Manga | Pioneering U.S. manga publisher Tokyopop is back with its first new books in five years, and all three are tie-ins with other media. Alice in Wonderland: Special Collector’s Manga is a hardcover collection of Jun Abe’s manga adaptation of Tim Burton’s film, which will be released just before the premiere of Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass. Similarly, Finding Nemo: Special Collector’s Manga, Ryuichi Hoshino’s adaptation of the Pixar blockbuster, will be released a week before the sequel Finding Dory. The third property is the five-volume series Kilala Princess, a shoujo manga series featuring Disney princesses. Tokyopop published the first two volumes of Kilala Princess during its earlier incarnation. [ICv2]
Retailing | The retailers’ organization ComicsPRO has announced that this year’s Local Comic Shop Day will be Nov. 19, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Last year’s inaugural event was held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, coinciding with Small Business Saturday, but nearly 75 percent of the retailers surveyed by ComicsPRO said they preferred the earlier date so Local Comic Shop Day could have its own identity. [ICv2]
Creators | Seventh-graders in Wayne Luellen’s “Atomic Diner” class at Houston Middle School in Memphis, Tennessee, got their own Q&A session with Stan Lee. “The purpose of the class was to explore how American culture was impacted by the advent of the atomic bomb and nuclear power, so I began to think of everything in American culture or world culture that was impacted,” Luellen said. “One thing that came to me in pop culture was comic books. Comic book heroes are created out of some nuclear incident or radiation.” So he reached out to Lee via a mutual friend, and the legendary writer and editor made a seven-minute video in which he answered questions that had been sent in by the students. At least one of the questions had nothing to do with splitting the atom, though: The students asked which superhero Lee would like to go out to dinner with, and he replied, “Ironman, because he’s the richest one, and he’d take me to the most expensive dinner.” [The Commercial Appeal]
Passings | Malaysian cartoonist Mohd Zohri Sukimi, who worked under the pen name Zoy, has died at age 57. Zoy began drawing comic strips while he was still in school, and his work was published in several newspapers. He is best known for his strips Takluk Jagat, Pendekar Sijangkang and Keris Gajah Sewu, and was a pioneer in silat comics, a genre based on the Malaysian martial art of that name. [Malaysiakini]
Graphic novels | BOOM! Studios will mark the 30th anniversary of Jim Henson’s film Labyrinth with three graphic novel tributes, all published under its Archaia imprint. BOOM! editor Sierra Hahn discusses the details in an article that also includes some preview art. [Entertainment Weekly]
Creators | Kymelya Sari profiles the Malaysian artist Kazimir Lee Iskander, who came to the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont to build his career as a comics creator away from the constraints of his native country. [Seven Days]
Creators | Robert Neal McPheeters was 8 years old when he sat down with his father, fine artist William Neal McPheeters, and sketched out an idea for a comic about a teddy bear. They worked on it together for a bit, but four years later, the younger McPheeters was murdered. Now, 34 years after the original idea was hatched, William McPheeters has created a graphic novel, The Last Companion, an adult story based on his child’s original idea. “It occurred to me that on April 15 it would be 30 years since he died and that he would be 42 years old,” McPheeters said. “And anything like this that we would be discussing now would be on an adult level, so I came up with what I thought would be an adult graphic novel.” He is running a Kickstarter to fund it, and the first chapter will be published in August. [Press of Atlantic City]
Graphic novels | With Mother’s Day around the corner, Matt White rounds up 10 comics about mother-child relationships. [Publishers Weekly]
Retailing | Just in time for Free Comic Book Day, a new comic shop, The Golden Age, is opening this weekend in Maryville, Tennessee. [Knoxville News-Sentinel]
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