Comics A.M. | Marvel NOW! 'ain't a reboot,' it's a 'refresh'

Comics | Ahead of Joe Quesada's appearance tonight on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, and the debut Wednesday of Uncanny Avengers, Marvel unpacks its Marvel NOW! initiative for the national press. “This ain’t a reboot, we’re simply hitting the refresh button. ‘Marvel NOW!’ simply offers a line-wide entry-point into the Marvel Universe that you’re already reading about,” Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso says. Tom Brevoort, senior vice president of publishing, calls it "a game of musical chairs" for creators, who will be switched around to make things interesting. [The Associated Press]

Creators | Writer Gail Simone discusses the coming battle between Batgirl and Knightfall in Batgirl #13, as well as the impending return of The Joker: "The Joker is really the Elvis of comic-book villains. There's no one with his primal star power, there's no one else anywhere who has sent more chills up the spines of readers, because there genuinely is something terrifying about him." [USA Today]

Creators | Fresh from his Northeast tour, Love & Rockets creator Jaime Hernandez talks about his roots, the importance of feedback from his readers and how he keeps his sanity: "One thing is that I have always separated the actual work from what goes on in my comic life and my personal life as well. Whether our popularity or sales are up or down has never affected the need to make the best comics I possibly can." [Previews World]

Creators | Cartoonist J. Bone chats briefly about his recent take on First Lady Michelle Obama as Wonder Woman: "I’m often drawing Wonder Woman for fun. I saw the video on YouTube of Michelle’s opening address at the Democratic convention. When she spoke about women having control of their own bodies it struck me that Michelle embodies the principles of Wonder Woman." [The Grio]

Creators | Batman movie producer Michael Uslan, who watched a friend's father burn his comics during the anti-comics fervor of the 1950s and 60s, will receive a PhD, the first ever for comics, from Monmouth University in New Jersey. Uslan taught the first accredited college course in comics back in 1979. “One of my life’s goals is to make the world aware that comics are an indigenous American art form, as legitimate as jazz,” he said. [Today]

Creators | Alex Jarvis interviews My Friend Dahmer creator Derf Backderf. [Spandexless]

Creators | Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, who faces sedition charges for his cartoons critical of the Indian government, will be a contestant on the Indian reality show Bigg Boss, which is a bit like Big Brother; his fellow contestants will include a commentator and a poet. Trivedi says he is doing the show to bring his message to a wider audience. [India Today]

Comics | Sue, the blogger behind DC Women Kicking Ass, discusses her favorite characters, the frustrations of blogging, and why she decided to blog about DC: "I watched the Batman show as a kid and the moment I first saw Batgirl it was visceral – a girl who was like Batman? It didn’t take me long to figure out there were comics with her in it as well." [Sequart]

Publishing | First Second marketing director Gina Gagliano explains what publication dates (and release date) really mean in the book world. [First Second blog]

Comic strips | Allan Holtz, author of American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide, talks about the challenges — and joys — of researching comic strips and syndication in the early 20th century. [Stripper's Guide]

Editorial cartoons | An Afghan cleric has offered $100,000 for the death of the cartoonist who drew caricatures of Mohammed in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. [The Daily Cartoonist]

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