Comics A.M. | Cartoonist Jeff Pert passes away at age 55

Passings | Maine cartoonist Jeff Pert, best known for his cartoons and illustrations of lobsters and moose, died Friday on his way to the hospital with chest pains. He was 55. His cartoons adorned souvenir postcards and coffee cups, but he was also an active part of the local comics community in Brunswick, Maine, a regular at Casablanca Comics, and a participant in the Maine Comic Arts Festival. Pert created his first comic when he was in fifth grade and sold copies to local comic shops. "They probably gave us the money and then threw them in the garbage, but we were happy," said his collaborator (and best friend) Jon Dumont. Pert was known for supporting other artists and even persuaded his local state representative, Maggie Daughtry, to start drawing her own comics: Daughtry knocked on Pert's door when she was campaigning for office, and, she said, "Within an hour of meeting him, he literally changed my life." When Daughtry told Pert that she had dreamed of being a cartoonist as a child, he encouraged her to start drawing again, which she did. [Portland Press Herald]

Publishing | The "Archie dies" storyline was all over the news Tuesday, but Evie Nagy looks at the bigger picture in her interview with Archie Comics' new chief creative officer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. [Fast Company]

Events | Calvin Reid and Heidi MacDonald report on the scene of this past weekend's MoCCA Festival, talking to a number of the exhibitors and guests. [Publishers Weekly]

Retailing | Former DC and Marvel artist Joe Del Beato has opened up his own comic shop, AC Comics, in the first floor of a parking garage in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In addition to the regular comics stock, Del Beato is selling his original comics art, and he hopes to start publishing comics by local creators as well. [Press of Atlantic City]

Retailing | Location, location, location: Ryan Atkinson Fuerstenberg moved his comic shop, Charging Star Comics, to a local mall after his research showed that all the successful comic shops in his area were in shopping malls. “Comic shops have a reputation as shady dens where creepy people hang out,” he said. “The move have brought us to a more open and colorful location.” The fact that it's on a bus route to nearby Binghamton University is a plus as well. [BU Pipe Dream]

Creators | Mimi Pond talks about her graphic novel Over Easy, which is based on her own youthful experiences as a waitress in the late 1970s and early '80s. [Los Angeles Times]

Creators | Dan Greenfield talks to Batman Eternal co-writer James Tynion IV. [13th Dimension]

Creators | In a video interview, prolific writer Alex DeCampi discusses her work on My Little Pony, Grindhouse and everything in between. [Comicosity]

Digital comics | Russell Willis, founder of the Sequential digital comics app, talks with Calvin Reid about his latest announcement, that Top Shelf comics are now available via the app, as well as a few projects that are in the offing, including a collaboration with comics scholar Paul Gravett and an Android version of the app, which is currently iPad-only. [Publishers Weekly]

Comics | Brian Fies shares an antique-shop find: Art Linkletter's 1957 book Kids Say the Darndest Things! with an introduction by Walt Disney and illustrations by Charles Schultz. [The Fies Files]

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