Comics A.M. | Disney layoffs expected as part of restructuring

Business | Marvel parent Disney is expected to begin layoffs in the coming weeks as part of a planned reorganization that follows a company-wide review of operations. The film studio is believed to undergo the deepest cuts, specifically in marketing, home entertainment and production.

The news arrives a little more than five months after Disney announced its $4.05 billion purchase of Lucasfilm; earlier this week, word spread the media giant has closed LucasArts, the video-game subsidiary of Lucasfilm, and axed 150 employees. According to Variety, Disney executives told each division to ensure "that staff levels are in line with the company’s needs in a changing marketplace, particularly in divisions affected by shifts in new media and technologies." The film division will bear the brunt of the layoffs in large part because of Disney's increasing reliance on Pixar (purchased in 2006 for $7.4 billion), Marvel (purchased in 2009 for $4 billion) and, soon, Lucasfilm. [Variety]

Conventions | Comic Con South Africa sounded good from the press releases, but when reporter Gavin Mannion asked some questions, it all started to unravel: They aren't affiliated with Comic-Con International, there is no Marvel South Africa (listed as an exhibitor) and it's taking place in a venue that holds 150 people. [lazygamer.net]

Auctions | One of Canada's largest comic-book collections, featuring tens of thousands of titles from the 1960s and '70s, is expected to bring between $200,000 and $300,000 at auction this weekend. [Global News]

Creators | The fund-raiser for a bronze statue of the late Family Circus cartoonist Bil Keane in Paradise Valley, Arizona, has met its goal, thanks in part to a single donation of $20,000. [AZ Central]

Retailing | The local newspaper profiles Long Island's Grashoppers Comics and its owner, John Riley, who has a degree in English as well as an MBA. [The Island Now]

Competitions | Aspiring sci-comics creators alert! The Euro Stem Cells Foundation is running a competition for writers and graphic novel creators on the topic of stem cells and associated research. They are looking for prose, poetry, and comics that can explain the science of stem cells to non-scientists. [Forbidden Planet]

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