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Comics A.M. | Jury selection begins in Michael George trial

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Jury selection begins in Michael George trial

Legal | Jury selection is set to begin today in Mount Clemens, Michigan, in the second trial of former retailer Michael George, charged with first-degree murder in the 1990 shooting death of his first wife Barbara in their Clinton Township comic store. George, 51, was convicted in 2008, but later that year a judge set aside the conviction, citing prosecutorial misconduct and the emergence of new evidence that might have resulted in a different verdict. [The Detroit News]

Retailing | Retailer Mike Sterling answers questions about DC’s relaunch, noting his store saw an uptick in sales before the relaunch: “In our case, comic sales have been increasing … slowly, but steadily. And judging by demand for the new Justice League #1 and the interest we’ve seen in DC’s next batch of first issues, we’re expecting a bit of a bump in sales over the next few weeks. Whether that bump sticks, even as a slight net gain after the initial excitement over the new launches peters out and we see what the sales levels on these titles will actually be, remains to be seen. But I’m optimistic. My fear was that our upward store sales trend may have been derailed by DC cancelling everything and starting again, alienating the readership we were building, but for the most part that doesn’t seem to be happening. But, you know, in six months or a year or so, we’ll know for sure.” [Progressive Ruin]

Retailing | Eric Levin, owner of Atlanta’s Criminal Records and co-founder of the Free Comic Book Day-inspired Record Store Day, may have to close his shop by Nov. 1. “We’ve been underwater ever since the economy became distressed,” he says. “We’ve been on a rescue mission for three years. I’m done paying for it by myself.” The store, which marked its 20th anniversary last month, does “above par” business selling CDs, records, comics, graphic novels and magazines. However, that hasn’t been enough to make up for the costs of moving to a larger space and hosting live music events, combined with the recession, a “miserable” holiday season and a market shift to digital music. Tom Spurgeon rounds up reactions from some publishers and cartoonists. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]


Publishing | Officials in Milwaukie, Oregon, are negotiating with Dark Horse to move 20 of its 130 employees to the second floor of one of the company’s buildings in hopes of freeing valuable storefront real estate on Main Street to lease to retailers. [Oregon City News]

Creators | Brian K. Vaughan discusses his upcoming Image Comics sci-fi/fantasy series Saga. [Multiversity Comics]

Creators | J.H. Williams III talks about Batwoman, and the media firestorm surrounding the introduction of a lesbian Kate Kane in 2006: “The way DC announced the character way back when put people on their heels a little bit. There wasn’t any solid plan behind the character yet, so some took it as a publicity stunt—and it wasn’t at all. As people started to see there was potential for this character as a deep-rooted one you can believe in, some of that hubbub went away. She’s a legitimate character people can find things to relate with. We’re not being exploitative with her being a lesbian. We’re treating it as with any other character regardless of what their sexual orientation is—that’s a small part of who they are as a person. It’s not all about her being a lesbian and I think that’s made her a bit of a beacon for people to get behind the character instead of it being a publicity grab or something that doesn’t sit as a three-dimensional person.” [FrontiersLA, via J.H. Williams III]

Creators | Craig Thompson chats briefly about his new graphic novel Habibi. [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | The works of Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá are on display in Shanghai, China, as part of the traveling IllustraBrazil exhibition. [The Wall Street Journal]

Comics | Brendan Wright looks at last week’s Justice League #1 in the context of Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s JLA #1 from 1996. [The Wright Opinion]