Comics A.M. | Dark Horse to release 'Astro Boy' omnibus

Manga | Dark Horse has announced the September release of Astro Boy Omnibus Volume 1, an oversized collection featuring nearly 700 pages of Osamu Tezuka's most popular creation, billed as the first in a series. The news follows the recent announcement of the publisher's oversized editions of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. [Dark Horse]

Publishing | David Carter takes a hard look at Vertigo as part of his analysis of DC Comics' December sales. He notes that most of the series are selling poorly (under — often well under — 15,000 copies) and speculates that the reason may be that creators, even those who do work for DC, are taking their creator-owned books to Image Comics. He also thinks Vertigo's trade policy isn't working, as releasing the trades early and pricing the first one low encourages readers to skip the monthly comics — but then there's a high probability they will forget about a new series altogether. [The Beat]

Publishing | Editor Alex Segura gives his take on Archie Comics' new Black Hood series, written by Duane Swierczynski and drawn by Michael Gaydos, and he also talks about his ambitions for the Dark Circle line in general: "There is some fatigue from comic fans in regards to events. [Dark Circle] didn’t want to come in and say: 'Buy everything and then you’ll finally understand what’s going on.' Or: 'This is Part 1 of 48, and it’ll all culminate in this big crossover.' If people like The Black Hood, then they’ll like The Black Hood. And if they like The Shield and The Black Hood, all the better. But we’re not going to try to impose it on them where they have to buy them all. But I think you’ll also get something out of each one." [Comic Riffs]

Publishing | The owners of United Kingdom-based Breakdown Press, which publishes indie comics and manga, talk about their work and how they find stories and creators to publish. [The Comics Journal]

Creators | Comics creator and editor Jason Rodriguez talks about anthologies, including the first one he edited, Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened, and his most recent, Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750. [Washington City Paper]

Creators | In an interview conducted at Wizard World Comic Con in Cleveland, local artists Milo Miller and Ted Sikora talk about their comic and film Apama, which are set in Cleveland. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

Comics | Andy Oliver picks six small-press creators from the United Kingdom that are worth keeping an eye on. [Broken Frontier]

Commentary | Daryl Cagle wants to make it clear that Lars Vilks, the subject of a recent assassination attempt, is not a cartoonist but a conceptual artist, and by creating a deliberately offensive cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, he is making things worse for actual cartoonists: "Since the Danish cartoons were drawn only for the purpose of demonstrating that there is a right to offend, they set up the narrative that drawing Prophet Muhammad cartoons is all about freedom of expression, that editorial cartoonists are eager to push the limits, and that editorial cartoonists are dangerous, reinforcing the prejudices of editors who are more timid now than ever. Vilks, by taking the reins of the Prophet-Muhammad-cartoon-bandwagon, is limiting my own freedom of expression as an editorial cartoonist almost as much as the Islamic-extremist-nuts who repeatedly try to kill him." The column also includes some interesting context for the other Prophet Muhammad cartoons. [DarylCagle.com]

Manga | Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen, which is based on the author's experiences of the Hiroshima bombing and its aftermath, is being translated into Arabic and published in Egypt. [The Japan Times]

Education | Dan Younger teaches cartooning at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and he must do it well, because his students' works are in several museums. [St. Louis Public Radio]

Conventions | Michael Sangiacomo covers the first day of last weekend's Wizard World Comic Con in Cleveland, checking in with comics retailers who were selling on the show floor and talking briefly to artist Neal Adams. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

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