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Comics A.M. | United Media outsources to Uclick, Anant Pai dies

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | United Media outsources to Uclick, Anant Pai dies

Comic strips | In what Michael Cavna so accurately describes as “a seismic shift” for the world of newspaper syndication, United Media has announced it will outsource all editorial, production, sales, marketing and distribution functions for its 150 comics and other features to Kansas City-based Universal Uclick. (Tom Spurgeon likens the move to Marvel outsourcing all of its titles to DC Comics.) The transition begins immediately, and is expected to be complete by June 1. United Media’s stable of strips include Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine, Rose Is Rose and Marmaduke. Universal Uclick’s lineup includes Doonesbury, Non Sequitur, Garfield, For Better or For Worse and the recently added Peanuts and Dilbert. [Comic Riffs]

Passings | Anant Pai, who’s credited with launching India’s comic industry in the 1960s with his series Amar Chitra Katha (Immortal Picture Stories), died Thursday of a heart attack. He was 81. Affectionately known by his fans as “Uncle Pai,” he also created the children’s series Tinkle and had spent the past three years working on Glimpses of Glory, which chronicles 40 defining moments from Indian history. After falling and fracturing his foot, Pai underwent surgery of Saturday, which prevented him from attending the first Indian Comic Con, where he was to be given a lifetime achievement award. [The Associated Press, India Real Time]

Blogosphere | Neilalien, the godfather of the comics blogosphere, marks his 11th anniversary today by announcing his retirement from regular blogging. [Neilalien]

Retailing | Representatives of Penguin, HarperCollins, Random House and Perseus Books Group have been appointed to the committee of unsecured creditors involved with Borders Group’s bankruptcy. [Publishers Weekly]

Publishing | Andrew Smith spotlights Jon Goldwater, co-CEO of Archie Comics, focusing on recent changes at the company, including the elimination of the Comics Code seal: “You push it as far as you want to push it within the integrity of the characters. These characters, even though they’re high school students … have a 70-year history. So when a mother or a father or a kid or whoever picks up an Archie comic, there’s a certainty in that comic. They know what they’re getting. But what we want to do is, we want to sorta push it as far as we can within that certainty.” [The Commercial Appeal]

Publishing | The publisher of the controversial comic Chopin: New Romantic will return the $41,200 it received from Poland’s foreign ministry to produce the work. [Warsaw Business Journal]

Creators | Grant Morrison talks about the animated adaptation of All-Star Superman, and hints at a possible return to the Man of Steel: “I still have a few Superman stories I’d like to tell.” [Hero Complex]

Creators | Mike Rhode interviews Nick Bertozzi. [Washington City Paper]

Creators | Michael Avon Oeming discusses Powers, Mice Templar and Takio. [The Montclarion]

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