Manga | Attack on Titan is as much of a manga juggernaut in its native Japan as it is the United States, and the 13th volume had a print run of 2.75 million copies, a new record not only for the series but for publisher Kodansha. [Crunchyroll]
Comics | Tom Risen has a thoughtful piece, which includes an interview with Axel Alonso, on how superhero comics have changed since the War on Terror began: “Superheroes since the 2000s have increasingly held up a mirror to controversies like mass surveillance, remote killings using drones and the ‘with us or against us’ mentality espoused by former President George W. Bush. Misuse of military technology also played a key role in recent movie adaptations featuring Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America and Iron Man, showing how fighting dirty to defeat evil can make America its own worst enemy.” [U.S. News & World Report]
Passings | British cartoonist Phil Evans, whose work appeared mainly in the Socialist Worker, has died at the age of 68. Evans’ cartoons, including his signature strip, Our Norman, were simple but not simple-minded, filled with telling details and little idiosyncrasies. He was also funny: As one friend said of him, “he could charm the spuds off a hungry pig.” He was also a bit ahead of his time: One collection of his drawings instructed the reader to reuse them at work, and he even included cut-out and reproduction instructions on the back of the book. Kent Worcester wrote three blog posts about Evans for The Comics Journal. [The Guardian]
Comics sales | John Jackson Miller manages to find a silver lining in March’s gloomy direct market numbers; comics were down but graphic novels were up by almost enough to offset them, for a total drop of 1.48 percent in dollar sales compared to March 2013 and a 4.4 percent drop for the first quarter compared to last year. He also points out that, as sales volume is lower in the first quarter than the rest of the year, first-quarter sales don’t necessarily indicate a strong trend. “[H]istory is replete with strong Aprils wiping out winter losses,” he reassures us, adding that we won’t really see the shape of the year until June. [Comichron]
Comics sales | ICv2, on the other hand, looks at the same set of numbers and sees the glass half-empty, writing, “The Walking Dead juggernaut may even be slowing. We note that there were no early volumes of TWD in the graphic novel top 10 despite a weak month, perhaps an indication that new readers are no longer flocking to the title in the same numbers.” [ICv2]
Creators | Cartoonist Sean Mack explains how he makes a living drawing cartoons, with collaborator Shea Serrano, for ESPN’s TrueHoop blog and the music site Complex. [MLive.com]
Creators | Writer Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z) discusses his new comic, Extinction Parade. [Horror Talk]
Comics culture | Toronto is a great comics town (it’s the home of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival Fan Expo and The Beguiling), but apparently the Midtown area is a bit of a comics desert, according reporter Brian Baker. His investigation includes visits to Toronto Comicon and the local comics shop Paradise Comics. [Town Crier]
Conventions | The Central PA Comic Con exceeded expectations on its first day, drawing 800 attendees. Julia Hatmaker’s con report includes a video of an attendee speaking Klingon. [The Patriot-News]
Exhibits | The drawings and writings of the late cartoonist James F. Dent will go on display starting today in the State Archives Library in Charleston, West Virginia. Dent was the humor columnist and editorial cartoonist for The Charleston Gazette from 1952 until his death in 1992. [The Charleston Gazette]
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