Crime | The FBI is investigating two Colorado bank robberies with a strikingly similar MO: The man who robbed a Louisville, Colorado, bank on December 9 wore a Black Panther mask, and the robber who struck a Littleton bank on December 19 was wearing a Darth Vader mask. In the second robbery, “Darth” indicated that he had a gun, but none was shown. The criminal slipped, though, and let a security camera grab an image of him without the mask; in the first robbery, cameras also captured an image of the getaway vehicle, not a TIE fighter but a 2008-10 Saturn Vue. [Boulder Daily Camera]
Comics | Dynamite has announced its first Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys comic, and it will be a hard-boiled noir mystery. The series, which will launch on March 8, is titled “Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie” and will be written by Anthony Del Col (“Kill Shakespeare”) and illustrated by Werther Dell’Edera (“Batman: Detective Comics”). Dynamite acquired the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys licenses from Simon & Schuster last summer; previously, the children’s graphic novel publisher Papercutz had held it. [ICv2]
Comics | Jade Francis Castro looks at the year in Filipino comics, with a list of the best new comics of the year and a brief discussion of the role comics played in the Philippines’ presidential election. [CNN Philippines]
Creators | Less than a year after Natalie Jennings and her husband Rob opened their independent bookstore Archetype, in Oakville, Ontario, they got the news that Rob had a serious medical condition and made the decision to close up shop, feeling a bookstore was too risky an enterprise. Meanwhile, a couple of Archetype fans had sold cartoonist Bob Eckstein, the creator of “Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores,” on portraying the store in a cartoon. When Eckstein contacted Natalie Jennings and heard the news, he was “heartbroken”: “Her husband is the same age I am, and I’d gone through a kind of cancer scare myself earlier this year,” he said. “I’d been through biopsies and MRIs and this whole process, which was so unsettling and upsetting.” He offered to help publicize the store to keep it going, although that turned out not to be possible, and he did a cartoon of the store that Natalie Jennings gave as a gift to her husband. She is also making copies to give to customers as she prepares to go out of business. “Here’s the best thing: I got to tell the hundreds of people this story, so many people that have loved our store, and got to say: Look, here’s the good part,” said Jennings. “To have Bob do this, it gave everyone around here a feeling that something was built that would last, in some small way.” [Toronto Globe and Mail]
Creators | John Jennings talks about his “Black Twitter” icon, Afrofuturism, and his upcoming graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s “Kindred.” [Chicago Now]
Creators | Tom Spurgeon interviews Tony Millionaire, who ended his strip “Maakies” this month. [Comics Reporter]
Creators | “Tokyo Ghoul” creator Sui Ishida has deleted his social media accounts, but Crunchyroll has saved some of the drawings he posted over the years. [Crunchyroll]
Creators | Luke Healy discusses his graphic novel “How to Survive in the North,” which was recently published by Nobrow, and his experiences at the Center for Cartoon Studies. [Paste]
Best of the Year | Graeme McMillan posts his picks for the best comics of the year. [Wired]
Comic Strips | “Luann” creator Greg Evans and his daughter Karen, who co-writes the strip, drew themselves into the comic as guests at Brad and Toni’s wedding. Evans’s wife Betty also appears in the scene. Brad and Toni first met in 2002 and their romance has been one of the running stories in the strip. The creators took the opportunity to invite fans to get in on the act: They held a contest to design Toni’s wedding dress, which garnered over 600 entries and over 46,000 votes from fans. Philip Gust drew the winning entry. In addition, almost 1,800 people signed a virtual guestbook. [San Diego Union-Tribune]
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