Publishing | Following its grim snapshot of year-to-date dollar sales in the direct market, ICv2.com has released a dreary analysis of the November charts: For the third time in 2010, the top-selling title failed to crack the 100,000-copy mark. Batman: The Return, priced at $4.99, sold about 99,500 copies, compared to the 144,000 sold by November 2009’s top title, Blackest Night #5. According to the retail news and analysis site, 20 of the Top 25 titles experienced a drop last month. As ICv2 noted last week in its initial report, dollar sales of comics were down 10.2 percent when compared with November 2009, while graphic novels jumped 14.84 percent, tied to the release of the 13th volume of The Walking Dead (it sold more than 19,000 copies). [ICv2.com]
Digital publishing | Google on Monday unveiled Google eBooks, a web-based e-book platform/digital storefront that boasts “the world’s largest selection of ebooks.” Dan Vado offers brief commentary. [TechCrunch]
Retailing | Activist investor William Ackman has offered to finance a $960 million bid by Border Groups to buy its smaller larger rival Barnes & Noble. Both chains have been struggling amid competition from online stores like Amazon.com and the increasing popularity of e-book readers. [The Detroit News]
Passings | Steve Bates, longtime manager of Ohio’s Bookery Fantasy and later a writer in the marketing department of Diamond Comic Distributors, passed away Dec. 3 from cancer. He was 48. [ICv2.com]
Best of the year | Katherine Dacey selects the best manga of 2010, including AX: A Collection of Alternative Manga, Black Blizzard, and A Drunken Dream and Other Stories. [The Manga Critic]
Comics | S.I. Rosenbaum rolls out a graphic novel gift guide. [The Boston Phoenix]
Creators | Christopher Irving continues his profile of Frank Miller, this time focusing on The Dark Knight Strikes Again, All-Star Batman and Robin, The Spirit movie and more. [Graphic NYC]
Creators | Nathan Wilson continues his discussion with Paul Levitz about 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. [TCJ.com]
Creators | Sarah Glidden discusses her memoir/travelogue How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less: “I don’t even think I believe in objectivity anymore. No matter how hard you try to gather facts, there’s always a motivation behind the reasons we choose one source over another, and our sources have prejudices and biases too. That stuff can really drive you crazy if you start thinking about it. As soon as I started doing research into the history of the Levant region and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict I realized this. I was suspicious of pretty much everything I read. This book is kind of about my search for objective truths in a situation where that’s nearly impossible to find, so I knew that if I wanted to write about that I would have to go the route of extreme subjectivity.” [Bookslut]
Creators | Paul Tobin talks about Spider-Girl, Marvel Adventures and what he likes best about writing kids’ comics: “The freedom of being able to completely world-build. The all-ages material isn’t as bound by the Code of Continuity, so if I feel like bringing in some disparate elements, it’s all up to me.” [TFAW]
Creators | Tom Mason chats with Neil Vokes about his upcoming collaboration with Roger Stern Doctor Strange: From the Marvel Vault, which tells the story of the Sorcerer Supreme’s first night at at 177-A Bleecker Street. [Comix 411]
Comics | Tucker Stone offers tips for jump-starting a career in comics: “Don’t be that guy. You know which guy I’m talking about, the guy who is a walking PR kit. He never talks with you, he talks at you. This one dimensional persona pollutes the comics industry. If you have an idea for a project and you’re pretty excited about it, congratulations, but here’s a little secret: no one cares. If you insist on giving us lip service then please, I urge you to take a step outside yourself and imagine listening to your spiel about your ‘secret project’ or how ‘people would kill to work on the deal’ you just ‘scored’.” [comiXology]
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