Comics A.M. | Fundraising for Bil Keane statue falling short

Cartoonists | A campaign to raise money to erect a 9-feet-tall bronze statute of Family Circus cartoonist Bil Keane in his hometown of Paradise Valley, Arizona, is trailing about $23,000 short its goal ahead of an April 30 deadline. Alan Gardner points out that amount is reachable on Kickstarter. [The Arizona Republic]

Publishing | Kevin Roose has a brief chat with Bluewater CEO Darren G. Davis, who says that the company's bestseller, the Michelle Obama bio-comic, sold about 150,000 copies; the CEO biographies do about half that number. [New York Magazine]

Retailing | ICv2 presents a brief summary of its survey of retailers (there's still room for growth, movies help sales, too many gimmicks such as variant covers), and lists the top comics properties of 2012 in a number of different categories, including superheroes, manga and kids' comics. [ICv2]

Comics | Alice Cooper has teamed up with Annoying Orange co-creator Tom Sheppard to launch a Kickstarter for a horror comic anthology, Uncle Alice Presents, with a TV pilot to follow. Sheppard explains, "Look, we all love anthology series like Tales From the Crypt, The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but wouldn’t we love them a lot more if they were hosted by Alice Cooper?" [Variety]

Creators | Jonathan Hickman discusses his new apocalyptic Western East of West, which debuts today from Image Comics. Describing it as a love story at the end of the world, the writer said, ""Maybe it's a story that says, yes, things are bad and times are bleak and I know exactly how you feel, but maybe it's going to be all right and at least we have love." [USA Today]

Comics | Yeah, it's a slideshow article, but this is a fun one: Sean Ryon counts down 15 comics that feature rappers. [XXL]

Digital comics | Good news for those of us who don't have Nooks but use the Nook app on our iPads: Barnes & Noble has updated the Nook iOS app to allow support for comics. The Nook Store has a robust selection of comics, but until recently many of them didn't work on the iOS apps. [Engadget]

Digital comics | Amy Koga of Digital Manga Inc. explains why the company moved its digital manga model from streaming to downloads and talks about some of the features of their revamped eManga site. [Good E-Reader]

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