Comics A.M. | Direct market experiences best January since 2008

Sales | Sales of comic books and graphic novels to comic books stores through Diamond Comic Distributors increased 27.5 percent in January compared to the same month in 2011. Comics were up 32 percent while graphic novels were up 18 percent compared to 2011. DC Comics dominated all 10 spots at the top of the chart, with Justice League #5 coming in at No. 1. Batman: Through the Looking Glass was the top graphic novel for the month. [ICv2]

Passings | British comics artist Mike White, who illustrated Alan Moore's The Twisted Man and numerous other stories for 2000AD, Lion, Valiant, Action and Score 'n' Roar, has passed away after a long illness. [Blimey!]

Publishing | Because the world demanded it, apparently, Random House plans to publish e-books of all the collected editions of Garfield newspaper comics. [Down the Tubes]

Legal | Lawyer Jeff Trexler explains the ins and outs of copyright as it applies to the bits and pieces of the comics and movie world — the Batmobile, costumes, Stormtrooper helmets — and how a lawsuit over Mike Tyson's tattoo could have put all of DC's characters into the public domain. [The Beat]

Creators | For the past few years, the Pizza Island studio in Brooklyn has been home to seven of the brightest stars in comics these days: Kate Beaton, Domitille Collardey, Sarah Glidden, Meredith Gran, Lisa Hanawalt, Deana Sobel and Julia Wertz. Now they are turning in the keys and heading their separate ways, and Laura Hudson talks to all seven about what their plans are for the future. [Comics Alliance]

Creators | In a video of a presentation at the Fantagraphics bookstore, writers Mark Long and Jim Demonakos discuss the origins of their graphic novel The Silence of Our Friends (illustrated by Nate Powell), which is based in part on Long's memories of his father, who was a white reporter covering the civil rights struggle in Texas in the late 1960s. [Graphic Eye]

Creators | Jeff Parker and Erika Moen talk to Lauren Davis about the end of their webcomic Bucko, which wrapped up last week after a year. Here's Moen on their collaborative process: "Parker asked me in the beginning what kind of story I'd like to draw, and I told him I enjoy drawing 20-somethings going on misadventures. And then, of course, Parker borrowed liberally from the flotsam and jetsam of my life, such as the name 'Bucko.' 'Bucko' is my nickname for my brother and has been ever since we were kids. I don't even think about it, when I answer a call from him I start with 'Hey Bucko...' Parker liked that so here we are. The rest of the collaborative process was Parker giving me completed pages and me responding 'Parker, I can't draw that, people will lynch me!!'" [Comics Alliance]

Publishing | Tom Spurgeon talks to editor Michael Catron, who has just returned to Fantagraphics after several years' absence and is already working on a variety of different projects. [The Comics Reporter]

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