Comics A.M. | Stan Lee cancels Denver Comic Con appearance

Conventions | Stan Lee has canceled his appearance at Denver Comic Con, held May 31-June 2, citing a conflict with filming for a cameo in a Marvel movie. William Shatner has stepped in to take his place. Nonetheless, a reporter snagged a pre-convention  interview with Lee, in which he talks about what makes a convention great and how comics help kids learn to read, and counters a common criticism: "Some people will say, 'Why read a comic book? It stifles the imagination. If you read a novel you imagine what people are like. If you read a comic, it’s showing you.' The only answer I can give is, 'You can read a Shakespeare play, but does that mean you wouldn’t want to see it on the stage?'" [The Denver Post]

Charities | Matthew Price rounds up efforts by the comics community to help those in Oklahoma devastated by the tornadoes. [NewsOK.com]

Crime | Police say an Exeter, Pennsylvania, man broke into a home and stole a collection of about 1,000 comics, then sold them for $30 at a local comics shop. The suspect, Lawrence James VanChure, told police he was going through withdrawal and needed the money to buy drugs. [The Citizens Voice]

Conventions | A number of syndicated comics artists, including Lynn Johnston and Brian Walker, chat with the local newspaper in advance of this weekend's annual convention of the National Cartoonists Society in Pittsburgh. [TribLIVE]

Creators | Megatokyo creator Fred Gallagher is on the mend after laser surgery to correct a severe heart arrhythmia. [Fleen]

Creators | Steve Morris chats with Rob Deas, creator of the series Troy Trailblazer, which runs in the weekly children's comic The Phoenix. [The Beat]

Creators | The latest Bluewater Productions announcement is a bio-comic of famed physicist Stephen Hawking. Artist Zach Bassett and writers Michael Lent and Brian McCarthy talk a bit about the challenges of making a comic about the iconic Hawking. [Sky News]

Retailing | In a throwback to the way many of us remember getting our comics, Nick's Quick Stop in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, has added a rack of comics to its offerings, which also include fresh hot dogs. [Hasbrouck Heights Patch]

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