Comics A.M. | <i>Batman: Earth One</i> leads July bookstore sales

Publishing | DC Comics' Batman: Earth One, by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, topped the Nielsen BookScan list of graphic novels sold in bookstores in July, one of five Batman books to populate the Top 20.  The remainder of the chart was dominated by manga -- five spots, with the newest volumes of Sailor Moon and Naruto claiming Nos. 2 and 3 -- The Walking Dead -- three volumes, with the latest slipping from No. 1 to No. 4 -- and Dark Horse's two Avatar: The Last Airbender books, by Gene Luen Yang, both of which remain in the Top 10. [ICv2]

Publishing | Archaia CEO PJ Bickett talks about some new planned digital products and the current Archaia strategy for its books: "As of right now for 2012 we’ve really focused on some key titles and in building those out as real brands. In the past we’ve taken more of a throwing it out there and hoping for the best [approach] and now we’re taking a more strategic, targeted and strategic approach. We’re seeing a lot of great efforts as a result of it." [ICv2]

Fandom | Ken Meyer Jr. takes a look at the first three issues of FOOM (Friends of ol' Marvel), Stan Lee and Jim Steranko's Marvel fanzine, which went in-house after Issue 4. Assistant editor Ken Bruzenak recalls "Jim would do layouts and I would translate that to pasted-up pages. We both did most of the writing, using several pseudonyms. I would call Roy Thomas, Len Wein and Marv Wolfman for news and write all that. Jim did most of the incidental art for the games and covers. Jim was the only one to talk with Stan, and that not very often. Steranko was packaging the project as a four-issue deal. Stan’s input was an editorial and final approval before printing." The post includes some nice art from Steranko and Steve Rude as well as some vintage photos of the Marvel gang. [Comic Attack]

Creators | Howard Chaykin discusses Black Kiss 2: "It's all about the three things that matter most: sex, death and the movies. It starts in a nickelodeon and ends in the Internet." [USA Today]

Creators | Chris Roberson, who moved from Superman to creator-owned comics in a fairly short time, talks about Monkeybrain, the digital-comics initiative he founded with his wife Allison Baker, and the joys of creating his own characters. [Comicbook.com]

Comics | Ryan Haupt writes about his changing attitude toward the cities in which comics are set, going from anxiety about nonexistent cities to a more relaxed desire to simply explore and enjoy them: "This attitude opened me up to really trying to get into the character of other unique fictional cities. No longer was thinking of Gotham as New York’s dark side. Metropolis became a location unspecific oasis of technological achievement and Midwestern values instead of the weird Chicago/Toronto/daytime New York monster my pre-relaxed mind had merged it into. And a truly skillful writer like Geoff Johns was even able to make Central City and Keystone City into sister cities, each one giving the reader a different insight into their respective scarlet speedsters." [iFanboy]

Comics | Did Degas read comics? Maybe yes, maybe no, but in an intriguing essay inspired by the exhibit "Edgar Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement," Matthias Wivel argues that at the very least, Degas had some interests in common with photographer Eadweard Muybridge and cartoonist A.B. Frost. [The Hooded Utilitarian]

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