Comics A.M. | Marvel answers frustrated mom's call for help

Comics | When 4-year-old Anthony Smith didn't want to wear his hearing aid because superheroes don't wear them, his mother emailed Marvel to ask if they had any pictures of superheroes wearing a hearing aid. Not only did Marvel editor Bill Rosemann respond with an image of the cover of 1984's West Coast Avengers #1, which featured Hawkeye wearing a hearing aid, he also had artist Nelson Ribeiro transform Anthony into a superhero, Blue Ear. [Concord Monitor]

Publishing | Former Marvel editor Jody LeHeup, who was let go by the publisher in October during a round of layoffs, has joined Valiant Entertainment as associate editor. [press release]

Conventions | Rich Lopez has a gallery of photos from last weekend's Dallas Comic Con. [The Dallas Voice]

Creators | Roger Langridge gives more details on why he made the decision not to work for Marvel or DC Comics in the future. "Marvel’s shabby treatment of its founding creators, particularly Jack Kirby, has been a bone of contention for a lot of people since the 1980s, at least, so that underlying sense of discomfort was always there. It was the legal decision against the heirs of Jack Kirby last year that was the thing that made me think, 'You know, I probably shouldn’t be doing this.' The cartoonist Steve Bissette wrote a very articulate and passionate blogpost that was widely circulated at the time of that ruling, and I read it and nodded my head and thought: Yeah, it’s probably time to get out. I didn’t make a big noise about it at the time because the thing I’d just written for Marvel, John Carter: A Princess of Mars, hadn’t yet come out, and I didn’t think it was fair to drag my collaborator on that book, Filipe Andrade, down with me if there was a backlash. I didn’t feel it was my place to make that decision for him." [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Brian Michael Bendis and Greg Rucka discuss Rucka's new novel Alphas, writing, their children, the Internet and conventions. "You had Tweeted last week about you had retired from conventions. I think I’ll be following those footsteps very soon," Rucka said. "I don’t think I can see myself doing conventions for very much longer. One of the things that you get consistently at conventions or bookstores or signings, if you last, is what is your advice and how do you do it. And I always end up saying the same thing. It always comes down to commitment to your craft. That’s the only thing you can control. You cannot control anything else. All you can control your relationship to your work and the effort you’re willing to put into it, and how willing you are to recognize that you’re never going to be good enough and that you always have to get better. There aren’t many trades in the world, and this is an artistic trade, but when you’re writing for a publisher, for money, there are not many trades in the world where you can say what you know is not enough. There’s always more to learn. You can learn the tax code for 2012 and you’ll be covered for 2013. But the thing you wrote yesterday and the thing you write tomorrow, you pray to God that is a qualitative difference that what’s coming out tomorrow will be better than yesterday because of what you learned." [Mulholland Books]

Creators | Jessica Abel and Matt Madden discuss their upcoming book Mastering Comics: "In Mastering Comics, we return to all the topics covered in DWWP [Drawing Words and Writing Pictures] and work to not only deepen students' understanding of things like pictorial composition and design, inking, and story structure, but more importantly, to broaden it. DWWP is a highly structured book, with 15 chapters that build carefully on one another, and it intentionally doesn't offer a big palette of choices for how to make a comic. This is so that the tasks in the book can be achievable, and readers will come out of the book as cartoonists. But of course, we're very aware that there are endless ways to make comics, and MC is where we try to open those floodgates and point students out in new directions." [MTV Geek]

Creators | Jeff Lemire shares some details about his upcoming run on Justice League Dark, noting that readers can expect the book to feature more "Indiana Jones-type action-adventure, treasure hunting and globetrotting" than Peter Milligan's issues. [USA Today]

Creators | Writer David Hine talks about his upcoming Image series Storm Dogs, about a mostly-female team of space police investigating a string of murders on a planetary backwater. [The Beat]

Creators | Ales Kot and Riley Rossmo discuss their upcoming Image graphic novel Wild Children, which is about about "a group of high school kids who take their peers and teachers hostage because they’re upset with the education system." [Hero Complex]

Creators | Underwire creator Jennifer Hayden talks about drawing comics as memoir: "The interesting thing to me about drawing a memoir is that it can give you a chance to let other characters refute what your character is saying in the story. I’ve drawn some difficult memories about my mother in my upcoming book. Just using prose, I would have had trouble conveying what a pain in the ass I was being at the time, how I was helping to make things difficult. Drawing it, I can make it clear on my mother’s face just what she thinks of me and what a little creep I’m being. I was so relieved to discover this as I was working. But most importantly, the drawings make the relationships between characters crystal clear. And that, more than anything, is what I’m reaching for." [Her Circle]

Commentary | Joe Gross lists five comics "that deserve your support," including Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother? and Goliath by Tom Gauld. [Austin American-Statesman]

Commentary | David Brothers discusses the right and wrong way to cuss in comics. [4thletter!]

Advice | Marc Alan Fishman has some words of wisdom for budding webcomics creators, including the importance of deadlines (yes, even on the web) and some reassuring words on finding one's voice. [ComicMix]

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