Comics A.M. | Graphic novel sales jump 38% over January 2012

Publishing | Comics sales were up 22 percent in the direct market over January 2012, and graphic novels increased by nearly 38 percent. This good news is tempered a bit by the fact there were five Wednesdays in this January (or 25 percent more Wednesdays, if you want to look at it that way), but that fifth week is usually a quiet one for new releases, so I think we can call this a win. The retail news and analysis site ICv2 credits Marvel NOW! and a strong backlist for the boost. [ICv2]

Publishing | Dark Horse's video-game art book The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia last week was the No. 1 book in the United States, according to Nielsen BookScan -- not merely in the graphic novel category, but in any category. The initial print run was 400,000 copies. (Comic Book Resources interviewed the book's editor Patrick Thorpe last month.) [ICv2]

Creators | Brian Michael Bendis talks about his lifelong love of comics and how his career and his upbringing as the son of a single mother intersects with his Orthodox Jewish upbringing: "The Torah is full of mythological sources of father and son, and so is Marvel Comics." [JTA]

Creators | In anticipation of this month's London Super Comic Convention, Laura Sneddon interviews Tim Seeley, David Hine, David Mack and David Lloyd about their creator-owned comics. Several of the creators talk about working for Marvel and DC as well, and how that builds their audience, but Seeley points out that creator-owned comics bring in more women readers: "Creator-owned comic creators tend to, by desire or by necessity, reach beyond the superhero genre, and can appeal to other audiences that aren't first and foremost about testosterone and balls. I think more and more women who are interested in the medium of comics will find their way to Dark Horse, Image, etc. It's gonna be awesome." [The New Statesman]

Creators | Mark Siegel talks about his inspiration for the characters and the book-within-the-book in Sailor Twain. [The Bowery Boys]

Creators | In Tom Spurgeon's latest Sunday interview, colorist Steve Hamaker discusses his work on Jeff Smith's Bone and RASL as well as Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto comic. [The Comics Reporter]

Retailing | The owner of Third Eye Comics in Annapolis, Maryland, explains why creator signings are an important part of his retailing strategy. [ABC News]

Retailing | San Francisco's Two Cats Comic Book Store is spotlighted ahead of its one-year anniversary. [Digital Journal]

Comic strips| Larry Cruz explains why Walt Kelly's Pogo was once such a big deal that it caused a riot. No, really. [The Webcomic Overlook]

Manga | Yet another fan-comic (doujinshi) event in Japan has barred comics based on Tadatoshi Fujimaki's Kuroko's Basketball. An unknown person has been sending threatening letters, some of which contained toxic chemicals, to people and sites associated with the manga since last October. [Anime News Network]

Digital comics | The Japanese publisher Otome's Way will begin publishing yaoi manga online in English in April; the manga will be available in the United States and a number of other countries. [Anime News Network]

Reviews | Ken Tucker takes a look at Craig Yoe's collection Comics About Cartoonists. [Entertainment Weekly]

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