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Obituaries

Fantagraphics Co-Publisher Kim Thompson Has Died

Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson has passed away.

He was born in Denmark, but moved to the United States in the late 1970s where he edited The Comics Journal and Amazing Heroes. During his tenure at Fantagraphics, he worked with a wide range of influential artists and writers. His obituary shared some of his life’s work:

Among Thompson’s signature achievements in comics were Critters, a funny-animal anthology that ran from 50 issues between 1985 to 1990 and is perhaps best known for introducing the world to Stan Sakai‘s Usagi Yojimbo; and Zero Zero, an alternative comics anthology that also ran for 50 issues over five years — between 1995 and 2000 — and featured work by, among others, Kim Deitch, Dave Cooper, Al Columbia, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sacco, David Mazzuchelli, and Joyce Farmer. His most recent enthusiasm was spearheading a line of European graphic novel translations.

(Link via Sarah Weinman, photo via Lynn Emmert)

Vince Flynn Has Died

Thriller novelist Vince Flynn has passed away. He was 47 years old.

If you want to remember the novelist, you can donate to one of the charities that Vince Flynn supported. His books included American AssassinKill Shot and The Last Man. The AP published his obituary today:

 

Flynn self-published his first book, “Term Limits,” in 1997 before landing a publishing deal. “Term Limits” became a New York Times bestseller … He averaged a book a year.

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Michael Hastings Has Died

Investigative reporter and author Michael Hastings has died following a car accident. He was working as BuzzFeed’s correspondent-at-large and a Rolling Stone contributor.

Hastings was the author of The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan and I Lost My Love in Baghdad. Hastings made headlines in 2010 for his Rolling Stone article “The Runaway General,” a story that ultimately cost General Stanley A. McChrystal his command. At Reddit, Hastings shared this advice for writers:

Mainly you really have to love writing and reporting. Like it’s more important to you than anything else in your life–family, friends, social life, whatever … Learn to embrace rejection as part of the gig. Keep writing/pitching/reading.

Iain Banks Has Died

Novelist Iain M. Banks has passed away.

The Friends of Iain Banks website offered this brief message:

“Iain died in the early hours this morning. His death was calm and without pain.” We will update this site shortly. Please leave messages here, he absolutely loved them. For now, a fond farewell to our friend.

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Bernard Waber Has Died

Bernard Waber, the author of The House on East 88th Street, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and other classic kid’s books, has passed away.

After World War II, the young artist changed his plans to study finance and took on art instead. he The House on East 88th Street captured his memories of moving to New York City as a young artist and newlywed. He shared his memories in a moving essay:

My involvement with children’s books originated with some illustrations of children I carried in my art portfolio. Several art directors suggested that my drawings seemed suited for children’s books. At the same time, I was also having read-aloud sessions with my own three children. I am afraid enthusiasm for “their” books began, in fact, to cause them occasional discomfort. “Daddy, why don’t you look at the grownups’ books?” they once chided as I trailed after them into the children’s room of our local library. Before long I was mailing out stories and ideas to publishers. Rejections followed, but after a time a cheery encouragement arrived from Houghton Mifflin Company, and to my delight, a contract was offered for Lorenzo. In one way or another, I seem to find myself thinking of children’s books most of the time.

Ray Manzarek Has Died

The Doors co-founder and author Ray Manzarek has passed away. He was 74 years old.

We’ve created a Spotify playlist below, linking to his music, interviews and work with poets. The rock keyboardist wrote a few books, including The Poet in Exile: A Novel and his Light My Fire memoir. You can read Entertainment Weekly had this obituary for the rock star:

As a member of the legendary rock band that formed in 1965 in Los Angeles and effectively ended with the death of frontman Jim Morrison in 1971 … [he] wrote a best-selling memoir about his experiences, Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors, in 1998. The Doors sold more than 100 million albums worldwide on the strength of hits like ”Hello, I Love You,” “Riders on the Storm,” “Light My Fire,” and “Break On Through to the Other Side.”

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Publisher Louis Strick Has Died

The literary publisher and calligraphy expert Louis Strick has passed away. He was 87 years old, leaving behind a lifetime of books, art and writing scholarship.

Westport Now published an obituary about his long and varied career. Here is an excerpt:

In the late 1960s Strick began importing calligraphic art supplies, distributed through his Pentalic Company. By making special nibs, pens and instruction books widely available, Strick spearheaded a revival of the calligraphic movement in America;. He also established the Calligraphy Workshop, a school on lower Fifth Avenue. In the late 1970s, Strick purchased the Taplinger Publishing Company, bringing out works of literary fiction as well as volumes on modern art, reflecting two of his passions.

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E.L. Konigsburg Has Died

Author E.L. Konigsburg has passed away. She wrote the beloved kid’s book, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Her bookshelf also included A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver and The View From Saturday. In an interview, she once said “You have to experience kindness in order to be kind,” explaining why she believed in practicing random acts of kindness. She also outlined her writing career:

I was the first one in my family to go away to college. I came from a small town where there was no guidance in the high school at all. It was a mill town, and I never knew anyone who made their living from the arts. When you did go away to college, you went away to be something – an engineer, or a teacher, or a chemist. I never knew anyone who went away to be an artist until I was in college. When I was in college at Carnegie Mellon, I wanted to be a chemist. So I became one. I worked in a laboratory and went to graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. Then I taught science at a private girls school. I had three children and waited until all three were in school before I started writing. When my third child went away to school, I started to write in the mornings. I’ve already mentioned that I want to write something that reflects their growing up, because when I was growing up the books I read never reflected me.

A.S.A. Harrison Has Died

Author A.S.A. Harrison has passed away.

Her debut novel, The Silent Wife, will be released in July. She also published Orgasms with Coach House Press, Revelations (co-written with Margaret Dragu) with Nightwood Editions and Zodicat Speaks with Viking Penguin.

Penguin shared a brief tribute: “We are deeply saddened over the loss of a great woman and a very gifted writer.” (Author photo via)

Peter Workman Has Died

Workman Publishing Company founder Peter Workman has passed away. He was 74 years old.

He founded the nonfiction trade and calendar publisher in 1967. The company also includes Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Artisan, Storey Books, Timber Press and HighBridge Audio. Here’s more from Workman Publishing:

After a stint in the sales department of Dell Publishing, he founded Workman Publishing Company as a book packager in 1967, and within two years published its inaugural list leading with Richard Hittleman’s Yoga 28-Day Exercise Plan, a title that is still in print. His vision and drive grew Workman into a wholly unique and fiercely independent book publisher. Among its iconic bestsellers are B. Kliban’s Cat, The Official Preppy Handbook, The Silver Palate Cookbook, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Brain Quest, Sandra Boynton’s children’s books, and 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. Also a trendsetter in the calendar business, Workman invented the groundbreaking boxed Page-A-Day Calendar.

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