Comics A.M. | 'Annie' writer Jay Maeder passes away

Passings | Jay Maeder, who was the last writer for the comic strip Annie (formerly Little Orphan Annie), passed away Tuesday at age 67. A former New York Daily News columnist and editor who authored Dick Tracy: The Official Biography and contributed to The Encyclopedia of American Comics, Maeder worked on Annie, together with artist Andrew Pepoy, from 2000 its cancellation 2010. He created Amelia Santiago, a pilot and CIA agent, and once said of the strip, "I tell people it’s Indiana Jones with chicks." [The New York Times]

Manga | Deb Aoki rounds up the manga news from Comic-Con International, including UDON's license of Kill la Kill and Drawn and Quarterly's plans to publish Shigeru Mizuki's biography of Hitler. [Publishers Weekly]

Comics | Karen Attiah meditates on the significance of Storm, who now headlines her own series, as a representation of black women and particularly as an "Afropolitan," an African expat: "Storm’s penchant for riding the wind, and the many identities she has had in the past, fits the description of privileged, jet-setting educated young African emigrants who proudly wear their African heritage while pursuing educations and job opportunities abroad. And much like Storm does in Issue #1, many who identify with their African roots wrestle with reconciling their desire to pursue career excellence abroad with the feeling that they should take their talents back home to their various countries of origin to 'help' people in their countries who have been oppressed by their governments or are at the mercy of predatory foreign capitalists." [The Washington Post]

Creators | In a video made at Comic-Con, Henry Chamberlain interviews Michael Cho, the creator of Shoplifter, which will debut in September. [Comics Grinder]

Creators | Drew Friedman discusses his new book Heroes of the Comics, which features portraits of creators and editors from the first 20 years of comics, from the 1930s to the Great Persecutions of the mid-1950s. [The Atlantic]

Creators | Former Chicago Bears lineman Israel Idonije, who created his own comic Protectors, has a ready answer for critics who say reading comics isn't really reading: "I don't say anything, I body slam them!" He's joking, of course; the Protectors comics are available in the Chicago Public Libraries, and Idonije said, "I've watched kids who don't know how to read page by page flip through an entire comic book. That's the real power of comic books. It allows you to begin reading." [CBS News]

Creators | Former NFL football player Phillip Buchanon talks about his comics, which were developed with the help of a professional editor and are available on comiXology. [The News-Press]

Creators | Terry McDonnell talks about making his living as a caricaturist at street fairs and other events, after his proposal for a syndicated comic about a talking cockroach failed to catch fire. [Times-Herald]

Conventions | Rob Salkowitz's take on this year's Comic-Con International is that it was less intense than previous years, and pretty close to perfect. [ICv2]

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