Comics A.M. | Putting 'Star Wars' #1 sales in historical context

Publishing | John Jackson Miller reflects on the news that the first issue of Marvel's Star Wars will sell 1 million copies, and notes the last comic to do so was a Pokemon title in 1999. The last direct market comic to reach that mark was Batman #500 in 1993. Miller also delves deeper into history, pointing out that Marvel's original Star Wars #1, released in 1977, also sold more than 1 million copies, making it the first comic to reach that height since Dell's Uncle Scrooge in 1960. [Comichron]

Passings | Maurice Tanti Burlo, editorial cartoonist for the Times of Malta, has died at the age of 78. Burlo, who used the pen name Nalizpelra, was working for Telemalta in 1977 when Prime Minister Dom Mintoff suspended a number of Telemalta staff, including Burlo, for supporting doctors, nurses, and bankers who went on strike. Burlo started cartooning to "get back at Mintoff," and just kept on doing it; he published three books of his work and won the BPC Award in 1998 an 2002. [Times of Malta]

Publishing | The Washington, D.C., publisher Rosarium Publishing is adding comics to its current roster of novels and anthologies. "Publishing comics was a childhood dream of mine," says publisher Bill Campbell. It looks as if the company has eight graphic novels, on a variety of topics, from slice-of-life to vampire tattoo artist, in the works. [Comics DC]

Creators | Jason Latour discusses his work on Southern Bastards. [Paste]

Creators | Cece Bell talks about why it took her five years to complete her graphic memoir El Deafo, and what the most difficult parts were: admitting to her childhood dislike of sign language and worrying about what her friends would think of the way they are depicted. [School Library Journal]

Creators | Isabel Greenberg, creator of The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, discusses her graphic novels and comics, why she likes to go to small-press festivals, and why she is drawn to folkloric tales: "I think that there are certain stories and themes that are fundamentally relevant to everyone; things that we can all relate to on some level, no matter where we come from or what time we were born in. Themes like parents, siblings, jealousy, rivalry and of course love, are just fundamentally human. Characters in folklore and mythology are easily relatable to because in a way they are just archetypes." [Off Life]

Digital comics | Margaret Rhodes looks at GIF-Novel, a new graphic novel made up, as the name suggests, entirely of GIFs, although it starts out as pen and ink drawings on paper. It was created by French artist Mattis Dovier and the British band Wild Beasts and is part of The Jameson Works, a line of creative products funded by Jameson Whiskey. [Wired]

Conventions | Noah Berlatsky discusses the latest creator-vs.-cosplay kerfuffle: "The backlash to cosplay is in part guys trying to keep girls out of the male clubhouse. But in this context it can also be seen as feminized guys panicking at yet another in a long line of demonstrations that the male clubhouse isn't all that male to begin with." [The Atlantic]

Manga | The final volume of Kuroko's Basketball topped the weekly sales charts in Japan. [Crunchyroll]

Retailing | Chuck Rozanski of Denver's Mile High Comics talks about convention sales and the state of the business in general. [Bleeding Cool]

Exhibits | King Features Syndicate marks its 100th anniversary of supplying comic strips to publications throughout the country with an exhibit at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, titled "King of the Comics: William Randolph Hearst and 100 Years of King Features." The show features original art from the early years of such stalwarts as Blondie, Krazy Kat and Popeye. [Columbus Dispatch]

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