Nice art: Francesco Francavilla's BLACK BEETLE in DARK HORSE PRESENTS

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Add another art all-star to the new DHP lineup: Francesco Francavilla is drawing a three part BLACK BEETLE story that will start in issues #11 in April. Black Beetle is Francavilla’s own pulp tribute character, previously published online and in a scarce ashcan. ANd as you can see from the art, it’s a perfect fit for Franvavilla’s retro style.

SCOOP: New chairman talks about the new Wizard World

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Wizard World without Gareb Shamus. The entire idea would have seemed ridiculous until just a few days ago when an SEC filing revealed that Shamus, the owner and founder of the company, had been removed as CEO. It was startling news which left everyone wondering what would become of the Wizard brand — once mighty in both media coverage and entertainment shows.

Answers are beginning to emerge. In an interview with The Beat, Wizard’s executive chairman Mike Mathews revealed that a new era has already begun at Wizard World, which will include outreach to the entire industry in a move to repair damaged relationships with both other industry players and fans.

In one of the most notorious examples of the bad blood which the old Wizard had given rise to, subscribers to the print magazine had not been given any make-up subscriptions for issues paid for but never mailed. However, according to Mathews, a letter is being sent out to old subscribers offering them a $100 credit towards Wizard shows.

Oprah.com not quite sure what those "graphic novels" things are

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The past decade may have been the graphic novel decade but some comics observers dreamed of the crowning moment of comics PR as Oprah Winfrey holding up a copy of Gilbert Hernandez’s LUBA as a selection of her book club—a Winfrey book club pick rountinely meant mllions of copies sold, so you can see why it would have been the crowning moment of mainstream acceptance for comics. Sadly, that moment never came, as Oprah canceled her syndicated show to focus on her own network. But while comics might not get that instantaneous boost, at least Oprah.com has picked a few GNs s part of an article entitled

11 Books You Never Thought You’d Read (but Will Fall in Love with Instantly):

Must Read: PEN profiles Zapiro

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South African cartoonist Zapiro is famous for his sharply observant cartooning and also for standing up to constant and onerous political pressures because of his observations. Most famously he was sued by the Prime Minister of South Africa for defamation—but as this profile at PEN.org shows, he’s always been at the center of controversy reserved for those who tell the truth.

RIP: Eduardo Barreto

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Although we can find no official confirmation, it is being widely reported that Eduardo Barreto has died, presumably of complications from the illness he has been fighting since 2010. He was 57.

The Uruguayan artist was a staple of ’80s comics with work on NEW TEEN TITANS, ATARI FORCE, The Shadow, Batman, and many other comics. He also worked extensively for Claypool Comics. In 2006 he started drawing the comics strip JUDGE PARKER but was forced to give it up in 2010 when he became ill with meningitis. He has some work in an upcoming issue of DARK HORSE PRESENTS.

RIP: Joe Simon

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Joe Simon, legendary Golden Age co-creator of such characters as Captain America, the Sandman and hundreds more, has died at age 98, according to his son’s posting on Facebook.

Together with his partner Jack Kirby, Simon revolutionized the superhero, horror and romance genres — there pretty much wouldn’t be comics as we know them without the work of these two.