Comics A.M. | Comic sales slide slows; <i>Thor</i> press kit triggers bomb scare

Publishing | The drop in year-over-year sales in the direct market slowed in April, with periodicals slipping 1.75 percent and graphic novels just .84 percent. Overall sales were down 1.46 percent for April and 6.5 percent for the first four months of the year. Marvel topped Diamond's comics chart with Fear Itself #1, while DC led the graphic novel category with the 15th volume of Fables. [ICv2.com]

Crime | Police evacuated the bus terminal in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, Friday afternoon after a suspicious package was discovered across the street. The Michigan State Police bomb squad was called in, and it was determined the mysterious package was merely a briefcase-shaped media kit promoting Acura's involvement with Marvel's Thor. A writer for Automobile, whose offices are next to the terminal, had discarded the "S.H.I.E.L.D. Assessment Test" kit in the recycling bin, but it wasn't picked up -- apparently because it isn't recyclable. [WXYZ, Jalopnik]

Comic-Con | Mark Evanier discusses a new hotel tax proposed by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to pay for the planned expansion of the city's convention center. There would be a 3 percent tax on rooms closest to the convention center, the location of Comic-Con International, with others being taxed between 1 and 2 percent, depending on their proximity. [News from ME]

Awards | Nominations are being accepted through May 31 for the 28th annual Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, which will be presented July 22 during the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International. [Comic-Con International]

Retailing | In its first-quarter filings, U.S. retail chain Hastings reports a 3 percent increase in its "trends" merchandise category, driven in part by the sales of new and used comics. The retailer recently expanded its comics space in 126 stores. [press release]

Conventions | Tim Janson wraps up this weekend's Motor City Comic Con in Nov, Michigan. [Mania.com]

Creators | David Lloyd chats about his career, V for Vendetta and a possible shift to online comics: "I’m interested in online storytelling, not just putting a comic online though. I think that’s kid of crazy. There should be something more than just putting a comic page on a computer screen, and there are different ways of doing that. I’m looking for the best way to do that, to tell a story, produce a graphic novel week by week, month by month. Now obviously you can do that just as a showcase and then sell the book afterwards. There have been some examples of that working well. But if I do something like that, I would like to earn money. I kinda regret that a lot of ideas I get, I can’t do. I have some nice ideas but if I did all of them, every one of them taking two years, I’d be fixed for the next ten, so I’m not sure if I want to do that. If I invest time in something, I’ve got to get results and it has to be seen." [Philippine Daily Inquirer]

Creators | Chester Brown talks about his new graphic novel Paying for it: A Comic-Strip Memoir About Being a John. [The Gazette]

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