Comics A.M. | Near-mint 'Amazing Fantasy' #15 could sell for $400K

Auctions | A near-mint copy of Marvel Amazing Fantasy #15, featuring the 1962 first appearance of Spider-Man, is expected to sell for more than $400,000 at auction later this month. “We think this comic has the potential to realize the highest price ever paid at public auction for a Spider-Man comic book,” said Lon Allen, managing director of the comics department at Heritage Auctions. “It could soar well past our estimate." [Fine Books & Collections]

Comics | Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries has acquired a very rare comic: 1947's All-Negro Comics #1, the first comic produced entirely by African-American creators. "It’s the first time you see respectful treatment of African-American characters," said Cindy Jackson, who oversees the VCU Libraries' Comic Arts Collection. "It is a time capsule. It is a very of-the-1940s comic, but it shows the African-American characters doing things that previously had only ever been done by white characters — things like solving mysteries and being the hero, not the sidekick." There was never an All-Negro Comics #2, but the publisher, Orrin C. Evans, was inducted into the Eisner Awards Hall of Fame in 2014 on the basis of this comic. The original comic had a small print run, and surviving copies in good condition are rare, making this an important addition to the library's collection. [VCU News]

Political cartoons | Egyptian cartoonist Islam Gawish discusses his recent arrest, and while the initial charge, of running an unlicensed website, seems to be a misunderstanding, he did say that when he was interrogated, "They contended that I drew anti-regime caricatures that mock symbols of the state." Despite that, he said, "in my opinion, the Egyptian constitution provides for the protection of people’s right of expression and opinion. This provision is all that is needed to protect any caricaturist, including myself, or any citizen who expresses his opinions." Gawish was interviewed at the Cairo International Book Fair, where he was launching the second collection of his cartoons, titled Al-Waraqah (The Paper). [Al-Monitor]

Creators | The University of Windsor broke new ground when it appointed Scott Chantler, the creator of Two Generals and the children's series Three Thieves, as its Cartoonist in Residence — a post previously held by a Writer in Residence. Chantler and a faculty member who supported his candidacy talk about how it worked out, which was pretty well. As Chantler says, "I’m a writer. The fact that I’m working in a visual medium is no different than someone who writes a screenplay for film, or a play. It’s all just stories, and story structure, which I love." [Macleans]

Creators | Writer David Shapiro and artist Christopher Herndon are working on a graphic novel about Ammon Bundy and his followers occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and they are doing research right now by attending — and sketching — the court hearings. "They're a lot of fun to draw," said Herndon. "At first I was worried, like, a courtroom setting can be so stuffy. It was not at all stuffy. If you went to central casting and cast each one of those people, they'd say, 'Too on the nose, pal.' It's just remarkable." [Willamette Week]

Creators | Shannon Hale (Rapunzel's Revenge) and LeUyen Pham talk about their latest collaboration, First Friends, a graphic novel about friendship and bullying that draws on Hale's own childhood experiences. [Entertainment Weekly]

Creators | Miami filmmaker Michael Ruiz-Unger says his comic Dark Beach was inspired by his love of the 1940s crime scene photographer Weegee and going through a patch of time when he was sleeping in until 7 p.m. "I did not see the sun for weeks," he says. "So Weegee plus no sun equals Dark Beach." He is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the series. [Miami New Times]

Creators | Writer and artist Brian Smith met with students at the Valley Academy in Lexington, North Carolina, to talk about their math homework — they had to make a comic describing a theorem. Smith also had some advice for would-be creators: "Keep writing, write every day. It’s the same practice over and over again. You’re going to write a lot of garbage, because I write a lot of garbage." [The Dispatch]

Comics | Asher Elbein looks at the way the character of Superman has changed over the years, and the problems with his identity. [The Atlantic]

Retailing | Three Florida retailers discuss how superhero movies have brought in new customers. In addition to increasing the demand for superhero-themed merchandise, the trend has boosted the price of some comics. At New Force Comics and Collectibles, owner Rick Whitlock has an issue of The New Mutants #98, the first appearance of Deadpool, with a $400 price tag. "Ten years ago you could buy that for a dollar," he said. [Panama City News Herald]

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