Comics A.M. | Angoulême announces official selections

Awards | Although the website for the 40th Angoulême International Comics Festival is down, several outlets managed to pick up on the official selections for the 2013 festival, to be held Jan. 31-Feb. 3. Contenders for book of the year include Big Questions by Anders Nilsen, Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon, Fables by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges and others, The Hive by Charles Burns, The Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillon, Paying For It by Chester Brown, and The Walking Dead Vol. 16 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. Fatale Vol. 1 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, and The Green River Killer by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case were among those named in the crime comic category. [BoDoi]

Publishing | Bluewater Productions Publisher Darren G. Davis isn't afraid to talk about real numbers: Bluewater's income is about $2 million a year, and the most popular titles sell 5,000 to 10,000 copies apiece, although others never make it out of the triple digits. And while he admits he doesn't have a thick skin, Davis says he has gotten used to criticism: "I've learned that I'm not my company. When they attack my company, they are not attacking me personally." [The Columbian]

Creators | Robert Kirkman talks about all aspects of the Walking Dead franchise and how the TV series is getting people to "cross the street" to comics. But it hasn't changed his day-to-day life that much: "I’m doing okay financially, I guess I can say. So that’s nice, but I still buy my clothes at Target. I still drive a Honda. I spend time with my kids." [Forbes]

Creators | Mort Walker, creator of Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois, discusses his 50-year career during a video interview. [The Daily Cartoonist]

Creators | In a podcast interview, Black Hole creator Charles Burns discusses his dreams, Tintin, and why some readers think he creates his images with a computer—or a razor. [The Agony Column]

Creators | Adrian Tomine looks back at his last 10 years of work in a radio interview. [NHPR]

Creators | Writer James Tynion IV discusses the future of Calvin Rose, the former killer Talon who has defected from the Court of Owls and now stars in his own series, Talon. [USA Today]

Comics | Fans of Valiant comics seem to be an unusual breed; one fan has come up with the idea of passing along his extra copies to fellow comics shop patrons in hopes that they will like the series and pick up more—and it seems to be working. [Comicbook.com]

Retailing | When Michael Pandolfo opened Dr. Comics & Mr. Games 14 years ago in Oakland, California, he set out to create the opposite of his childhood comics store: "He remembers the shop was full of the condescending comic book fans he calls 'rules lawyers'—comic book experts who show disdain for non-experts. It wasn’t a welcoming place for any but the most shunned, resentful reader." Dr. Comics, by comparison, welcomes all comers, which may be why it has been a successful going concern for the past 14 years. [Oakland North]

Gift guides | The Good Comics for Kids bloggers put together a comprehensive gift guide for kids and kids-at-heart. [Good Comics for Kids]

Gift guides | Mike Rhode has the grown-up version with his Gift Guide for Comics Nerds. [Washington City Paper]

Commentary | A professional newspaperwoman calls Clark Kent "ethically challenged": "How many times can you hide behind that mild-mannered malarkey while story after story about you bleeds across the front page? For 55 years I've been waiting for Kent to raise his hand in a meeting and mumble, "Um, about that man in the red cape …" But, no. Instead, Superman has stomped out of the newsroom and trashed the industry that gave him cover. Rumor has it that he left the paper to blog. Bad idea, meet worst nightmare." [Parade]

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