Comics A.M. | Ringleader gets 20 years in death of comic collector

Legal | Rico J. Vendetti of Rochester, New York, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Wednesday for planning a 10 home-invasion robbery that led to the death of 78-year-old comic book collector Homer Marciniak. According to prosecutors, Vendetti had been running eBay scams for years, selling merchandise shoplifted by others, and planned to do the same with Marciniak's $30,000 collection of comics, which dated back to the 1930s. During the home invasion, the robbers hit Marciniak, threatened him and tied him up; he died shortly afterward. Vendetti pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering charge. Co-defendant Donald Griffin, who admitted hitting Marciniak, was also sentenced to 20 years in prison this week. [Buffalo News]

Auctions | PBA Galleries' first comics auction featured properties from the collection of the late Wayne Martin, including a 35-cent issue of Marvel's Star Wars #1, (the regular price was 30 cents, and the 35-cent version was a test; it is estimated that there are only 1,500 copies in existence). The auction price of $7,200 was a new record for that comic. A copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 in "pristine" condition brought a top bid of $3,900. Martin's copy of the comics history All in Color for a Dime, signed and sketched in by over 100 comics creators, went for $1,440. [Antiques and the Arts Weekly]

Fandom | ComiXology's Conversations podcast interviews Late Night host, and longtime comics fan, Seth Meyers. [comiXology]

Editorial cartoons | Jack Ohman, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning this week, pays tribute to two of his greatest influences: his editor Don Morain, and cartoonist and friend Rex Babin, whose job Ohman inherited when Babin died in 2013. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Here's a creator-on-creator interview: Ruben Bolling talks to Mo Willems, author of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and a host of other picture books and comics.Willems' work is on display at the New-York Historical Society. [New York Family]

Creators | Ryan Sunada-Wong has been drawing comics since he was 5 years old, and the years of effort have paid off. Now a high school sophomore, Sunada-Wong has won two major awards for his editorial cartoons: The Gold Medal for editorial cartooning in the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition and a $1,000 scholarship from The Herb Block Foundation. Now he's working out ideas for a graphic novel. [The Item of Millburn and Short Hills]

Manga | Adrian Tomine, himself a comics creator, talks about editing the manga of Yoshihiro Tatsumi. It was his idea for Drawn and Quarterly to publish Tatsumi's work, starting with his collection of short stories, The Push Man. [du9]

Comics | "You can see his brain!" A new series of gory bicycle-safety comics put out by the Phoenix Street Transportation Department is raising a few parental eyebrows, but the department said it's received few complaints. Artist Rob Osborne said they did dial back the ick factor in a few scenes, including one of a cyclist hitting a car door: "We reattached the fingers for the final art." [Arizona Republic]

Graphic novels | A group of students at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, iscreating comics based on the personal stories of veterans from the nearby VA Medical Center. The stories are collected in an anthology titled When I Returned. [Seven Days]

Graphic novels | Harry Mount uses an exhibit at the Cartoon Museum in London as the starting point for a meditation on graphic novels, pointing out that in many ways British artists were pioneers of the medium. [The Spectator]

Webcomics | Sean Kleefeld points out that many of this year's Eisner nominees have ties to webcomics — some of the nominated works started out as webcomics, and many of the individuals nominated come from that milieu. [FreakSugar]

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