Business | Marvel parent company Disney has reportedly laid off as many as 17 of the 60 full-time employees at DisneyToon Studio, the Glendale, California-based division that produces animated direct-to-video sequels and prequels, such as The Lion King 1 1/2 and Mulan II, the Disney Fairies releases and the occasional feature film, most recently Planes: Fire & Rescue. While Disney has been cutting positions throughout the company for the past few years — dating back to 2011 with the elimination of 200 jobs in its interactive division and about a dozen at Marvel — Variety chalks up these layoffs to the declining home-video market. [Variety, Deadline]
Passings | Dan Lynch, former editorial cartoonist for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, died Sunday at age 67. Lynch also worked for the Kansas City Times, and his cartoons were syndicated nationally and appeared in Time and Newsweek. However, his career was cut short by a debilitating stroke in 2001. “Dan had (what I thought was) a fabulous drawing style,” said Julie Inskeep, publisher and president of The Journal Gazette. “And, in the 20-plus years he worked at the JG, he provided a vast array of cartoon topics – always welcome, though not always in agreement with our editorial board. But he got people to think and react in his special and powerful way.” [Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]
Creators | Artist Nate Powell and co-writer Andrew Aydin talk about their work on the second volume of March, which continues the tale of the civil rights movement with the story of the March on Washington, D.C. [Comics Alliance]
Creators | Alex DeCampi discusses her life as a creator, her frustrations with the industry, and, of course, comics, both the ones she makes and the ones she is reading. [13th Dimension]
Creators | Adrian Edwards, co-curator of the “Comics Unmasked” exhibit at the British Library, does a quick survey of women creators from the early days of U.K. comics. There are only a few, most notably Marie Duval, who drew her husband’s strip Ally Sloper for a while. [Untold Lives]
Publishing | Jamie Smart discusses the process of producing Moose Kid Comics, an all-ages anthology available for free download: “We wanted to make a comic completely free of financial or business decisions. We didn’t want to target a demographic, or factor in distribution costs. We wanted to create this as an ideal, a statement of intent, a shot across the bow.” [Jamie Smart]
Publishing | Art Ayris, CEO of the Christian publisher Kingstone Comics, talks about his latest project, a graphic novel adaptation of the post-Rapture film The Remaining, which will actually come out before the movie. Kyle Hotz is the artist on the project, and Ayris says that he only uses creators from the big leagues: “We only hire guys that have worked at Marvel, DC and other top comic book publishers, and it’s given us some legitimacy.” [Orlando Sentinel]
Graphic novels | Jamilah King compiles a short list of graphic novels about racial justice and leads off the piece with a brief interview with Gene Luen Yang about the importance of diversity in graphic novels. [Colorlines]
Characters | Reporter Michael Sangiacomo writes about the many cameo appearances he has made in comics, most recently as a gangster in the third issue of The United States of Murder, by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
Digital comics | Fritz Kessler reviews several motion comics on the Madefire platform, including a My Little Pony comic and Batman: Arkham Origins. [Flip the Media]
Conventions | Rob Salkowitz looks back on this year’s Comic-Con International and the pressures that make it increasingly difficult for both fans and exhibitors to participate; the risk is that if San Diego ceases to be the con, they may flock elsewhere: “The minute that attendees or exhibitors see SDCC as interchangeable with other similar events, competitive dynamics make themselves felt and the pricing structure becomes untenable.” [ICv2]
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