Comics A.M. | 'Attack on Titan' closes in on 'One Piece' in Japan

Manga | While Hajime Isayama's Attack on Titan has been burning up the bookstore sales charts in the United States, the dystopian manga is also giving the smash-hit One Piece a run for its money in Japan. According to market research firm Oricon, Attack on Titan sold more than 15.9 million copies in the past year, just behind One Piece's 18.1 million (Kuroko's Basketball is a distance third with about 8.8 million). Of course,  Eiichiro Oda insanely popular pirate manga has little to fear: The 72-volume (and counting) series has 300 million copies in print in Japan, and 345 million worldwide. Kodansha's Attack on Titan, meanwhile, is on its 11th volume. [ICv2]

Auctions | Select titles from Don and Maggie Thompson's collection of rare comics -- among them, The Avengers #1, Journey Into Mystery #83 and The Incredible Hulk #1 -- sold at auction last week for a combined $835,384. A 9.6 copy of Tales of Suspense #39 alone fetched $262,900. [Heritage Auctions]

Collectors | When he was in grade school, Steve Landman was very particular about the condition of every comic he bought, and he bagged and boarded them carefully using dry cleaner bags and shirt cardboards. Now that he is 62 and facing a serious disease, that care is paying off: He is selling off his collection of 10,000 comics to raise money for his family and his medical care, and the pristine comics may bring in as much as $750,000 all together. [The Associated Press]

Publishing | John Cunningham, DC Entertainment's vice president of marketing, talks about the marketing campaign for Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Overture, which included spots on the FX and Syfy networks as well as the Jumbotron in Times Square. [ICv2]

Awards | The Iranian cartoonist Behruz Firuzi took first place in the 17th annual Fax for Peace, Fax for Tolerance competition in Spilimbergo, Italy. [Tehran Times]

Comics | The Israeli Defense Force has released a comic book, and it's not one of those feel-good comics about how the army makes you strong; it's titled Hamas in Comics: Terror and Tyranny in Gaza and chronicles the IDF's "Pillar of Defense" military offensive in Gaza. Needless to say, it has drawn a variety of reactions online. [Al Jazeera]

Creators | Joe Sacco is back, with yet another long, thoughtful interview about his work; this time, he talks in general terms about using the medium of comics to tell journalistic stories as well as his current book, The Great War. [Salon]

Creators | Artist Carlos D'Anda, who collaborates with Brian Wood on Dark Horse's Star Wars, talks about the challenges of drawing the iconic series — especially helmeted characters like Darth Vader and Boba Fett. [The Force Net]

Creators | Fairbanks, Alaska, cartoonist Jamie Smith has been drawing bird cartoons for 25 years, so he has quite a bit to say on the topic. [Fairbanks News-Miner]

Business | Writer Tim Beyers cautions that the trend toward rebooting comics characters and storylines is going to hurt comics movies at the box office. [The Motley Fool]

Conventions | This weekend's Christmas Comic Con, in Windsor, Ontario, drew about 3,000 attendees with a mix of creators, vendors, and cosplayers. [Windsor Star]

Retailing | Torsten Adair chronicles his Black Friday shopping adventure, a tour of comics shops in Omaha, Nebraska. [The Beat]

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