Publishing | Buoyed by its Blackest Night miniseries and tie-in books, DC Comics claimed the first six slots on Diamond Comic Distributors’ Top 300 list of books sold to the direct market in October.
It’s a rare occurrence, to be sure, but just how rare? Charts-watcher John Jackson Miller contends we have to travel back more than 40 years, to a time well before the direct market, to find when DC last had the six best-selling comics (as sold to retailers). Yes, 1968. The closest DC came in the direct-market era, according to Miller, was in April 1993, when the publisher held the top five positions.
But back to October 2009, when DC also narrowed the market gap with Marvel to the closest margin in some time: The competitors were separated by just 2.43 percent in unit share, and 2.68 percent in dollar share. [Diamond Comic Distributors, The Comics Chronicles]
Retailing | Borders Group announced Thursday it will close about 200 of its Waldenbooks, Borders Express and Borders Outlet stores in January. The retail chain has been steadily closing mall-based stores in its Waldenbooks Specialty Retail division since 2001. About 130 mall stores will remain once the downsizing is complete. [Publishers Weekly]
Publishing | Comics writer Marc Bernardin (The Authority, The Highwaymen) was among at least 11 staff members let go from Entertainment Weekly this week in a round of massive cutbacks by parent company Time Inc. A senior editor, Bernardin had worked for the magazine for 15 years, playing an important role in EW‘s initial moves to cover comics. [Twitter]
Publishing | Mark Miliad eyes the success of Randall Munroe’s XKCD: Volume 0, a collection of his popular webcomic, and marvels at the cartoonist’s “nontraditional route” to publishing. [Jacket Copy]
Publishing | Scott Dunbier, special projects editor of IDW Publishing, discusses the 50th anniversary of The Family Circus and the company’s hardcover library series. [USA Today]
Publishing | In honor of Guy Fawkes Night, KC Carlson recounts memories of editing the V for Vendetta collection for DC Comics in 1990. [Comics Worth Reading]
Passings | The Comic-Con International website posts a tribute to late co-founder Shel Dorf written by R.C. Harvey for the convention’s 2009 souvenir book. The Los Angeles Times also has an obituary for Dorf, who passed away this week at age 76, while Mark Evanier returns with thoughts on the debt San Diego owes to Dorf. [Comic-Con]
Sales charts | R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated holds the top hardcover spot for the third week on The New York Times’ Graphic Books bestseller list, followed by Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, which debuts at No. 2. The hardcover chart sees three other premieres: Ultimatum (No. 4); The Walking Dead, Book 1 (No. 5); and Pride and Prejudice (No. 9). Meanwhile, the 24th volume of Negima! Magister Negi Magi topples Naruto, Vol. 46, from its seat atop the manga chart. [The New York Times]
Creators | Artist Paolo Rivera discovers himself on Google Street View (outside of Jim Hanley’s Universe in Manhattan), and details how he uses the online feature as “a fantastic resource” for research and inspiration. [The Self-Absorbing Man]
Webcomics | The Telegraph’s Tom Chivers names the 10 best webcomics, including Achewood, XKCD, Cyanide and Happiness, and Dinosaur Comics. [Telegraph]
Comics | Bully compares the covers for the 1970s Mexican reprints of DC superhero comics to the 1950s originals. [Comics Oughta Be Fun!]
Comics | Ben Morse rattles off his Top Five comic-book marriages. [The Cool Kids Table]
Comic strips | This just in: The Spider-Man newspaper strip is pretty awful. [Again With the Comics]