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Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Publishing | Sales of periodical comics in the direct market in January "inched up" 1 percent over the same month last year, while graphic novels continued their 10-month decline, ICv2.com reports. The retail news and analysis website notes that the total sales of single issues was the lowest since May.

Siege #1 and Green Lantern #50, which led Diamond's Top 300, were the only titles to sell more than 100,000 copies. The 11th volume of The Walking Dead topped the graphic-novel chart with an estimated 16,900 copies, followed at a distant second by the first collection of The Unwritten. [ICv2.com]

Retailing | Simon Jones, Sean Kleefeld, Ralph Mathieu and Tom Spurgeon respond to retailer Brian Hibbs' annual analysis of BookScan sales figures. Spurgeon details the "three big, sweeping problems to Hibbs' general approach," and goes on from there. [Tilting at Windmills]

Retailing | SLG Publisher Dan Vado notes that Amazon.com sold more of his company's backlist titles in December and January than Diamond Comic Distributors and its bookstore branch Diamond Book Distributors: "Why? Well, who knows. But here are a couple of small factoids that contributed to this. First, Diamond did not ship anything in the week before Christmas. This caused kind of a ripple effect and basically put our backlist reorder business to sleep. We had virtually no sales for three weeks through Diamond, our net total for one of those weeks was a scant $8.03. ... Secondly, of course, is the fact that Amazon sells to consumers, who were still buying product right up to the day before Christmas and were aggressively buying books the day after Christmas. Diamond, of course, sells to stores and retailers and most of their buying had been done well before those weeks. Lastly, Amazon sells books at a pretty steep discount, so steep that I have used them to stock our gallery store with a couple of titles." [SLG News]

Legal | Stan Lee reportedly is being sued by high-profile law firm Lavely & Singer, which claims the legendary creator hasn't paid for legal work. "Similar to the flawed comic book super-heros he created," the lawsuit states, "Stan Lee has demonstrated his own flaws by his failure to honor his agreements." [TMZ.com]

Awards | Eleanor Davis' The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook is the winner in the graphic-novel category of fourth annual Cybils, the literary awards selected by children's and young-adult bloggers. [Cybils]

Best of 2009 | Floating World Comics in Portland, Oregon, posts its 25 bestselling comics and graphic novels of the year -- a list topped by the fifth volume of Scott Pilgrim, Watchmen, You Have Killed Me and the ninth volume of The Walking Dead. [Floating World Comics]

Publishing | Tom Spurgeon offers his list of the 10 least-likely candidates to be the next publisher of DC Comics. [The Comics Reporter]

Comics | Roy Edroso rounds up reactions from prominent right-leaning blogs to the Captain America-Tea Party controversy. [Village Voice]

Creators | Collaborators Mike Carey and Peter Gross discuss their Vertigo series The Unwritten. [Multiversity Comics]

Creators | Paul Gravett posts excerpts from a Q&A session with R. Crumb during the 2010 Angoulême International Comics Festival. [Paul Gravett]

Creators | Brian Heater continues his multi-part interview with James Sturm. [The Daily Cross Hatch]

Creators | Michael Cavna chats briefly with Scott Kurtz about PvP, the much-heralded "death" of newspapers and the often-heated Webcomics vs. Syndicated Comics debate: "For years, newspapers have been subsidizing syndicated comic strips, providing them with a captive audience and allowing them to claim paper readership numbers as their own. In return for this, the syndicates have provided papers with safe content that's neither appealing nor provocative to a younger audience in the slightest. These practices are starting to bear bitter fruit. Newspapers suddenly don't want to pay as much for content that doesn't bring in new readers and syndicates can't attract exciting talent with the rates they're being offered." [Comic Riffs]

Craft | Jason Aaron breaks explains his approach to writing comics: "I suck at coming up with character names. I’ve reused lots of the same names, usually of people I know. When I was in college I would always flip through CD liner notes to find good names, but these days all my CDs are packed up in boxes in the basement. I try to keep a list where I jot down interesting names I encounter." [JasonAaron.info]

Craft | Michael Avon-Oeming posts pages from the Winter 2003 issue of Draw! magazine explaining how he and Brian Michael Bendis create an issue of Powers. [MichaelOeming.com]

Greg Capullo Joins Todd McFarlane to Illustrate Spawn #300

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