Comics A.M. | Longtime 'Mark Trail' artist Jack Elrod passes away

Passings | Longtime Mark Trail artist Jack Elrod Jr. died Wednesday at age 91. Mark Trail was created in 1946 by Ed Dodd, who brought on Elrod four years later as a background artist. When Dodd retired in 1978, Elrod took over the comic strip, and earned many awards from environmental organizations. He also made a significant change due to reader feedback, removing the title character's pipe after a 6-year-old fan wrote to him saying, "It is bad for his health, pollutes the air, and it is dangerous to the birds." Elrod retired in 2014, handing over Mark Trail to current artist and writer James Allen. [Gainesville Times]

Festivals | Franck Bondoux, head of the group that organizes the Angouleme International Comics Festival, has sent a letter to publishers disassociating the organization from the controversial fake prizes ("Faux Fauves") presented Saturday at the event's awards ceremony. "We made a number of recommendations to Richard Gaitet [the comedian who emceed the awards] and he did not follow all of them and we were caught unawares onstage," the letter states. Meanwhile, Adrian Tomine's French publisher has slapped a "Faux Fauve Angoulême, prix spécial du jury 2016" sticker on its copies of the French edition of Killing and Dying, which was one of books presented with a prank award. [Charente Libre]

Publishing | Sana Amanat, director of content development at Marvel and the editor behind Ms. Marvel, talks about diversifying the lineup and how that has broadened the readership: "It's not just young Muslim American women reading Ms. Marvel, It's everybody. It's the young Asian girl and the teenage gay boy, and the 57-year-old White man who said he'd been reading comics his whole life and this was his favorite. For me, I can't even pinpoint who the Ms. Marvel reader is, or who even the Marvel reader is anymore. That's really exciting, because we have upended our own expectation." [Bustle]

Creators | Sarah Varon talks about the new edition of her 2003 book Sweaterweather, which First Second is publishing in a new, hardback edition. [Hero Complex]

Creators | I spoke with Gurihiru, the Japanese creative team that does the art for the Avatar the Last Airbender graphic novels and will be working on Marvel's Gwenpool starting in April. [Barnes and Noble]

Creators | Bill Griffith discusses his work, from Zippy to his graphic novel Invisible Ink, on the RiYL podcast. [RiYLcast]

Real estate | Caricaturist Al Hirschfeld's New York townhouse, which features an eight-foot-tall mural by the artist, is under contract. The house was originally listed with an asking price of $9.2 million but failed to sell; it was later re-listed for $8.75 million. [Observer]

Barry Windsor-Smith Shares Art From 250-Page Graphic Novel, Monsters

More in Comics