Comics A.M. | Haven Distributors closing? George defense rests

Distributors | Johanna Draper Carlson catches a couple of tweets from publishers indicating that independent-comics distributor Haven, formed in 2008 from the assets of Cold Cut Distribution, is shutting down at the end of the month. Calls for confirmation this morning to Haven's Skokie, Illinois, offices went to voicemail. The company's closing would leave Diamond without any significant competition for independent comics distribution -- print comics, at least. As Johanna notes, the industry giant still has a rival in another quarter: digital distributor comiXology. [Comics Worth Reading]

Legal | The defense rested in the Michael George trial Tuesday after the comics retailer, who is accused in the 1990 murder of his first wife, chose not to take the stand. His lawyers argued that if he were to do so, his testimony would become the sole focus of the trial. George's current wife Renee, who was kept out of the courtroom for most of the trial in case she was called as a witness, also did not testify. Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday, and then the case will be sent to the jury. [Detroit Free Press]

Retailing | Michael Malve, former owner of Atomic Comics in Arizona, has been named partner and president of the entertainment division of Epic Digital, a Phoenix-based web and media company. Malve closed the four-store chain in August and filed for bankruptcy after 25 years in business. [The Beat]

Conventions | Shannon O'Leary and Casey Burchby wrap up last weekend's Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. [Publishers Weekly, SF Weekly]

Creators | Tucker Stone talks to Jeff Lemire, writer of Animal Man, Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., and Sweet Tooth. [ComiXology]

Creators | James O'Barr chats about The Crow and music. [Guitar International]

Creators | Brian Heater kicks off a four-part interview with Anders Nilsen. [The Daily Cross Hatch]

Comics | Paul Gravett collects three interviews he did recently about his just-released book 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die — and he admits that he hasn't read all of them himself. Yet. [Paul Gravett]

Critics | Time book critic and author Lev Grossman (The Magicians, The Magician King) talks about the greater acceptance of comics in the mainstream media — and by his 70-year-old mother, who is a Death Note fan. [Graphic Novel Reporter]

Digital | Robot 6 contributor Graeme McMillan points out that in the world of prose, reader response to "agency pricing," in which publishers set the price of digital books and that price is the same across all outlets, has been file no fewer than 17 lawsuits, while in the comics realm, folks just complain and buy them anyway. The comments suggest that high prices are keeping people away from digital comics, and 99 cents is the sweet spot, but it's a small sample. [Blog@Newsarama]

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