Comics A.M. | Single-issue sales jump 22% in February

Publishing | Single-issue comics sales last month were up 22.26 percent over February 2011, and graphic novels were up 15.6 percent, making for a good month for publishers and retailers. (Of course, there were five Wednesdays in February, which may have something to do with it.) As in previous months, DC sold the most comics but Marvel, with higher cover prices, topped its competitor in terms of dollar share. [ICv2]

Publishing | The top-selling graphic novel in bookstores last month was part one of Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, written by Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese). The Walking Dead books took four of the top 20 spots, or a healthy 20 percent of the list, and 13 of the bestsellers were manga. [ICv2]

Publishing | Marvel is cutting costs on its $2.99 comics by going with "self covers," which just means that the covers are the same paper as the inside of the comic, rather than heavier stock. As the insides are glossy paper anyway, Todd Allen feels the difference is barely noticeable—and that the real news is that Marvel is finding it necessary to cut costs once more. [The Beat]

Publishing | Johanna Draper Carlson looks at how the different Archie Comics lines are doing, based on the publisher's statements that are included in the comics; since she has been doing this for a couple of years now, she is also looking at trends. [Comics Worth Reading]

Creators | Artist Amy Reeder discusses her recently announced departure from Batwoman, which she will leave in the middle of a story arc, although she doesn't go into detail: "The jist of it, though, was that it was a bad situation, and kept getting worse and more intense until it became impossible. I am a long-term project kinda girl and I was so excited about being on Batwoman ... I didn't want to let go of it and fought until it was over." [The Reeder Ship]

Creators | Bill Willingham talks about Fairest, which is supposedly about the ladies of Fabletown but kicks off with a story arc about Ali Baba: "We wanted the perfect, princely, pretty-boy kind of guy for Ali Baba, somebody who would look at the mirror every morning and just be astonished: 'I was asleep all night and just forgot how pretty I am.'" [USA Today]

Creators | For his latest podcast, Matt Staggs interviews Derf Backderf, the cartoonist who went to school with serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and has just written a graphic novel about it. [The Disinfocast]

Comics | Just in time for the opening of the Disney film, John Kane takes a look at the John Carter of Mars comics, and how Jesse Marsh's artwork is so much better than any computer can do. [The Savage Critics]

Review | Fairbanks, Alaska, writer David A. James critiques Zach Worton's The Klondike, and finds that Worton gets the look of the place right: "From the first pages, it’s clear that Worton is a gifted artist with a deceptively simple style. Working in black and white, he deftly alternates between scenes dependent on heavy line work and others that are nearly blank. This approach nicely conveys the way in which northern landscapes can be filled with mountains and trees and yet simultaneously appear desolate. It’s an atmosphere that differs from more lushly forested lands to the south that would require a broader brush, but that needs a greater emphasis on details than would be required for stories set in the desert or prairie." [Fairbanks Daily News-Miner]

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