Comics A.M. | Former Archie Comics artist Janice Valleau dies

Passings | Artist Janice Valleau Winkelman, creator of the detective Toni Gayle, passed away on Dec. 8 at age 90. Winkleman, who drew under her maiden name Janice Valleau, had polio as a child and wore a brace through school. Her first work was published in Smash Comics in 1939, when she was 16. She studied at the Phoenix Art Institute and moved to New York, where she found steady work as a penciler and inker for Archie Comics and Quality Comics. She left the industry during the anti-comic crusades of the 1950; author David Hajdu profiled her in the prologue to his chronicle of those times, The Ten Cent Plague. According to the Grand Comics Database, one of her stories was reprinted as recently as last April, in Archie Double Digest #238. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Political cartoons | Indian cartoonist Manjul claims Twitter took down two of his cartoons criticizing two politicians; the cartoons disappeared, and when he uploaded one a second time, it disappeared again. Twitter has not notified him of any takedown notice, and he has contacted the company to ask for an explanation. [Medianama]

Creators | "Visual journalist" Dan Archer, who uses the comics medium to report nonfiction stories, talks about the different forms of comics journalism, how he picks his subjects, and his Kickstarter-funded project about human trafficking in Nepal. [PBS]

Creators | Douglas Wolk profiles Gilbert Hernandez, who released four graphic novels this year and continues to grow and evolve in interesting artistic directions. [Los Angeles Times]

Comics | James Sturm, creator of Market Day and the Adventures in Cartooning books and co-founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies, talks about the comics medium in a video shot at the ESAD School. [Forbidden Planet]

Comics | As the comics industry matures in India, the storylines are maturing as well. Sharmila Ganesan Ram gives a good quick overview of the industry, touching on the move toward more sophisticated comics, problems of distribution, and the entry of manga into the Indian market. [The Times of India]

Comics | Still in India: Ryan Holmberg interviews Deeptanil Ray, editor of the amateur comics magazine Drighangchoo. [The Comics Journal]

Retailing | Business is booming for Jake's Memory Lane, a comics shop in Wilmington, North Carolina, so much so that they have had to move to bigger quarters; this local-paper profile brings in comics expert John Jackson Miller to talk about the recent surge in the comics market, which has led to a 4 percent increase in the number of comics retailers. [Wilmington Star-News]

Retailing | Here's one element of that 4 percent: "Closet nerd" Christopher Hunt opened up Heroes Haven in Watertown, New York, last week. [Watertown Daily Times]

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