Report Card | 'All-Star Western' and more

Welcome to “Report Card,” our week-in-review feature. If “Cheat Sheet” is your guide to the week ahead, “Report Card” is typically a look back at the top news stories of the previous week, as well as a look at the Robot 6 team’s favorite comics that we read.

So find out what we thought about All-Star Western, American Vampire Anthology and more.


Happy birthday, Jack Kirby: In honor of what would have been legendary comic creator Jack Kirby's 96th birthday, the comics industry celebrated his life and legacy, as well as gave back to creators in need. First up, the Hero Initiative organized “Wake Up and Draw,” recruiting more than 40 artists to celebrate by drawing “birthday cards” to Kirby, like the one above from artist Darick Robertson. The illustrations will be showcased at ComicArtFans.com and auctioned at a later date, with the proceeds going to the organization.

In addition, Kirby’s youngest granddaughter Jillian launched the second annual Kirby4Heroes campaign, which encouraged fans to commemorate his birthday by making a donation to The Hero Initiative. Sixteen retailers pledged a percentage of their profits from sales made on Kirby's birthday or to raise money in other ways.

Kramer trial set for December: In Georgia, Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers added the case of accused child molester and DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer to the judicial calendar for the weeks of Dec. 2 and 9.

Kramer was originally arrested on charges of molesting three teenage boys between 1996 and 2000, but the trial has been repeatedly delayed since his 2003 indictment through legal maneuverings and claims of declining health. In September 2011, he was arrested in Connecticut after he allegedly was found alone in a hotel room with a 14-year-old boy. He was extradited back to Georgia in January 2013 to face six counts of child molestation.

Barefoot Gen restrictions lifted: The school board in the Japanese city of Matsue reversed its decision to restrict student access to Barefoot Gen, Keiji Nakazawa’s autobiographical story about a 6-year-old boy who survived the Hiroshima bombing.

In the "there's no such thing as bad press" department, the restriction resulted in a surge in sales of the book — so much so that the publishers had to increase their reprint numbers by a factor of three, bookstores are reporting shortages, and an e-book distributor expects it to make the Top 10 this month.

Awards!: And finally, in the awards, department, last week saw Stephen Collins’ The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil winning the inaugural 9th Art Award, while Jeff Lemire, Mike Del Mundo, Michael DeForge and Isabelle Arsenault were among the winners of the ninth annual Joe Shuster Awards.

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