Digital comics | Sony launched its much-anticipated PlayStation Digital Comics service on Wednesday with hundreds of titles from such publishers 2000 AD, Archie, Disney, IDW Publishing and Marvel. Several titles, including Atomic Robo #1, G.I. Joe #0 and Young Salem #1, are being offered for free download to PlayStation Portables. [PlayStation Blog, Kotaku]
Crime | More details emerged Wednesday in the family feud that led to the arrest last week of Alfonso Frank Frazetta Jr. on charges of stealing 90 of his father’s paintings from the Frank Frazetta Museum near East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. A notary supported Frank Jr.’s claim that his 81-year-old father had authorized him, in a signed document, to secure the paintings “by any means possible.” The notary also said she revoked the power of attorney held by Frazetta Sr.’s other three children Bill Frazetta, Holly Taylor and Heidi Gravin. A judge reduced Frank. Jr.’s bail from $500,000 to $50,000. Meanwhile, Frazetta Sr.’s art collection, valued at $20 million, has been removed from the museum by Bill Frazetta, who says, “They’re not going to be displayed back here in the Poconos after this.” [Pocono Record]
Crime | Closing arguments are expected to be delivered today in the trial of Jevon Sawyer, the 19-year-old accused of shooting retailer David Pirkola during the April 2008 robbery of Apparitions Comics and Books in Kentwood, Michigan. Pirkola, 58, spent weeks in a hospital and still hasn’t fully recovered from his injuries. [The Grand Rapids Press]
Publishing | All 56 volumes of Eiichiro Oda’s smash-hit series One Piece charted on Oricon’s list of the Top 200 manga in Japan for the week of Dec. 7-13. The series sold 14.7 million copies in that country between November 2008 and November 2009. [Anime News Network]
Blogosphere | Geek Syndicate has organized a series of auctions to benefit the 8-year-old daughter of Eric Martin, the comics fan and podcaster who passed away in November. Items include original art from Mike Ploog and Frank Quitely, Paul Cornell’s signed initial pitch for Captain Britain and MI:13, rare prints from Tommy Lee Edwards and a copy of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1910, signed by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. [Geek Syndicate, via Forbidden Planet International]
Creators | Gilbert Hernandez was one of eight literature recipients of the $50,000 United States Artists grants. [Jacket Copy]
Creators | John Byrne talks about Uncanny X-Men, collaborating with Chris Claremont and that now-iconic image from Issue 132 of Wolverine in the sewer: “Ask most modern fans what they find most memorable about a particular series, and they will name a panel or page, citing the art. Ask old-time X-Men fans, and they will name stories. The ‘Wolverine in the sewer’ shot is one of the few instances where, for a moment, my art outshone the stories Chris and I were crafting. Looking back, I think it might have been a first step on a slippery slope. Artists and writers alike began using phrases like ‘the money-shot,’ looking for that Big Picture that would grab the fans every issue, rather than looking for the Big Story that would build to a big punchline.” [Graphic Novel Reporter]
Creators | Cartoonist Berkeley Breathed discusses the “manic, sweat-flinging state of deadline panic” in which he drew Bloom County, the confusion caused by Outland, and his comic strip’s broad range of topics and references: “I drew what seemed amusing to me. That was the extent of my thoughtfulness when it came to designing the Bloom County world. As with most cartoonists, a comic strip is an unsavory peek into the head of its maker. Having said that, I have no inkling as to the inside of Jim Davis’s head from a reading of Garfield. It was the classic corporate invention — drawn by a staff — which made it fun to skewer. It was there to sell shit.” [Viceland]
Creators | Charles Vess chats about his retrospective art book Drawing Down the Moon. [Graphic Novel Reporter]
Creators | The Comics Journal posts a lengthy conversation between artists Dave Gibbons and Frank Quitely. [TCJ.com]
Creators | J.H. Williams III talks about process and his collaborations with Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Warren Ellis. [Sardinian Connection]
Comics | Heeb magazine presents a graphic-novel gift guide. [Heeb.com]
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