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Comics A.M. | Digital comics sales dropped in 2015 for the first time

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Digital comics sales dropped in 2015 for the first time

Digital Comics | Digital comics sales dropped 10% in 2015, according to calculations by the geek-industry retail site ICv2. This is the first decline since the category started to take off in 2010. “Industry participants” offered a number of possible explanations for this, including the leveling-off of new tablet and e-reader purchases and competition from Humble Bundle and other bundle services. Conspicuously not mentioned is comiXology’s decision, in spring of 2014, to eliminate in-app purchases on iOS devices, removing the most convenient way to buy comics from the most popular platform. The article does mention that sales through the Google Play store and direct digital sales from publishers of DRM-free comics had increased, although they are still a small segment of the industry. Also, e-book sales in general are down. Despite all this, ICv2 calculates that digital sales totaled $90 million last year, which is still pretty good considering that the market was just $1 million in 2009. [ICv2]

Conventions | New York Comic Con will extend the party with a series of events tagged “NYCC Presents,” running from October 3-9 (the con itself is October 6-9). The events include a “We the Heroes” Ball, Doctor Who costume and trivia contest, a live episode of “Game Grumps,” and “Shipwreck Presents: A Literary Erotic Fanfic Competition based on William Goldman’s The Princess Bride.” All events require separate tickets—your NYCC badge won’t get you in. [New York Comic Con]

Manga | This year’s Anime Expo was the largest ever, with over 100,000 attendees, and there were a lot of major announcements. Deb Aoki rounds up all the manga news. [Publishers Weekly]

Music | Jamie McKelvie created cartoon versions of the Scottish band Chvrches and singer Hayley Williams for their “Bury It” music video. In addition to being the artist for “The Wicked + The Divine,” a comic in which musicians are gods, McKelvie designs posters for Chvrches. [Rolling Stone]

Graphic Novels | The British publisher SelfMadeHero unveiled their Fall 2016 lineup, which includes Rob Davis’s “The Can Opener’s Daughter,” the followup to his Eisner-nominated “The Motherless Oven.” Many SelfMadeHero titles are published in the U.S. by Abrams. [Down the Tubes]

Creators | Sudanese cartoonist Khalid Albaih will be at Colby College this fall as the Oak Fellow at the Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights. Albaih posts his work on his Facebook page, Khartoon!, and his cartoons were stenciled on walls in Egypt during the Arab Spring uprisings. [Colby News]

Creators | Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig is back at work after a traumatic head injury last January. [Sydney Morning Herald]

Commentary | Johanna Draper Carlson calls out a publisher for behavior she regards as unprofessional—complaining publicly, and encouraging piracy, because they lost a contract. [Comics Worth Reading]

Conventions | Organizer Sal Zurzulo anticipated that this past weekend’s Garden State Comics Fest, in Morris Township, New Jersey, would draw 8,500 participants by the end of the weekend. “We draw serious comic-book collectors,” said Zurzulo. “We’ve got some people selling thousand-dollar comic books in there. We have more comic-book collectors here than, we believe, the New York Comic Con has. We are a real comic-collector’s show.” [Daily Record]

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