Graphic novels | BookScan’s list of the Top 20 graphic novels sold in bookstores in August is an eclectic mix of old and new, superheroes and other genres. The top seller, for the second month in a row, is the deluxe edition of Batman: The Killing Joke, with hardy perennials Fun Home, American Born Chinese and Watchmen all making the charts, probably because of school assignments. Manga does well, with the two most recent volumes of Naruto, two volumes of Attack on Titan, the first two volumes of Tokyo Ghoul and the seventh volume of Monster Musume all making the cut. Phoebe Gloeckner’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl also charted, as did the first volume of Saga and the 22nd volume of Fables. [ICv2]
Passings| Underground artist Stephen “The Pizz” Pizzuro has died at age 57. Pizzuro, who described his work as “Lowbrow,” started his professional career as an artist for Rat Fink Comics before moving on to do album covers and, later, gallery art. [Hi Fructose]
Manga | The four biggest Japanese manga publishers, Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakuka, and Kadokawa, along with retailer Animate, have formed the Japan Manga Alliance to combat piracy in Thailand. Their first line of attack seems to be simply to make more legal product available, although it’s hard to see what they will be doing differently: Thailand already has licensed manga, but two-thirds of the copies sold there are bootleg. The JMA also plans to open a store in Bangkok this spring. [The Asahi Shimbun]
Creators | In a radio interview, Kelly Sue DeConnick talks about her role as a “vocal feminist” in the comics community and about the panels she will be participating in at Dragon Con. [WABE]
Creators | In a perfect bit of circularity, The Wall Street Journal’s gossip column checks in on the book party for Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s new graphic novel Ann Tenna, which is about a gossip columnist. [The Wall Street Journal]
Comic strips | In the second of three columns on crossing boundaries on the funny pages, Michael Cavna talks to former United Feature Syndicate editor Amy Lago about how she handled questionable content in comic strips, using the “Uranus-Hertz” Dilbert strip as an example. Lago came up with the idea of sending a substitute strip for potentially racy content, which, she notes, sometimes backfires, as readers complain to the editor about not getting the original. [Comic Riffs]
Comics | Writer Ales Kot sent out an all-points bulletin: Credit for writer Bijan Stephen’s essay was inadvertently left off Issue 4 of Material; he will fix that in the collected edition, and the essay will be republished in Issue 5 and online with proper credit. He has even made downloadable erratum slips for retailers to insert into their copies of Issue 4. [Ales Kot’s Tumblr]
Manga | The Muslim Manga Project is creating manga-style comics to educate readers about the positive aspects of Islam, present Muslims in a good light and demonstrate how they might react in given situations, as well as provide Muslim readers with manga that won’t be filled with fanservice. [Muslim Matters]
Retailing | Despite reports of its demise, Quaker Square Comics in Akron, Ohio, won’t be closing after all; instead, the comic shop will move from the Quaker Square General Store at the University of Akron to a downtown location, where it will be renamed Rubber City Comics. [Akron Beacon Journal]
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