Comics A.M. | 'Bleach' to end Aug. 22 with 'important announcement'

Manga | Tite Kubo's long-running fantasy-adventure manga "Bleach" will end in the next issue of "Weekly Shonen Jump," which arrives on newsstands Aug. 22 in Japan. That issue will also feature an "important announcement." North American publisher Viz Media releases new chapters of "Bleach" in its "Weekly Shonen Jump" digital magazine the same week they appear in Japan. "Weekly Shonen Jump" first announced "Bleach" was heading into its final arc in 2012, but the pace of "the end is near" announcements has picked up in recent weeks. A few weeks ago "Shonen Jump" editor Hisashi Sasaki announced that the 74th volume of the series would be the last. [Anime News Network]

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Saga, Vol. 6[/caption]

Graphic novels | The sixth volume of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' "Saga" topped the July Nielsen BookScan chart, which tracks sales of graphic novels in bookstores. The first volume of Marjorie Liu and Sana Tekada's "Monstress" made its first appearance, and there were five volumes of "Tokyo Ghoul" on the list. ICv2's post includes a discussion of which volumes are on and off the top 20 this month, but the website didn't publish the actual chart, as it usually does, so it's difficult to see the full picture. [ICv2]

Comics culture | Caitlin McGurk, associate curator at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in Columbus, Ohio, not only read comics as a child, she was obsessed with the Stations of the Cross in her church. "That was probably my first experience with sequential art because there [were] these beautiful stained glass or carved images with a little bit of text," she said. "I’d study the image and read the text a thousand times." From there she went on to make her own minicomics and intern in an auction house where she discovered underground comics. In addition to organizing programs and public events at the museum, McGurk is also a tenure-track assistant professor at Ohio State University, which is home to the museum, and her scholarly work focuses on the history of women in comics. [Columbus Alive]

Political cartoons | More details have emerged about the resignation of Hong Kong political cartoonist Yuen Chow-tai, who publishes under the name Yat Muk (given here yesterday as Yi Mu), from the Hong Kong Economic Journal. In an open letter to the journal's Editor-in-Chief Alice Kwok Yim-ming, Yuen said "There are indeed lines that should not be crossed when speaking through a newspaper. If one crosses this line, [their] column is 'restructured' and cancelled immediately… this is no longer the HKEJ that I know." Yuen has been contributing cartoons to the paper for 28 years, and he mentioned a 2012 incident in which the paper dropped one of his strips without explanation, but the immediate cause seems to be the paper's termination of columnist Joseph Lian Yi-zhen; the employees of the paper have written another open letter protesting the cancellation of Lian's column and asking that it be reinstated. [Hong Kong Free Press]

Creators | Jason Concepcion interviews new "Batman" writer Tom King — and lets him pay for the pizza. [The Ringer]

Creators | Chelsea Tatham profiles the "Harley Quinn" creative team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. [Tampa Bay Times]

Creators | The local newspaper profiles Bellingham, Massachusetts, writer Mitch Krpata, who has been working on "Wimpy Kid" creator Jeff Kinney's PopTropica site for some time and has just written a PopTropica graphic novel, "Poptropica: The Lost Expedition." [MetroWest Daily News]

Conventions | Samantha Gianulis looks at Comic-Con International in San Diego through the eyes of a local, not only taking in the attendees and the stars but also talking to a local retailer and noting that a November ballot question may affect the future of the convention. [The East County Californian]

Retailing | Ed Arnold surveys the comics retailing scene in Memphis, Tennessee. [Memphis Business Journal]

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