Graphic novels | Graphic novel sales are up 6.59 percent in comics shops, and they are also up in bookstores, according to the latest issue of ICv2’s Internal Correspondence. Sales have been increasing in the direct market for a while, but this is the first uptick in bookstore sales since the economy crashed in 2008. There seem to be several factors, including the popularity of television and movie tie-ins — the success of DC’s graphic novel program linked to Man of Steel is singled out — and a turnaround in manga sales. The article winds up with lists of the top properties in a number of different categories. [ICv2]
Digital comics | Here’s today’s news article on Crunchyroll’s new digital manga service, which offers same-day releases of 12 Kodansha manga titles for free and an all-you-can-eat service for $4.99 a month. Tomohiro Osaki interviews Japanese publishing insiders, who are upfront about the fact that this is an attempt to compete with pirate sites, and translator Matt Thorn, who says that better translations on the official site may lure readers away from scanlations. [The Japan Times]
Digital comics | I compared Crunchyroll to scanlation sites and other digital manga programs and concluded that they are indeed a worthy match for the bootleggers. [Good E-Reader]
Creators | Neil Gaiman discusses his return to The Sandman. [Rolling Stone]
Creators | Paul Gravett talks to Ignatz Award winner Michael DeForge — and shows off a new two-page comic. [Paul Gravett]
Creators | Seth answers a set of generic questions. [Hazlitt]
Creators | Rick Remender talks about Winter Soldier, who gets his own miniseries, Winter Soldier: The Bitter March, beginning in February. [USA Today]
Creators | Xavier Guilbert interviews Canadian creator Marc Bell. [du9]
Comic strips | The Danish strip Wumo, which started out as a webcomic, is the newest addition to the Washington Post comics page, and Michael Cavna talks to the creators. [The Washington Post]
Editorial cartoons | In an exception to the usual trend these days, the Louisiana newspaper The Advocate has hired an editorial cartoonist, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Walt Handelsman. [The Advocate]
Editorial cartoons | Hindu groups are protesting a recent cartoon by the South African cartoonist Zapiro that uses the god Ganesh as a stand-in for the Indian cricket board. [Times Live]
Collecting | Eric Spitznagel throws some cold water on the notion that comics are a good investment. Basically, there is a small handful of comics, such as Action Comics #1, that are worth a lot of money, and then there’s everything else, which is worth very little; there’s nothing in between, and the two types of comics don’t even sell in the same channels. [Business Week]
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