Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Passings | Kaylee Byram reports that Richard "Rik" Levins, an artist best known for his work in the early 1990s with Mark Gruenwald on Marvel's Captain America, passed away on June 12 at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. He was 59. Levins also penciled covers and interiors for Acclaim's X-O Manowar and The H.A.R.D. Corps, AC Comics' Dragonfly and FemForce, and Marvel's The Avengers. In more recent years he worked as a game developer and modeler. [ComicMix, via Journalista]

Passings | The editors of Monthly Shonen Magazine announced that Tadashi Kawashima, writer of Alive: The Final Evolution, passed away on June 15 from liver cancer. He was 42. The science fiction/supernatural series, which concluded in January in Japan, is licensed in North America by Del Rey Manga. [Anime News Network]

Legal | In response to a complaint filed by Marvel, federal police in Mexico City have seized from vendors more than 100 illegally produced piñatas, many of which featured Spider-Man -- aka Hombre Araña -- Captain America and the Incredible Hulk. [The New York Times]

Business | A Toshiba executive explains the reason behind the electronic giant's newly announced marketing deal with Dark Horse and USA Today. "We've always skewed a little but more toward an older audience. One of our objects is to skew younger," said Maria Repole, Toshiba's vice president of communications. "This gives some personality to the brand; traditionally, our advertising has been focused on the product." [MarketingDaily]

Conventions | René A. Guzman previews Texas Comicon, which kicks off this morning at the San Antonio Event Center. Comic guests include David Michael Beck, Christian Beranek, Tony DiGerolamo, Bob McLeod, Whilce Portacio and Cal Slayton. [San Antonio Express-News]

Conventions | Roger Langridge posts a nice report from last weekend's Kids Read Comics convention. [The Hotel Fred]

Creators | The Comics Journal posts an interview conducted in 1984 with illustrator Al Williamson, who passed away on June 12 at age 79. [TCJ.com]

Creators | Snow Wildsmith talks to Buzzboy and Roboy Red collaborators John Gallagher and Rich Faber. [Good Comics for Kids]

Creators | The University of Oklahoma's student newspaper interviews writers Sterling Gates and James Robinson during a recent signing in Norman. [The Oklahoma Daily]

Creators | Comics writer and playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa talks about his adaptation of the musical It’s a Bird … It’s a Plane … It’s Superman, which opens today in Dallas. [Dallas Voice]

Creators | Gene Weingarten writes at length about his once-rocky relationship with son Dan, his collaborator on the newly launched syndicated comic strip Barney & Clyde. [The Washington Post]

Manga | Shaenon K. Garrity looks at 10 defining manga. [ComiXology]

Comics | Dave Ferraro counts down 30 most-overlooked comics, from Avengers Icons: Tigra and Leave It to PET! to Skinwalker and Dampyr. [Comics-and-More]

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