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Comics A.M. | Longest-Running Manga Comes to an End

Manga | The longest-running manga in Japan, Osamu Akimoto's "Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen Mae Hashutsujo" ("This is the police station in front of Kameari Park in Katsushika Ward”), will conclude on its 40th anniversary, in the Sept. 17 issue of "Shonen Jump." The 200th and final collected volume will be released on the same day, and fans are speculating that Akimoto actually tweaked the schedule for the tankoubon (collected editions) in 2014, increasing the number of chapters per book so he could end with exactly 200 volumes. [RocketNews 24]

Retailing | Comics sales were down in the first half of the year but went up over the summer and are expected to stabilize by the end of the year; graphic novels are gaining ground; and the bankruptcy of the Hastings chain has not had a big impact on publishers because they learned from the Borders debacle. That was some of the big-picture news in Heidi MacDonald's report on this year's Diamond Retailer Summit, held last week just before Baltimore Comic Con, and the tidbits were fascinating as well: DC's Hanna-Barbera comics are doing better than expected, Marvel's "Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur" and "The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl" are doing well in Scholastic Book Fairs and other non-direct market channels, and BOOM! Studios is now the biggest non-premier publisher and has set its sights on becoming a premier publisher. [Publishers Weekly]

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Publishing | Comics-business watcher Rob Salkowitz looks at a Pew Research survey on readers' preferences and pulls out some trends that could affect comics publishing: Many people still prefer print to digital; digital readers prefer tablets to e-readers; and young people read more than their elders. Salkowitz unpacks that a bit and finds that it's mostly favorable for the comics market. [ICv2]

Conventions | The Victoria, Texas, city council reduced municipal funding for the Victoria Comic Con by $2,770 after one of the founders of the event critiqued the distribution of the funds on Facebook. Megan Booth had some harsh words for the council's allocation of Hotel Occupancy Tax funds, saying too much went to another event, Bootfest, that was not profitable for the city, while Victoria Comic Con brought in between 10,000 and 15,000 visitors to the city and sold out several local hotels. When she learned that the city had, in fact, allocated funds according to hotel stays this year, Booth took down the post, but it was too late. Although the city councilors had no comment, Mayor Paul Polasek said, "The vote was punitive." [Victoria Advocate]

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Creators | Editorial cartoonist Andy Donato reminisces on his career as the 80-year-old is honored with a star on the Brampton (Ontario) Walk of Fame. “I still remember one of the first cartoons I drew,” Donato says. “Cyril Clarke was the then reeve and known as the ‘crap shooting reeve of Chinguacousy.’ When police raided a gambling joint in Mississauga, Cyril was caught in there gambling. So, every time I drew Cyril, I drew a dice hanging on him.” When he forgot the dice, Clarke actually called and gave him a hard time about it. [Brampton Guardian]

Comic strips | Scott Timberg looks at how "Bloom County" has changed since creator Berkely Breathed re-started the strip after ending it in 1989; he includes an interview with Breathed as well as comics journalists Tom Spurgeon and Chris Mautner. A collection of the new strips, "Bloom County Episode XI: A New Hope," is due out next week. [Salon]

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Comics | Michael Cavna discusses obituary cartoons with Matt Bors and Darrin Bell — and recounts his own experience with a cartoon he drew. [Comic Riffs]

Comics | Ken Parille takes a fascinating look at punctuation and spelling errors, and the effects of copy editing (and the lack thereof) on comics. [The Comics Journal]

Exhibits | Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar, who's awaiting trial on sedition charges, is displaying 20 of his cartoons on giant billboards opposite a shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The exhibit, "Cartoons For Rakyat," is inspired by an outdoor exhibit he did in Geneva, along the shores of Lake Leman, earlier this year. "Cartoons for Rakyat" is up now and will run through Sept. 10. [Malaysiakini]

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