Comics A.M. | Day-early debut axed for <i>Formic Wars</i>, more on Wizard World

Publishing | Citing "distribution concerns," Marvel has canceled plans to allow members of the ComicsPRO retail trade organization to sell the first issue of author Orson Scott Card's Formic Wars: Burning Earth on Feb. 15 rather than Feb. 16. Announced last Friday, the move was designed to take advantage of Diamond Comic Distributors' new day-early delivery program, which allows direct-market stores to receive comics on Tuesday for sale on Wednesday. It's what just this week enabled the early release of the heavily publicized Fantastic Four #587. According to Rich Johnston, complaints from DC Comics and other publishers over that promotion are what led to cancellation of the ComicsPRO incentive.

But publishers weren't alone in protesting Tuesday releases: On the retail-oriented news and analysis site ICv2.com, store owners complained about "special treatment" for ComicsPRO members, and criticized Marvel for already authorizing day-early sales. "At this rate, by the end of the year, Tuesday will be new comics day," wrote Ed Sherman of Rising Sun Creations. [Marvel]

Conventions | Jason Wood breaks down the reverse merger that permitted the Gareb Shamus-led Wizard World Inc. to become a publicly traded company. [iFanboy]

Publishing | Heidi MacDonald follows up on the recently announced reorganization at Top Cow Productions, and reports that in addition to publicity manager Christine Dinh, the publisher has laid off director of sales and marketing Atom Freeman, editor/designer Phil Smith and some office staff. [The Beat]

Publishing | Rich Johnston attempts to get a better picture of the final years of the Comics Code Authority through tax filings for the Comics Magazine Association of America and comments from the trade group's last executive director Holly Munter Koenig. [Bleeding Cool]

Digital comics | Jessee Schedeen lays out recommendations for creating a better marketplace for digital comics: "Publishers – don't turn your justified anger over lost sales into a vendetta against downloaders. Don't follow the example of the R.I.A.A. and slam offenders with massive lawsuits that far exceed any conceivable monetary damages inflicted. It only engenders ill will among downloaders and legitimate consumers alike. Simply focus on providing the best and most comprehensive digital comics services possible, and buyers will come. It happened with the music industry, and it will eventually happen in this industry too." [IGN.com]

Digital comics | ComiXology CEO David Steinberger offers an overview of his company and the state of digital comics. [TFAW.com]

Creators | Writer David Hine addresses recent controversy over the introduction in Detective Comics of Nightrunner, a French Algerian Muslim recruited by Bruce Wayne to be the Batman of Paris: "I thought we had moved on from a time when a non-white Anglo-Saxon character might be seen as unusual. I realize this is part of an anti-Muslim sentiment in a tiny segment of the online community, as much as a racial thing. I get the impression that there are people who spend their time trawling the internet to find any mention of Islam that they can get outraged about. But it feels like a manufactured outrage and I don’t take it too seriously." [Graphic Policy]

Retailing | Michael Hurt and Heath Pecorino have opened The Short Box in Staunton, Virginia, the city's first comic store since the mid-1990s, when Gypsy Witch closed. [The News Leader]

Retailing | Pat Calanan, owner of Cave Comics in Newtown, Connecticut, is profiled on the store's 21st anniversary. [Newtown Patch]

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