic Con.

The 47-year-old artist was in Paris at the time, where his artwork was on display at the Daniel Maghen art gallery. One of his collaborators, Hyun Jin Kim, posted the news on social media:

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It’s Alive publisher Drew Ford passes away

Ford died from COVID related pneumonia earlier this week.

Drew Ford, who published comics and graphic novels under the It’s Alive banner, passed away from COVID-related pneumonia, according to his wife, Aki Uesugi.

Uesugi has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the funeral and other expenses, where she shares more details on what led to Ford’s death. While Ford has been declared brain dead, he is still on life support as his organs will be donated.

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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.

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Rest in peace, Tom Palmer

The legendary inker of ‘Avengers,’ ‘Tomb of Dracula,’ ‘Uncanny X-Men’ and more died yesterday at the age of 81.

Tom Palmer, the incredible artist known for his work on Avengers, Doctor Strange, Star Wars, Tomb of Dracula and more, passed away yesterday at the age of 81.

The news was reported on Facebook. No cause of death was mentioned.

“We are very sad to share the news that legendary comic book inker and artist Tom Palmer passed away on August 18, 2022 at the age of 81,” the post said. “He will be remembered fondly by his loving family and his many fans.”

That he will. While Palmer’s first work in comics was penciling an issue of Doctor Strange back in 1968, he’s best known as an inker, mainly for Marvel comics throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Over the course of his career, he worked with John Buscema, Jim Steranko, John Romita Jr., Tom Grummett, Gene Colan, Neal Adams, Wally Wood and many more.

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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.

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Rest in peace, Alan Grant

The writer of Judge Dredd, Batman, Lobo, The Demon and more has passed away at the age of 73.

Alan Grant, the longtime writer of Judge Dredd, as well as comics like Lobo, Detective Comics, Strontium Dog and The Demon, has passed away at the age of 73. His death was announced by his wife, Susan, on Facebook. No cause of death has been revealed.

“Grant was one of his generation’s finest writers, combining a sharp eye for dialogue and political satire with a deep empathy that made his characters seem incredibly human and rounded,” his frequent publisher, 2000 AD, said in a tribute post on their website. “Through his work he had a profound and enduring influence on 2000 AD and on the comics industry.”

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Quick Hits | Rest in peace, Kazuki Takahashi

Former Wizard/DC employee Pat McCallum passes away. Plus news on Asaf Hanuka, Luke Healy, Molly Knox Ostertag, Gene Luen Yang and more.

Passings | Manga artist Kazuki Takahashi, who created Yu-Gi-Oh and worked on the Secret Reverse manga for Viz and Marvel, has passed away. The creator, whose real first name was Kazuo, was found dead after an apparent snorkeling trip in Okinawa Prefecture, according to the Japan Times.

Passings | Former Wizard Magazine Editor-In-Chief and co-founder Pat McCallum has passed away. In addition to his work on the long-running comics magazine and price guide in the 1990s and 2000s, he was an Executive Editor for DC Comics from 2011 to 2019.

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Quick Hits | 2021 comic sales topped $2 billion

Last year was the best year ever for comic sales, according to a new report. Plus: News on Oni/Lion Forge, Substack, Zestworld, Henry Barajas, Kieron Gillen and more.

Comics sales | Milton Griepp of ICV2.com and John Jackson Miller of Comichron.com have released their annual assessment of the comics and graphic novel market for last year, noting that sales grew 62% in 2021 over the prior year in the U.S. and Canada to approximately $2.075 billion. They were also up 70% when compared to pre-pandemic 2019.

“Publishers made more selling comics content than in any year in the history of the business, even when adjusted for inflation,” Miller said of the 2021 estimates. “The biggest year in the modern era, 1993, saw sales of around $1.6 billion in 2021 dollars — and the pricier product mix puts 2021 ahead of what the colossal circulations of the early 1950s brought in, also adjusted for inflation.”

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