Comics A.M. | Bill Watterson's 'Pearls' art to be sold for charity

Comic strips | The art from cartoonist Bill Watterson's surprise return to the comics page earlier this month for a three-day stint on Pearls Before Swine will be auctioned Aug. 8 on behalf of Team Cul de Sac, the charity founded by Chris Sparks to honor Cul de Sac creator Richard Thompson, who has Parkinson's disease. The proceeds benefiting The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. A painting by Watterson of one of Thompson's characters sold in 2012 for $13,000 as part of a benefit auction for Team Cul de Sac. [Team Cul de Sac]

Creators | The tech news site Pando has fired cartoonist Ted Rall, just a month after hiring him, along with journalist David Sirota. While Rall wouldn't comment on the reason for his dismissal, he did say the news came "really truly out of a clear blue sky. I literally never got anything but A++ reviews," and he added that editor Paul Carr gave him complete editorial freedom. While Valleywag writer Nitasha Tiku speculates that the two had rubbed investors the wrong way, Carr disputes that, as well as other assertions in the article. Nonetheless, both Rall and Sirota confirmed they were let go. [Valleywag]

Passings | Etta Hulme, one of the few women to hold down a full-time job as an editorial cartoonist, passed away Wednesday at her home in Arlington, Texas. She was 90 years old. The cartoonist for the Forth Worth Star-Telegram for many years, Hulme was a two-time winner of the National Cartoonist Society's best editorial cartooning award, in 1981 and 1998. She also served as president of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists. Hulme had a degree in fine arts from the University of Texas and was a Disney animator before turning to commercial art and then newspaper work. Her liberal-leaning cartoons sometimes gave her bosses headaches (someone once sent the paper one of her cartoons shot full of bullet holes), but former Star-Telegram Publisher Wes Turner said, "She was a very liberal cartoonist, but she was a very excellent cartoonist. She could tell a story better in one frame than a writer could in a thousand-word story." Hulme herself once said, "If I go on too long without one of my cartoons gettin’ me in the soup, I start to worry. A cartoonist ought to provoke." [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

Legal | Lawyer Jeff Trexler considers the friend-of-the-court briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Kirby family's efforts to reclaim copyrights from Marvel. [The Comics Journal]

Conventions | Small Press Expo (SPX) has announced a new set of guests, including Charles Burns, Ben Katchor and Herblock prize winners Tom Tomorrow and Jen Sorenson. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Stan Goldberg, who drew Archie comics for years and created the color schemes for Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four as a colorist at Marvel, looks back on his long career — and forward to the work he's doing now. [Western Queens Gazette]

Creators | Scott McCloud talks briefly about his new graphic novel The Sculptor, due out in February from First Second: "It's big, loud and operatic at times, but also grounded in a lot of small, funny, human moments." [USA Today]

Comics | A supporter of Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and running mate Hatta Rajasa has created a comic listing 101 reasons to vote for the pair (including an illustration of Mr. Subianto turning down a bribe). The campaign has also used smartphone games, songs, and videos to advance its cause. [The Wall Street Journal]

Comics culture | Andrew Farago is profiled by his hometown newspaper; he's the curator of the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco and just wrote a book on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. [The Wellington Enterprise]

Digital comics | The mobile platform Boopsie, which provides branded apps for libraries, has partnered with iVerse to sell subscriptions to their digital comics service for libraries. [Consumer Electronics Net]

Collectors | Jeff Newman pays a visit to several local collectors, who discuss the sizes of their hoards, why they got into comics, and why they continue to be enthusiastic about them. [Southern Maryland Newspapers]

Conventions | Rick Allen looks at the boost that Ocala Comic Con gives to businesses. [The Daytona Beach News-Journal]

Retailing | Andrew Neal explains why he sold Chapel Hill Comics in Chapel Hill, North Carolina: "I’ve done it for a while, so I can feel burn-out creeping in. I still love the medium and the people here. I’m just not in love with retail and I’ve been doing this for a very long time." [Triangle Business Journal]

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