Comics A.M. | Comics decline again; Village Voice to pay cartoonists

Publishing | The direct market experienced another decline in March, with comics sales slipping 2.43 percent from the same month in 2010, and graphic novels plummeting 10.01 percent. For the first quarter of 2011, comics fell 8.57 percent while graphic novels dropped 7.24 percent, for a combined decline of 8.14 percent.

John Jackson Miller notes that DC Comics' price rollback appears to be having an impact on the overall bottom line: "While unit sales for comics were up by less than 1% in March, led by FF #1, they were down 2.43% in dollar terms. The quarterly unit-to-dollar gap in periodicals was wider, with a sales loss of nearly 1% in units versus a 5% loss in dollar terms. In the past inflationary periods, we always saw the dollar category doing better than units. Now, the reverse is happening." [ICv2.com]

Publishing | Following widespread criticism, The Village Voice Editor Tony Ortega acknowledges that not paying cartoonists who contributed to the paper's Comics Issue "was not the best way to help out the cartooning industry." So he'll be paying the artists. [The Village Voice]

Retailing | Owner Ron Van Leeuwen, owner of Toronto's famed Silver Snail comic store, is retiring after 35 years and selling the business to manager George Zotti and his partner Mark Gingras. The store will remain at its current location until at least February 2012, after which it will move to another, more "book-friendly" neighborhood. [The Toronto Star]

Publishing | The April issue of Tripwire is available online for free. [Tripwire, via Forbidden Planet International Blog]

Creators | In a far-ranging Q&A, Grant Morrison discusses his process, collaboration, his best work, and Superman Beyond as "the most fulfilling superhero story I've ever written": "It's slightly overlooked because it was a bit cerebral, so maybe it wasn't quite grasped since it appeared in the context of Final Crisis and it slightly lost a little of its visibility. But that's my all-time favorite one in the superhero stuff, I think. There's a lot of the All Star Superman, the run of All Star Superman, that I think is the most complete and rational and enlightened of my work (laughs), so I really like issue #10 of that, which is probably one of the best things I've written, but in terms of just personal issues, Superman Beyond I like even better." [Graphic Novel Reporter]

Creators | Adrian Tomine talks about his new book Scenes from an Impending Marriage, his process, and how fatherhood has affected his approach to work: "It’s definitely made me realize how much time I’ve wasted in my life up to this point. Until you have that experience of having a kid, or anything that changes your notion of time, you sort of think, the way things are are the way things absolutely have to be. It takes me x number of hours to achieve this much work, and some of that is going to involve sitting around and staring out the window or listening to the music and waiting until the mood hits me. Now that’s really not an option. I have the feeling of being a sprinter at the starting line as soon as my daughter goes to sleep. Time to turn on the talent! Which is not always as easy as I’d like." [Gothamist]

Creators | Oliver Ho begins a three-part interview with Kill Shakespeare co-creators Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery. [PopMatters]

Creators | John O. Mason profiles Shaloman creator Al Wiesner. [The Philadelphia Jewish Voice]

Creators | Juan Fernandez spotlights Grey Legacy creator Wayne Wise. [The Tartan]

Comics | Michael Roberts takes a look at the Man of Steel's visit to Denver, Colo., in Superman #709. [Westword]

Fandom | Eighteen-year-old Kaman Stowell of Sartell, Minn., apparently has "one of the largest assortments" of Superman memorabilia in the Midwest. [St. Cloud Times]

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