Comics A.M. | FCBD attracts 1 million; Bill Finger Awards announced

Retailing | More than 1 million customers visited participating stores on Free Comic Book Day, according to a survey conducted by Diamond Comic Distributors. More than 2.4 million of the record 2.7 million comics ordered by retailers were handed out. What's more, nearly 54 percent of stores saw higher profits than usual for a Saturday, while more than 37 percent reported higher profits than on a typical Wednesday. [ICv2.com]

Awards | Bob Haney and Del Connell will receive the 2011 Bill Finger Award for Achievement in Comic Book Writing, established in honor of the late writer, considered the "unsung hero" of Batman. Haney, who passed away, in 2004, is best remembered as co-creator of the Doom Patrol and Metamorpho and for his work on DC titles like The Brave and the Bold, Teen Titans and Aquaman. Connell, who began his career at Disney Studios working on such animated projects as Alice in Wonderland and The Three Caballeros, became a prolific writer and, eventually, editor-in-chief at Western Publishing. He also wrote the Mickey Mouse comic strips for more than 20 years. Connell, 94, will accept his award July 22 during the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International. [Comic-Con]

Comic-Con | Organizers of Comic-Con International met the June 2 deadline to submit an application for a business license in La Mesa, Calif., where the nonprofit group has operated for the past five years. However, a local writer seems bothered that the organization, which lists assets of more than $7 million, isn't required to pay a fee -- $35, plus $3 per employee -- for its business license. [Patch.com]

Retailing | A water main next to Mostly Comics in St. Catharines, Ontario, burst last week, damaging an estimated 250,000 back issues stored in the basement. [The Standard]

Conventions | Local newspapers preview the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, which kicks off this afternoon in Alberta, Canada. Comic guests include Neal Adams, Kate Beaton, Amanda Conner, Danielle Corsetto, Geof Darrow, Kathryn Immonen, Stuart Immonen, Scott Kurtz, Jeff Lemire, Francis Manapul, Mike Mignola, Dustin Nguyen, Ethan Nicolle, Cary Nord, Tim Sale, Gail Simone, Fiona Staples and Cameron Stewart. [Calgary Sun, Calgary Herald]

Creators | Bill Willingham talks Fables and fairy tales: "With my Elementals series, I was one of the lesser known pioneers (at the same time as Frank Miller with Daredevil and then Dark Knight, and Alan Moore with Marvelman and then Watchmen) of serious, realistic takes on superheroes. As much as I like some of what I did back then, I've come to a complete turnaround on my philosophy of what makes a good superhero story. The more we tried to explain how this seemingly impossible thing works, to ground it more in reality, the more power we leached out of the concept. I now feel that superheroes should be treated more like fairy tales and less like science fiction. In fairy tales, someone can do an amazing thing, because the storyteller just said so. In superhero comics Superman can pull a planet through space because the writer and artist just said he could and showed him doing it. Period. Once you try to explain how that's possible, you rob the storyteller of his authority." [io9.com]

Creators | A preview of a store signing in Norfolk, Virginia, by FF writer Jonathan Hickman wins for headline of the week: "Human Torch's killer stops in Norfolk." [Virginian-Pilot]

Creators | Paul Hornschemeier chats briefly about his new graphic novel Life with Mr. Dangerous. [Speakeasy]

Creators | Peter Hogan discusses Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom. [Omnivoracious]

Creators | Alan Moore discusses his long-discussed 750,000-word second novel Jerusalem: "Any editor worth their salt would tell me to cut two-thirds of this book but that's not going to happen. I doubt that Herman Melville had an editor -- if he had, that editor would have told him to get rid of all that boring stuff about whaling: 'Cut to the chase, Herman.'" [New Statesman]

Comics | A. David Lewis, a comics writer and doctoral student in religion and literature, discusses his dissertation -- it's about depictions of the afterlife in comics and other pop culture -- the rise of Islamic superheroes in Western comic books. [BU Today]

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