Digital comics | A free digital comic starring Wallace & Gromit, the popular animated UK duo, has been downloaded more than 500,000 times since Nov. 7, leading one eBook blogger to wonder whether The W Files is the “FIRST eBook best-seller.” (If it’s free, can it still be considered a bestseller?) Released by Titan Publishing, the free iPhone app marks the 20th anniversary of Wallace & Gromit. Subsequent issues cost 99 cents each. [GalleyCat]
Digital comics | Marvel is giving away 1,000 one-year subscriptions for its Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited online service to enlisted military personnel through Jan. 7. [Air Force Times]
Publishing | Reed Stevenson looks at the growth of manga in Europe, where the market is expanding at a pace of 10 percent to 15 percent each year: “Sales of printed manga books have fallen in Japan in recent years but grown elsewhere, particularly among European young people who are consuming such titles as Naruto, Fruits Basket and Death Note with the same appetite as an earlier generation showed for The Adventures of Tin Tin and The Adventures of Asterix. [Reuters]
Publishing | Suresh Seetharaman, president of Liquid Comics, briefly discusses the successor to Virgin Comics: “Comic books incubate ideas that create opportunities for other revenue streams in the entertainment industry, which is what we are focused on at this moment.” [The Financial Express]
Manga | It’s been a while since there’s been a Death Note scare, so I guess we were due: An Oklahoma City newspaper reports that two students at Andrew Johnson Elementary are being disciplined for possessing a notebook that contained references to the violent deaths of two fellow students who had angered them: “Kill (student’s name) by gun shotgunshell in her hand” and “(student’s name) shot by a sniper.” Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s hit manga centers on a high school student who sets out to rid the world of evil using a supernatural notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it. [Oklahoma City Friday, via Anime News Network]
Manga | David Welsh suggests several manga for Eisner Awards consideration, including Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka and 20th Century Boys, Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life and Kiyohiko Azuma’s Yotsuba&!. [Precocious Curmudgeon]
Creators | The lengthy conversation between writers Denny O’Neil and Matt Fraction from The Comics Journal #300 makes its way online. [TCJ.com]
Creators | Evelyne Aka profiles Marguerite Abouet, author of the popular Aya series of graphic novels. [AFP]
Creators | Joe Sacco gets the spotlight in a piece that includes criticism of his Footnotes in Gaza from an Israeli military historian and a professor of comparative literature. [The Associated Press]
Creators | Dash Shaw discusses The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D., his earlier work, and some creators he admires. [Big Shiny Robot!]
Creators | Evan Miller profiles Becky Cloonan, who discusses, among other things, her earliest exposure to manga: “The slapstick of Ranma 1/2 and Maison Ikkoku resonated with me much like the Sunday comics did. Then I discovered that it was drawn by a woman, which was pretty rare in the early 90s. When I discovered that there was a country of women drawing comics, it really opened my eyes.” [Anime News Network]
Comics | Esther Inglis-Arkell considers the tendency of comics books to throw “random crap together until it works,” from giant Nazi robots to superhero face-offs. [io9.com]
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