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Comics A.M. | A look at Stan Lee’s complicated legacy

by  in Comic News Comment

Creators | Writing for New York Magazine’s Vulture blog, Abraham Reisman takes a warts-and-all look at the career and legacy of Stan Lee in a lengthy article article alternately titled “It’s Stan Lee’s Universe” and “Why is Stan Lee’s Legacy in Question?” Peppered with quotes from the likes of Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Mark Evanier, Colleen Doran, Paul Levitz and Mark Waid, it’s a deep dive into Lee’s history, touching upon everything from his disputes with one-time collaborators Jack Kirby and Steve Dikto to his more recent output to the state of his company POW! Entertainment, which by most indications is struggling. [Vulture]

Legal | The Japanese National Police Agency arrested 44 people for unauthorized uploading and sharing of copyrighted manga, anime, movies, music and software. The sweep included coordination with 29 local police departments and searches of 93 locations. The manga involved included Bleach and Attack on Titan. [Anime News Network]


Creators | Berkeley Breathed shares four letters sent to him by the late author Harper Lee, who was a fan of Bloom County and of Opus in particular. When she heard Breathed was going to retire the character, she wrote, “depriving him of life is murder. A hard word to describe the obliteration of your creation, but Opus is real. He LIVES.” The admiration was mutual: Breathed said that the setting of Bloom County was inspired by Lee’s fictional Maycomb, Alabama, from To Kill a Mockingbird, and he occasionally alluded to the book in the strip, even putting a photo of Lee in the background of one panel. [The New York Times]

Creators | Al Jaffee talks about the use of Yiddish in MAD Magazine, and the origins of words like “furshlugginer” and “potrzebie,” which would have been meaningless to most Americans but familiar to Jewish readers. Writer Leah Garrett expands on this to point out how MAD helped bring Jewish humor into the mainstream, paving the way for shows like Seinfeld. [Forward]


Comics | Springboarding off DC Comics’ newly announced “Rebirth” initiative, Abraham Reisman looks around and determines there are just too many comic books on shelves. [Vulture]

Retailing | Rob Salkowitz critiques Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson’s recent ComicsPro address, in which he called for fewer “gimmicks” and variant covers. “Unfortunately for Stephenson (and most of us), all readers want a good story, but it’s not all that customers want,” says Salkowitz. “There’s still a portion of the comics market that remains motivated by collectability, brand loyalty, fear of missing out of continuity events, force of habit, shiny objects and ‘torture variant’ covers.” Comic shops are the only part of the market that serves these customers, making them essential to the direct market. And as long as those loyal customers keep spending their money, retailers and publishers will continue to cater to them. [ICv2]

Graphic novels | Crystal Paul suggests 13 comics and graphic novels for readers with literary tastes. [Bustle]

Digital comics | Jim Lynch reviews the iPad Pro as a comics reader. [CIO]