Conventions | Think Comic-Con International is crowded? Comiket 76, last weekend’s installment of Tokyo’s twice-yearly comics fair, drew a reported 560,000 attendees — 10,000 more than last summer’s event. Comiket is held for three days in August and December at Tokyo’s Big Sight convention center. [Sankuka Complex, Anime News Network]
Publishing | Sales of comics in the direct market increased in July for the second month in a row — up 3 percent from July 2008 — while the Top 100 graphic novels dropped 11 percent for the same period.
Marvel and DC’s summer events led the comics chart, with Captain America: Reborn #1 selling an estimated 193,142 copies, followed by Blackest Night #1 with 177,105. The 13th, and final, volume of 100 Bullets topped the graphic novels list with 8,700 copies. [ICv2.com]
Politics | The Los Angeles Times has uncovered the identity of the person behind the “Obama Joker” image that made the rounds earlier this month: Twenty-year-old Chicagoan Firas Alkhateeb used an online tutorial to “Jokerize” the Time magazine cover, but someone else coopted his Photoshop experiment for those “socialism” posters. [Top of the Ticket]
Publishing | Vertigo announced that next year it will reissue Howard Cruse’s 1995 graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby with an introduction by cartoonist Alison Bechdel. The award-winning tale about homosexuality and racism in the 1960s American South originally was published by DC Comics’ Paradox Press imprint. [Graphic Content]
Comic strips | Amazon.com and Andrews McMeel Universal have launched “Comic Strip Superstar,” an international competition to find “the next popular comic strip artist.” The winner receives a $5,000 advance from Universal Uclick and a monthly stipend for the development of 20 strips to be considered for syndication. The deadline for entries is Sept. 12. [press release]
Publishing | Sean Collins weaves an oral history of Marvel Comics using quotes from such notables as Stan Lee, Joe Simon, Gary Groth, Louise Simonson, Jim Steranko, Jim Shooter and Len Wein. “Really, I’m not sure what the hell happened with Jack Steve [Ditko] quitting,” Lee says. “I was the face of the company, and I’m guessing he felt, ‘Jesus, we’re doing this together, and he’s getting so much credit.’ Again, I’m guessing — he never said why he left. I asked him once, and he said, ‘You should know!'” [Maxim.com]
Publishing | Archie Comics sure is getting a lot of promotional mileage out of the Archie-Veronica wedding storyline. [Edmonton Journal]
Conventions | Policing and traffic-control services by the San Diego Police Department cost Comic-Con International some $63,400. [Eye on Comics]
Retailing | Honolulu TV station KHNL looks at the state of direct-market outlets on Oahu, where just four comic stores remain. “It’s been a rapid decline for like four years, our orders have been smaller compared to back in the early ’90s,” says Antonio Ramos, manager of Jelly’s Comics. [KHNL]
Creators | Pádraig Ó Méalóid asks several comics-industry figures, from Neil Gaiman to Paul Cornell to Leah Moore, what they think of the term “graphic novel.” [Livejournal, via Forbidden Planet International]
Creators | Josh Neufeld discusses the making of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge. [American-Statesman]
Creators | David Lloyd is briefly profiled during an appearance in Frankfort, Illinois. [The Frankfort Station]
Creators | Alan J. Porter talks about writing the Cars comics for BOOM! Studios’ Disney/Pixar line: “The first challenge was to get past the fact that the stars were two-ton boxes of metal and get to know them as characters. To do that I often put the movie on, then lie down on the sofa with my eyes shut and just listen to the dialog and the interplay between them, that way they come alive as characters. Once I have the character voices and personalities in my mind the fact that they are cars and trucks becomes incidental from an overall story telling point of view.” [Disney Comics Worldwide]
Comics | Ryan Burton, who’s penning the biography of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer for Bluewater Productions, all but confirms the comic will be narrated by Dracula: “I know there are lots and lots and lots (lots of lots) of fans who want it to be a certain vampire, but that’s Stephenie’s vampire, isn’t it? I can’t steal him. So we’re dealing with a worldly vampire in our story; someone much more menacing. Someone who’s been around for a bit longer. That might be the biggest hint I can give you…” [Twilight Treasury, via Good Comics For Kids]
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