Frankfurt Comic-Con 2011

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While 105,000 people converged upon the New York Comic Con last week, some 150,000 booksellers, publishers, and bibiophiles packed the halls at the Frankfurt Book Fair, held October 12-16.

GREAT ART: Mary Blair

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It’s Mary Blair’s birthday and if Google can celebrate her, so can we. And so should we all. As an animator and designer, Blair is among the most influential artistic figures of the mid-century era, an icon and the creator of some of the loveliest art you’ll ever see.

Nice art: Dustin Harbin's dinosaur print

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You had us at dinosaur, Dustin Harbin. And with “colored by Sam Bosma and Kali Ciesemier” you chained us up and threw away the key.

Digital update: Amazon announces author tools for Kindle; comiXology rules the iPad Wednesday crowd

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As the glow of the Amazon Kindle Fire begins to appear on the horizon, many questions over just how comics are going to work on it are still unanswered. But it looks like publishers will be able to adapt their own works using Amazon’s tech specs. Amazon has announced some new author tools for the Kindle Fire on their website:

Marvel layoffs: The cheapskate is coming from inside the House of Ideas!

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Yesterday was a gloomy day for the comics industry, as 15 Marvel staffers — including several popular editors and a couple of legendary Bullpenners — were laid off. This followed the recent layoff of COO Jim “Ski” Sokolowski. We all know the economy sucks, and that comics sales are down this year. But was that the reason for the cost cutting?

Or was it Disney? The Mouse purchased Marvel for $5 billion two years, two months ago and they are well known for being very budget conscious. Did some Disney suit look at revenue, say it wasn’t enough and order some budget cuts?

While both these scenarios sound plausible, according to Marvel insiders contacted by The Beat, neither seems to be the case. The budget slashing is the work of Marvel’s CEO, Isaac Perlmutter, an executive of legendary stinginess whose fanatical devotion to saving money —an increased interest in being hands on at Marvel — has led to the layoffs and other draconian measures inside the company.

Sexy comic book women = "weird."

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I don’t know who Richard Famous is — a gay British man who makes little-watched YouTube videos — but what he has to say about “the brokeback pose” and how hyper-sexualization depowers female comics characters is pretty dead on.

Avengers trailer bonus: the Taiwan version and the "Sweded" version

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Next Media Animation has gone gonzo with a new version of the AVENGERS movie that features several guest stars. What does this mean? Unsure.

MAD comes to SCAD on November 12th

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Jack Davis, legendary EC artist and caricaturist, doesn’t do many public appearances, but he will be part of a panel spotlighting MAD Magazine at the Savannah College of Art and Design that sounds worth buying an airline ticket for.

Davis will join Al Jaffee, Sergio Aragones, Paul Coker Jr, Nick Meglin, Duck Edwing, Sam Viviano and Tom Richmond for IT’S A SCAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WEEKEND on November 12th as part of a weekend celebrating the usual gang of idiots November 11-13th. This illustrious group will also be participating in workshops and portfolio reviews with the sequential art students at SCAD.

Nice Art: Rugg covers POOD

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Let me translate that headline: POOD #4, the latest issue of the indie comics anthology is on sale this week, with a cover by Jim Rugg. Also inside: work by Eisner-winner Nick Abadzis, 2011 “Best American Comics” pick Kevin Mutch, “Dick Tracy” icon Joe Staton, and many more.

WW3 takes on Tahrir

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Long before OWS there was World War 3, the long running counterculture comics anthology put together by a rotating cast of politically aware cartoonists who lived on the LES back when it was Alphabet City and not a trustfund preserve. The next issue is out next month and takes on the spirit of protest being seen around the world, from Tahrir Square to Madison, WI.