Bhob Stewart (b.1937) died on February 24. Stewart published one of the earliest comic fanzines and in 1969 curated the first exhibition of comic book art at a major museum, the Corcoran in Washington, D.C. Corcoran also wrote comics for several different publishers, developed the Wacky Pack line of trading cards, and co-authored Scream Queens.
Comic store owner Gary Arlington (b.1938) died on January 16 of heart failure. Arlington opened the San Francisco Comic Book Company in 1968 and it quickly became a focal point for up-and-coming underground comic book authors and artists, including R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, and Ron Turner. Arlington’s store may have been the first store dedicated to selling only comics.
marvel Studios has announced that Paul Rudd will portray Ant-Man in the upcoming film based on the comic book character, who was one of the original Avengers in 1963. The film, whose plot and script are under wraps, is scheduled for release on July 31, 2015, three months after the second Avengers film. It is being directed by Edgar Wright.
Comics artist Janice Valleau Winkleman (b.1923) died on December 15. Winkleman was one of the first female artists to work in the comics field, working on Archie Comics as well as detective Toni Gayle. She began working in comics in the late 1930s and her last work appeared in Nyoka the Jungle Girl in 1955. Winkleman was also credited as Ginger Valleau, Janice Valleau, and Janice Winkleman.
Comics illustrator Al Plastino (b.1921) died on November 25. Plastino was one of the most prolific Superman artists of the 1950s and co-created Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes with Otto Binder. Plastino worked on the Superman story “Superman’s Mission for President Kennedy,” the publication of which was delayed due to Kennedy’s assassination and then only published at the request of Lyndon Johnson.
Comic artist Nick Cardy (b. 1920) died on November 3. Cardy was best known for working on Aquaman and Teen Titans for DC. He began working for Eisner and Iger in 1938, when he was 18 and, after serving in World War II, he joined DC in 1950. In the mid-1970s, Cardy left the comics field for commercial art and film posters. Cardy was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2005.
Comic fan Jeffrey Babbit (b.1951) died on September 9, one day after being assaulted in Union Square in New York. Babbit was a frequent customer at the nearby Forbidden Planet and had attended every NY Comic Con. A retired train conductor, he was the sole caretaker for his 94 year old mother. According to police reports, he was attacked by 31 year old Lashawn Marten, who had announced he was going to punch the next white person he saw in the face. After being hit, Babbit fell to the ground and died the next day at Bellevue Hospital. Marten, who also hit two men who came to Babbit’s rescue, is being held on assault charges which will likely be upgraded.
The Eisner Award winners were announced at the San Diego Comic Con on July 19.
- Best Short Story: “Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch,” by Michael Kupperman
- Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): The Mire, by Becky Cloonan
- Best Continuing Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
- Best New Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
- Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7): Babymouse for President, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
- Best Publication for Kids (ages 8–12): Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb
- Best Publication for Teens (ages 13–17): A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson
- Best Humor Publication: Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown
- Best Digital Comic: Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
- Best Anthology: Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson
- Best Reality-Based Work (tie): Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert and The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, by Frank M. Young and David Lasky
- Best Graphic Album—New: Building Stories, by Chris Ware
- Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, adapted by Darwyn Cooke
- Best Graphic Album—Reprint: King City, by Brandon Graham
- Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips: Pogo, vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly and Kim Thompson
- Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books: David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier
- Best U.S. Edition of International Material: Blacksad: Silent Hell, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido
- Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia: Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa
- Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, Saga
- Best Writer/Artist: Chris Ware, Building Stories
- Best Penciler/Inker (tie): David Aja, Hawkeye and Chris Samnee, Daredevil, Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom
- Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad
- Best Cover Artist: David Aja, Hawkeye
- Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, Batwoman, Fatale, BPRD, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, Lobster Johnson, The Massive
- Best Lettering: Chris Ware, Building Stories
- Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: The Comics Reporter, edited by Tom Spurgeon
- Best Comics-Related Book: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe
- Best Educational/Academic Work: Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass, by Susan E. Kirtley
- Best Publication Design: Building Stories, designed by Chris Ware
- Hall of Fame: Lee Falk, Al Jaffee, Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, and Joe Sinnott
- Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Russel Roehling
- Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Chris Sparks and Team Cul deSac
- Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award: Steve Gerber, Don Rosa
- Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Challengers Comics + Conversation, Chicago, IL
Journalist and publisher Kim Thompson (b.1956) died on June 19. Thompson began reading comics as a child in Denmark and his letters began to fill the Marvel letter columns in the early 1970s. Thompson published articles in comic fanzines prior to arriving in the US in 1977, when he became friends with Gary Groth and began working at Fantagraphics. He took over the ownership of The Comics Journal in 1978. From 1982 through 1992, Thompson edited Amazing Heroes and helped champion the publication of European comics in the US.
The Northlake (IL) Public Library is holding a crowdsourcing project to purchase and install a 9-foot tall statue of the Incredible Hulk at the library. The funds would also be used to increase the size of the library’s graphic novel collection and to build an interactive station that includes an iMac with a drawing pad, Cintiq interactive pen display, a 3D printer, and a Artograph Light Tracer Elite. The library’s goal is $30,000 by June 9.