Passings | Andy Hutton, who drew the popular strip “The Q-Bikes” (which morphed briefly into “The Q-Karts”) for the British comic The Beano, died last month at age 91. Born in Calcutta, Hutton moved as a teenager to Dundee, Scotland, where he began working for Beano publisher DC Thomson at age 14. He quit that job to train to be a pilot in the Royal Air Force, but poor eyesight kept him grounded much of the time. After World War II, he got an art degree and lived in Canada for a while, working in nuclear reactor construction, before returning in 1950 to Scotland. He was a Beano artist for 25 years, and his work included Red Rory of the Eagles, Jack Flash and The Kangaroo Kid; he also taught art in a local high school. [Down the Tubes]
Creators | Writer Kieron Gillen talks about writing Marvel’s new Darth Vader comic: “It’s an interesting period for Darth Vader. The book is set between [the Star Wars movies] A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. I was very interested in the structure of it all. At the end of Star Wars, he’s pretty much the sole survivor of the biggest military disaster of all time. And it’s kind of his vault.” [Comic Riffs]
Graphic novels | Sex educator Colin Adamo is working on a graphic novel designed to help teenage boys form healthy relationships. [Salon]
Comic strips | James Allen, who took over the long-lived newspaper strip Mark Trail last year from creator Jack Elrod, is making some changes, including letting Mark take off his shirt (and his wife slip into a bathing suit) and doing away with the giant talking squirrels. [The Morning Call]
Music | Nerdcore rapper Adam WarRock, who’s performing March 1 at Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, Michigan, talks about his music. [Press & Guide]
Retailing | Vigilante Press, a comic shop in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood, is shutting its doors after eight years because the owners are ready for a change. [DNAinfo Chicago]
Retailing | Meanwhile, Distant Planets and Collectibles has just opened in Columbia, Missouri, with a 50/50 mix of comics and collectibles and a welcoming attitude. “Attitudes are changing,” said co-owner Brandy Cross. “Anyone in town should feel comfortable walking into our store if they know anything about comics or not, if they are looking for a gift for someone and have never been in a comic book store before. … We’re very open about it. No judgment, no elitism.” [The Columbia Daily Tribune]
Exhibits | The “Komic Kreators of the Mid-Hudson Valley” show set to open tomorrow in Poughkeepsie, New York, spotlights the work of some local creators, including Fred Hembeck (who is interviewed in the article) and New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly. [Poughkeepsie Journal]
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