Comics A.M. | $85,000 in rare comics goes missing at convention

Crime | A box containing old and rare comics worth an estimated $85,000 went missing over the weekend from a dealer's booth at Tampa Bay Comic Con. Rick Whitelock, owner of New Force Comics, said he locked up the box, along with dozens of other boxes of comics, in the convention center on Thursday night, but when he returned on Friday it was gone. The missing items include two copies of the 1962 "Amazing Fantasy" #15 (the first appearance of Spider-Man), "The Amazing Spider-Man" #1, "Incredible Hulk" #1 and "Uncanny X-Men" #1, as well as numerous other Silver Age titles. "I'm sick over it," Whitelock said. "In more than a decade of doing this at more than 100 shows, I've never had anything like this happen. I don't know if someone stole them, or picked up the wrong box by accident while we were unloading, or if I misplaced them somehow, but this is a very unique set of books that is definitely not going to go unnoticed if someone has it, especially not around here." [Tampa Bay Times]

Collecting | Thinking of investing in comics? Rob Salkowitz pens an unusually frank and detailed column about the risks of the collectible comics market and the factors that affect a comic's value — and how they may change with time. [Forbes]

Passings | Artist John Fantucchio died Aug. 4 at age 78. Fantucchio was an artist for the CIA for 25 years and also ran his own art school and business. The comics side of his life came mainly from his participation in the world of fanzines, and he illustrated a number of covers over the years as well as drawing stories for "Vampirella" and "Creepy." Bill Schelly's post on the news on Facebook attracted many comments and memories, including one from Fantagraphics co-founder Gary Groth. [Murphy Funeral Homes]

Passings | Letterer Gaspar Saladino has died at age 88. Todd Klein has an extensive look at his career, with samples of his work. [Todd's Blog]

Creators | K.C. Green, creator of the comic that morphed into the "This Is Fine" meme, discusses how that happened and why he rewrote the comic last week into "This Is Not Fine": "It was definitely a response to how weird and bad 2016 has made me feel and most definitely a lot of others. There’s a breaking point in our society that seems to be tested on a near-constant basis. The presidential election isn’t helping. So I wrote it, thinking it would get angrier, but mostly was just exasperation at how insane things feel and a total overwhelming sense of dread that it ends with." [Salon]

Creators | Novelist and comics creator Margaret Atwood and "Ms. Marvel" writer G. Willow Wilson talk shop on the comiXology Conversations podcast. For those too impatient to listen, there's also a transcript. [ComiXology Unbound]

Creators | Neda Ulaby profiles the late Kim Yale, co-writer (with her husband John Ostrander) of DC's well-remembered 1987 "Suicide Squad" series. [Monkey See]

Manga | Alex Dueben interviews "Kitaro" translator Zack Davisson. [The Comics Journal]

Manga | NPR goes in depth on food manga, with an array of commentators discussing everything from "Oishibo" to "Food Wars," as well as the cultural significance of food manga and the tendency for it to be structured around competition and battles. [The Salt]

Publishing | Oni Press has hired David Dissanayake, formerly of Magnteic Press, as its new sales manager. [ICv2]

Commentary | Peter Chianca thinks the folks who make the DC movies might learn a thing or two from DC's "My First Book of Super-Villains. [Wicked Local]

Retailing | Readers of Seattle Weekly voted the Fantagraphics Shop as the best comic book shop in the Seattle area. [Seattle Weekly]

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