Comics A.M. | Janelle Asselin exits DC; Del Rey's Betsy Mitchell retires

Publishing | DC Comics associate editor Janelle Asselin has left the company, reportedly for a job with Disney. She clarifies on Twitter that, contrary to a report, she wasn't escorted from the building on Tuesday but, rather, left "at my leisure." Asselin had been with DC since 2008, working primarily on Batman books like Batman and Robin, Batman: Streets of Gotham, Red Robin, Birds of Prey and the relaunched Batman, Batwoman, Detective Comics and Savage Hawkman. [Bleeding Cool]

Publishing | Longtime editor Betsy Mitchell is taking early retirement from her post as editor-in-chief of Del Rey, where she helped create Del Rey Manga. Tricia Pasternak, a former Del Rey Manga editor herself, has been promoted to editorial director. Del Rey was established as a science fiction prose imprint; the manga line was created in 2004 and was mostly shut down in 2010, when Kodansha began publishing its manga directly in the U.S. However, Del Rey still publishes a handful of manga and graphic novels, including xxxHolic, King of RPGs, and Deltora Quest. [Publishers Weekly]

Legal | In a twist that sounds like something out of a comic (or even an ad from an old comic), a witness in the Michael George trial testified he saw someone wearing an obviously fake beard outside George's Clinton Township, Michigan, comics shop a few minutes before George's first wife Barbara was murdered inside the store in 1990. [The Tribune Democrat]

Comics | The latest critique of Starfire comes from Michelle Lee's 7-year-old daughter, who was a big fan of the incarnations of the character in the Teen Titans comic and animated cartoon. She summarizes the whole problem with childlike simplicity: "Well, she's not fighting anyone. And not talking to anyone really. She's just almost naked and posing." [io9.com]

Comics | Former superhero reader and current manga blogger Deb Aoki describes the Starfire/Catwoman controversy for her manga fanbase and discusses how shonen manga manage to provide good, even fanservice-laden, stories for men without alienating their female readers: "The fascinating and diverse female casts of Bleach and Naruto are a big part of these series' appeal to both male and female readers. Yes, there are some busty babes in both series -- but Soul Reaper Rangiku Matsumoto is a commanding officer in the Soul Society in Bleach, and Tsunade is a strong and dynamic Hokage (leader) of Naruto's ninja village to name just a few." [About.com]

Comics | Brian Truitt spotlights Marvel's ABC television tie-in Castle: Richard Castle's Deadly Storm, the just-released graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Lan Medina. [USA Today]

Comics | Writer Jason Aaron and editor Nick Lowe discuss the upcoming debut of Wolverine and the X-Men, which establishes Logan as headmaster of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. [The Associated Press]

Creators | Jonathan Callan has started a Facebook campaign to persuade the Animation Writers Caucus to give a Lifetime Achievement Award to the late Dwayne McDuffie. McDuffie's wife Charlotte has posted there, asking that members of the Caucus nominate McDuffie via write-ins, as his name is not on the eligible list. [Facebook, via Blog@Newsarama]

Creators | Kate Beaton gives a pair of interviews about her popular webcomic Hark! A Vagrant!, which has received a printed collection from Drawn and Quarterly. [The L Magazine, io9.com]

Creators | Geoff Johns discusses DC's relaunched Aquaman, which debuts today: "Everybody around has at least heard of Aquaman, and they've probably heard all the jokes — the same jokes Aquaman's heard — and they have their opinion on Aquaman. Whether it's good or bad, that's what the book's all about." [USA Today]

Creators | For reasons that aren't entirely clear, writer Jim Ottaviani was interviewed about his new graphic novel Feynman while riding on a teeter-totter with the interviewer. [HD Teeter Talk]

Comics | Caroline Small, the treasurer for Small Press Expo, meditates on the difficulty of bringing art-comics to a wider audience. [The Hooded Utilitarian]

Censorship | The Good Comics for Kids bloggers, many of whom are librarians, discuss MK Reed and Jonathan Hill's Americus, a graphic novel about religious fundamentalists challenging a YA fantasy novel in a small-town library. The discussion touches on the issues the book raises and the way those issues are portrayed in the graphic novel. [Good Comics for Kids]

Comics | Kristy Valenti takes a look at Rob Liefeld's fashion sense: "From a fashion (and commercial) perspective, ideally, a superhero artist should create an iconic costume (for example, Steve Ditko's Spider-Man kit, Gil Kane's Green Lantern look, or even Power Girl's indefatigable "boob window"); Liefeld's costuming is more like a collection, with certain motifs he returns to." Such as high-waisted pants, shoulder pads and French-cut bikinis. Call in the fashion police! [comiXology]

Comics | Daniel BT suspects that life is imitating art as DC's latest effort matches all too closely a Cracked parody of superhero comics art from the 1970s. [Sunday Comics Debt]

Manga | Translator Tomo Kimura lists the top ten manga creators in Japan and the number of books they have sold, from a list compiled by Nikkei Entertainment magazine. All ten are published in the U.S. as well as Japan, and One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda tops the list with almost 55 million sold. [Tomo Kimura's Translation Notes]

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