Awards | DC Comics, BOOM! Studios and Viz Media were named publishers of the year in their respective categories in Diamond Comic Distributors’ annual Gem Awards. DC received 10 awards in all, including those for backlist publisher, comic book under $3 (Batman and Robin #1), comic book over $3 (Blackest Night #1) and reprint (Watchmen). Marvel, curiously, is absent from the list.
The awards are selected based on quality, creativity and overall sales impact. Nominees are made by “a panel of Diamond industry professionals,” and voted on by direct-market retailers. [Diamond News]
Retailing | The financially troubled Borders Group has laid off 124 corporate — about 10 percent of its corporate staff — plus 40 workers in two warehouses in Nashville, Tennessee, and Mira Loma, California. Eighty-eight of the corporate positions came from the bookstore chain’s Ann Arbor, Michigan, headquarters. [Media Decoder]
Awards | Penny Arcade creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik and business guru Robert Khoo will be presented with the Ambassador Award at the Game Developers Conference, held March 11 in San Francisco. The award recognizes those who have “helped the game industry advance to a better place, either through facilitating a better game community from within, or by reaching outside the industry to be an advocate for video games and help further our art.” [press release]
Libraries | The Young Adult Library Services Association is restructuring its lists, resulting in the elimination of the 80-year-old Best Books for Young Adults list. The move leaves some educators and librarians disappointed and confused. [School Library Journal]
Events | Wicked Grounds, “San Francisco’s first and only kink café and boutique,” will play host on Saturday to the Kinky Comics Carnival, featuring such creators as Greta Christina, Tristan Crane, Ted Naifeh and Serena Valentino. [Sex SF]
Publishing | First Second Books Editor Calista Brill talks about the publisher’s submissions process. [First Second]
Publishing | Corrina Lawson questions Marvel’s choice of names for its recently announced comics about teen superheroines — Marvel Her-Oes: “First, the large ‘O’ has an unfortunate implication all on it’s own and I don’t mean ‘Othello.’ The second is take phonetic pronunciation of the two capital letters. … H.O.s.” [GeekDad]
Publishing | Matt Ampersand takes another look at Marvel’s recent string of title cancellations. [The Weekly Crisis]
Comics | To mark the 50th issue of Vertigo’s DMZ, Jesse Schedeen provides a retrospective of the Brian Wood/Riccardo Burchielli series. [IGN.com]
Comics | David Uzumeri continues his annotations for Batman and Robin, now with Issues 6 and 7. [Funnybook Babylon]
Creators | Cartoonist Kean Soo chats about his early life, journal comics, his work process and Jellaby. [Torontoist]
Creators | Cesar Feliciano, artist of Bluewater Productions’ upcoming Female Force: Sonia Sotomayor, is profiled by his local newspaper. [Hartford Courant]
Comics | Classic X-Men comics are among the $200 million in unclaimed property at the Kansas State Treasure’s office. They were discovered in an unclaimed safe-deposit box. [KTKA, Topeka Capital-Journal]
Crime | A man arrested on burglary charges earlier this month in Panama City Beach, Florida, claims he isn’t a thief, but rather that area’s version of Batman.
When 35-year-old Danny Zane Tatum was stopped outside a house whose owners were out of town, police reportedly discovered in his truck bolt cutters, a pry bar, and a tote bag containing black gloves, screwdrivers, binoculars, a hacksaw and knives. Those apparently were his low-budget utility belt. According to the police report, Tatum explained “he was like Batman and that he was a vigilante on our side.” [Northwest Florida Daily News]