Comics A.M. | Another <i>One Piece</i> sales record, another cartoonist layoff

Publishing | The 60th volume of Eiichiro Oda's popular pirate manga One Piece sold more than 2 million copies in its first four days of release. It's the first book to move more than 2 million copies in its first week of sales since the Japanese market survey company Oricon began reporting its charts in 2008. As we reported last week, this volume's 3.4 million-copy first printing set a record, and propelled the series past the 200 million-copy mark. [Anime News Network]

Editorial cartoons | Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies has been laid off by the Gannett-owned Journal News in White Plains, N.Y. [Comic Riffs]

Publishing | Abrams has made three comics-related promotions: Susan Van Metre to senior vice president and publisher, overseeing all comic arts books as well as Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books; Charles Kochman to editorial director of Abrams ComicArts; and Chad W. Beckerman to creative director, overseeing design for all comic arts books as well as Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books. [Abrams]

Publishing | Writer Kurt Busiek reveals that his long-running series Astro City, which had been published by the recently closed WildStorm imprint, will continue under the DC Comics banner. [Newsarama]

Publishing | Simona Stanzani talks about translating manga into Italian and English. [The Mainichi Daily News]

Conventions | The Smith College student newspaper reports on New England Webcomics Weekend. [The Smith College Sophian]

Publishing | Deb Aoki talks to Senior Editor Joel Enos about the January relaunch of Viz Media's Shonen Jump Magazine. [About.com]

Creators | The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund pays tribute to Neil Gaiman on the writer's 50th birthday. [CBLDF]

Creators | Deborah Vankin chats with a "less angry" R. Crumb: "All I read anymore is investigative journalism. You name it. Scandalous political stuff, the pharmaceutical industry, all that crap. I’m fascinated by that stuff." [Hero Complex]

Creators | Jim Shooter talks briefly about his lengthy career and the future of comics ahead of his appearance Sunday at the Pittsburgh Comic & Collectibles Show: "Someone told me recently that I'm the longest-tenured (though not the oldest!) active comic book writer, with 46 years of service. I think I keep getting gigs because I out-work, out-care and out-try the younger, gifted people for whom writing is easy, apparently. Someone also told me that I'm 59. Not inside my head, I'm not." [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Creators | Cameron Stewart and Karl Kerschl discuss their upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood miniseries, created for video-game publisher Ubisoft. “It’s quite an astonish­ingly rare job, where it’s a big commercial product by a big corporation, yet it feels to us very much like a personal creation,” Stweart says. “We figured we’d have to work around very strict rules with a brand as big as this, but it turned out to be the opposite. We had a whole lot of creative freedom.” [Montreal Mirror]

Creators | Sweets creator Kody Chamberlain is asked general questions by a reporter from his local newspaper, who notes "there is even a Wikipedia page about him." [The Daily Advertiser]

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