Fandom | When comics fan and cosplayer Erin Roberts learned she was dying from a brain tumor, at age 25, she asked that her life be celebrated with a cosplay funeral. Friends and family raised more than £3,500 to pay the expenses, including a horse and cart to bring her coffin to the church. More than 200 cosplayers attended the funeral. Her friends are also organizing a charity event to benefit the hospice where Roberts spent the last few weeks of her life. [Liverpool Echo]
Publishing | Milton Griepp looks at the sales of Vertigo comics following news that Shelly Bond’s position as vice president and executive editor of the DC Comics imprint has been eliminated. He finds that while the most recent issues of Twilight Children and Lucifer sold more than 10,000 copies each, the rest of the line didn’t do nearly as well, with all but one of the other titles selling fewer than 5,200 copies. On the other hand, he notes, that may not matter all that much, as Vertigo’s strength in recent years has been in graphic novels. Griepp also joins other commentators in noting that the real problem may be a change in Vertigo’s contract, and goes into a bit of detail about that. [ICv2]
Passings | Bert Hackett, who drew cartoons for the Birmingham (England) Post under the pen name Gemini, has died at age 83. Hackett is credited with creating more than 10,000 cartoons in his 42-year career, first with a partner and then on his own. [HoldTheFrontPage]
Creators | Sophia Glock, a graphic design professor at James Madison University, talks about her other career as an indie comics creator. Her work, including her most popular comic Lettuce Girl, is distributed by Birdcage Bottom Books. [The Breeze]
Creators | Keep an eye on Calvin Reed: At the age of 8, the St. Charles, Illinois, boy already has his own webcomic and fanbase. [Kane County Chronicle]
Graphic novels | The Invisible War is a graphic novel about the biggest killer in World War I: dysentery. “There’s no honour in pooing yourself to death, so no one wants to talk about the fact that dysentery killed more people than bullets and bombs,” said Dr. Gregory Crocetti, the scientist and publisher behind the book. On the other hand, there is a hero to the story: bacterophages, viruses that protect the body by consuming the bacteria. “With the commemoration of the WWI centenary, we realised that at the same time, it was also the centenary of the discovery of bacteriophages,” Crocetti said. “We thought ‘why not tell both stories at the same time—the war of WWI and the inner, invisible war.” [The Huffington Post]
Comics | Three University of Delaware undergraduates are presenting their research on an indigenous tribe in Peru in graphic novel format. “We wanted to tell an adventure story in an accessible way,” says Alex Stubbolo, one of the students. “Graphic novels are a really good medium for this project, because we want to communicate with different age groups and with people who have a strong oral tradition.” [University of Delaware]
Academia | California State University, Northridge, professor Frances Gateward talks about her book The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art, which was nominated for an Eisner Award: “What really excites me is that most of the publications I write for tend to be academic. I am a cultural critic, and I’d like to think I have a wider audience than that. This nomination means that people outside of academia have seen my work, and that’s a great validation.” [CSUN Today]
Conventions | Tony Isabella thinks convention venues and hotels should be doing a much better job of customer service, including — this should be a no-brainer — having the food courts open during the convention. [Tony Isabella’s Bloggy Thing]
Retailing | Nizar Abrahams, co-owner of Readers Den in Cape Town, South Africa, reflects on 24 years in the business and discusses the South African comics scene. He and his brother Mahdi, the other owner of the business, have also launched a local comic convention, FanCon, that grew out of his store’s Free Comic Book Day events. [Memeburn]
Retailing | Hollywood Comics and Collectibles recently opened its doors in Brandon, Florida. [The Tampa Tribune]
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