Comics A.M. | Graphic novel sales up 10% in bookstores this year

Graphic novels | Sales of graphic novels are up 10 percent so far this year compared to the same period in 2013, according to Neilsen BookScan, which tracks sales in bookstores and other general retail channels. In terms of unit sales, that's about 5.6 million books sold this year, as opposed to 5.1 million in 2013. The trend is echoed by Diamond Comic Distributors' numbers for the direct market, which show graphic novels up 3.8 percent in dollars and 5.8 percent in unit sales year to date. [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | Alison Bechdel is having a busy week: Following the news that she has been awarded a prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship, she announced her new book: The Secret to Superhuman Strength, a memoir of her obsession with exercise and a history of American fitness fads, to be published in 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. [The New York Times]

Editorial cartoons | Venezuelan cartoonist Rayma Suprani says the newspaper El Universal fired her after she drew a cartoon critical of the Venezuelan healthcare system. The paper has been critical of the government for years, but it changed hands six weeks ago and since then its editorial slant has become more pro-government. [Ahram Online]

Awards | Frequent book-award juror Alexander Chee defends the inclusion of graphic novels in literary awards against other jurors who just don't get it: "The truth is that drawing is perhaps the only thing harder than writing, and telling stories out of the mix, even harder than both. You are looking for a balance, one I think Marjane Satrapi described best, when she said, “I write what I can’t draw, and I draw what I can’t write.” The best of these works give us stories in a way that other mediums cannot. They do not supplant other kinds of storytelling but create a new place for stories to be told, stories that could not be told any other way." [Salon]

Creators | Jill LePore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman, writes in depth about William Moulton Marston, his unorthodox family life, and his connection to birth-control pioneer Margaret Sanger. [The New Yorker]

Comics | David Cutler looks at the increasing popularity of comics in educational settings. [The Atlantic]

Creators | Writer Tom Taylor talks about what to expect in Year 3 of Injustice: Gods Among Us. [IGN]

Creators | The Comics Journal reruns a 1992 interview with Charles Burns. [The Comics Journal]

Manga | Manga translator Jocelyne Allen talks about her job. [Tofugu]

Libraries | Rich Shivener talks to Barbara Jones, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association, and several school and public librarians about this year's Banned Books Week, which will focus on comics and graphic novels. [Publishers Weekly]

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