Comics A.M. | Keatinge, Cho sign with Delcourt; comiXology rolls out affiliate program

Publishing| Joe Keatinge and Frank Cho have signed a three-book deal with Delcourt, a comics publisher in France. The first book of theirs Delcourt will publish will be the first volume of Brutal, which will debut at the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angouleme 2013. Delcourt publishes many American comics in France, including Walking Dead, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Invincible, Rocketeer, Hellboy, The Goon, Haunt and many more, as well as many manga titles.

"On a personal level, French comics have had a huge influence on me. Working within that industry is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I wanted a career in comics at all. Being an author with a book debuting at Angouleme is a goal I thought was many a year away, so this has taken things to a whole new level much sooner than anticipated. While I do plan on going back in 2012, this still gives me a year to work on my awful command of the language before I have to do a signing. Being in the good hands of Delcourt makes me think it’s a good start," Keatinge said. [Joe Keatinge]

Digital | comiXology rolled out 100 online storefronts as a part of their affiliate program for online comics shops. Heidi MacDonald has commentary on the contract between retailers and comiXology, while retailer Brian Hibbs shows up in the comments section on her site: "...speaking only for myself, I could not possibly sign the offered contract. It is, in my personal opinion, a shit sandwich, embarrassingly one-sided and unreasonable in virtually every particular." [press release]

Pricing | Von Allan looks at the costs of comics over the years as compared to minimum wage. John Jackson Miller offers commentary. [Von Allan Studios, The Comichron]

Publishing | James Sturm recounts his quest to get a cartoon published in The New Yorker and posts a number of his cartoons, along with the editor's critiques. At least he had a nice lunch. [Slate]

Digital | Robot 6 contributor Graeme McMillan questions Marvel's statement that it is the No. 1 digital publisher: Given that sales information is not shared widely within the industry, how would they know? [Blog@Newsarama]

Comics | David Brothers looks at how Frank Miller "built a better Batman" by, among other things, focusing on his mom: "Frank Miller and Jim Lee's All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder is a shining spot in the catalog of Batman comics because Martha gets all the attention, barring a mention of The Mark of Zorro being Thomas's favorite movie. For once, Thomas is on the sidelines. This a notable and surprising shift in focus in the discussion of Batman's origins, and one that I missed on the first read. Thomas Wayne is the steel in Bruce Wayne's spine, the will that lets him stand up tall when battling the Joker. Martha, however, is the hope inside the Batman, the little voice that elevates him above the Punisher (driven by anger) or Spider-Man (driven by guilt). Yes, his quest is one of revenge against the nebulous idea of crime, but at the same time, he's genuinely trying to protect others from his bogeyman. He doesn't want other children or people to go through what he went through. There's an altruistic element there, wrapped in a seriously personal, and possibly even selfish, crusade." [ComicsAlliance]

Conventions | Heidi MacDonald and Ed Sizemore report on their experiences at last weekend's Baltimore Comic-Con. Heidi also shares pictures from the con. [The Beat, Comics Worth Reading]

Creators | Joshua Hale Fialkov discusses how he got involved in DC's New 52, as well as his work on I, Vampire and Echoes. [TFAW]

Creators | Cartoonist and animator Jesse Moynihan discusses his webcomic Forming. [The Daily Texan]

Creators | Webcomics creator Kevin Church about the process of writing: "I hate plotting longer form things. With most projects that are finite, I just know how they end and I try to get to that point by any means necessary, winging it a bit, but I’ve found that I lose a bit of an edge if I’m not being panicky and trying to connect the dots. I recently came across the first plot synopsis of She Died In Terrebonne and it’s not nearly as engaging on any kind of emotional level. This thing I’m working on now with the new artist (who I won’t name until we’ve actually got something in the can) is more ambitious than anything I’ve done, so I’ve worked out a lot of character beats and motivations in advance." [eat the funny pages]

Comics | Carol Burrell, editor of Lerner's Graphic Universe series and creator of the SPQR Blues webcomic, discusses page composition, panel flow, and thumbnails, using examples from Jaime Hernandez's "Flies on the Ceiling" and James Sturm and Rich Tommaso's Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow. [Graphic Universe Blog]

Retailers | Web Behrens talks to several Chicago-area retailers about DC's upcoming relaunch: “DC sales have been dwindling for years. There are enough new, potentially good books coming out that a lot of customers, angry or not, are still going to buy more DC titles than they do presently," said Eric Thornton, manager of Chicago Comics. [Time Out Chicago]

Manga | Deb Aoki reviews five manga she found on the new JManga.com digital manga portal, including Star Protector Dog (out soon in print from NBM) and Ekiben Hitoritabi, a manga about a man who travels around the country in order to experience the bento lunches sold in train stations. [About.com]

Manga | Jason Thompson looks at a classic gender-bender series, After School Nightmare (which was nominated for an Eisner award). [Anime News Network]

Comics | Scholar Qiana Whitted looks at comics about blues singers. [The Hooded Utilitarian]

Comics | Sean recently posted the news that Sparkplug Comics publisher Dylan Williams is in poor health, and he and others are urging people to buy some Sparkplug books to help Williams out financially. To help you choose, Brian Heater polls some prominent editors and creators on their favorite Sparkplug comics and Craig Fischer links to some reviews. [The Daily Cross Hatch, The Panelists]

Award-Winning Comic Book Journalist, Tom Spurgeon, Passes Away

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