Comics A.M. | LeHeup exits Valiant; Syrian cartoonist may be dead

Publishing | Jody LeHeup, who joined Valiant in May 2012 as associate editor, has left the publisher, and will focus on his writing career. However, he noted on Twitter, "I am open to discussing editorial work as well." LeHeup previously worked for four years at Marvel, where he edited such titles as Deadpool, X-Force and the Eisner-nominated Strange Tales before being let go in October 2011 during a round of layoffs. [Twitter]

Creators | Tom Spurgeon pointed out a disturbing paragraph in this article about the dangers of being a political cartoonist in the Middle East: Syrian cartoonist Akram Raslan hasn't been heard from in months and may be dead, according to Robert Russell of the Cartoonists Rights Network International, which has been advocating for Raslan's release from prison. Raslan was arrested last year, and Russell was told his trial was delayed and then that he had been killed. [CNN]

Comics | The Venezuelan government is issuing illustrated versions of the country's constitution to all school children, and plans are already under way for another edition that will be in comics format. [Foreign Policy]

Creators | In an interview on Japanese television, Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama has revealed where he got the idea for his lumbering, people-eating giants -- a drunk customer at the Internet cafe where he worked: "He said he was inspired by the lack of the ability to communicate even though the person was of the same species, and thought at that moment that the most familiar and scary animal in the world is actually the human." And he gets the Titans' facial expressions from a reference book of facial expressions. [Anime News Network]

Creators | Writer and artist Lee Weeks discussed his work in the comics industry and on last summer's "Angels Unaware" Daredevil story, part of Daredevil: Dark Nights, in a talk at Liberty University, which is also holding an exhibit of his work. [Liberty University]

Creators | Henry Chamberlain has a thoughtful interview with Stephanie McMillan, creator of The Beginning of the American Fall, a look at the Occupy movement, and the upcoming comics collection The Minimum Security Chronicles: Resistance to Ecocide. [Comics Grinder]

Exhibits | An exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art focusing on the legend of the Golem includes a number of golems in comics, including Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem by Dave Wachter, Steve Niles and Matt Santoro. [LACMA Blog]

Creators | Here's an interesting comics origin story: Skip Winter is a marketing guy who does events for a number of clients, including the Toyota Scion. After a Batman-themed event last year in New York, he got the idea of doing a comic, and he and his marketing director Alex Robson created Unit 5, a comic about five characters, all of whom were deeply affected by Sept. 11, 2001, and all of whom drive Scions. They energetically promoted the comic (hey, they're marketing guys after all) and because they own the copyright, they are continuing the comic themselves now that the Scion program is over, donating part of the proceeds to first responder organizations. [Seacoast Online]

Creators | Travis Horseman's fascination with ancient Rome led him to create the graphic novel Amiculus: A Secret History, which he describes as "like 300 meets V for Vendetta." [This Week Community News]

Comic strips | Luann creator Greg Evans is now co-writing his strip with his daughter, Karen, who was the original inspiration for his title character (she was 5 years old at the time, but he aged his character up to 13 because he felt there were more story opportunities with a teenagers). As Karen Evans is dean of students at a charter middle school, she should be able to keep it real. [San Diego Union-Tribune]

Conventions | With India's burgeoning comics scene, this had to happen sooner or later: Fans at Comic Con Express, the first-ever comic con in Hyderabad, India, complained that there was too much merchandise, not enough comics. [Times of India]

Events | Preparations have begun in Cleveland for 24 Hour Comics Day. [The Plain Dealer]

Sebastian Shaw Krakoa
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