Publishing | Calvin Reid talks to publisher Josh Frankel, who is relaunching his Zip Comics (the publisher of Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland) as Z2 Comics. The first books under the new name will be reprints of a sort: Paul Pope’s Escapo, which he originally self-published in black and white, and Dean Haspiel’s Fear My Dear, which first appeared as a webcomic at Act-I-Vate. Escapo will be colored and Fear My Dear will be re-colored. The company will publish strictly graphic novels, no periodicals, and they will be distributed by Diamond Comic Distributors. [Publishers Weekly]
Passings | Toledo, Ohio, cartoonist Pete Hoffmann, whose comic strip Jeff Cobb was syndicated nationwide, died last week at the age of 94. Hoffman was also a ghost artist for Steve Roper and illustrated the panel cartoon Why We Say, which explained the meaning behind common sayings. He “got ambitious” and decided to strike out with his own strip, and the result was Jeff Cobb, a serial about an investigative reporter, which ran from 1954 to 1975. In this 2004 interview, he talks about his work and shows off his first published drawing, which appeared in the Toledo Times when he was four years old. [Toledo Blade]
Conventions | Calvin Reid writes about the increased comics presence at the Brooklyn Book Festival, coming up on Sept. 22, which will feature a conversation between Art Spiegelman and Jules Feiffer as well as appearances by Adrian Tomine, Dash Shaw, Faith Erin Hicks, and a host of other creators. [Publishers Weekly]
Conventions | Bedford, England, will get its first comics convention next month, and it will feature more than 30 creators from Marvel, DC, Image and 2000AD. [Bedfordshire On Sunday]
Creators | Jeet Heer talks to Francoise Mouly, who was the art editor for The New Yorker at the time, about the creation of the iconic black-on-black cover published the week after Sept. 11, 2001. The idea was suggested by Mouly’s husband, Art Spiegelman, but actually drawn by her. [The Atlantic]
Comics | Charles Kochman, editorial director of Abrams ComicArts, discusses the upcoming book The Art of Rube Goldberg, which is written by Goldberg’s granddaughter Jennifer George, and features artwork shot from the originals as well as a moving cover. [ICv2]
Comics | Face Value Comics, which creator Dave Kot claims is the first comic series to feature an autistic hero, will deliver more than just superhero thrills: The comic teaches communication skills using the Facial Action Coding System, which helps autistic people understand facial expressions. Kot is a therapist who is certified in FACS. The story is a science-fiction tale about an autistic teenager fighting alien invaders who think humans are too emotional, and the four issues will cover happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and surprise. [York Dispatch]
Comic strips | The Lockhorns have been making each other miserable for 45 years now. [Daily Ink]
Retailing | The emphasis is more on games than comics at Fat Ogre Comics & Games in Houston, Texas, where whole high school football teams show up to play Dungeons & Dragons, according to owner Rob Meerscheidt, but he does stock plenty of new and used comics as well. [Community Impact Newspaper]
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