Publishing | Retailer Brian Hibbs asserts that substantial shipping problems created by the move of Diamond's Memphis, Tennessee, warehouse in February may have contributed to the 2-percent overall decline of comics in 2009: "More or less the entire month of February there weren't reorders on any product shipping from Diamond. ... Even once they 'fixed' that issue (which memory tells me stretched into early April on many titles), there were HORRIBLE cockups in fill rates, accuracy, damages, etc all through the summer and fall. It wasn't really until 4th quarter that things went ANYwhere close back to normal."
Publishing | Twenty-one major Japanese publishers, including Kodansha, Shinchosha and Shueisha, are forming an electronic-book association in an effort to counter the expected launch of Amazon's Japanese-language Kindle. The group plans to focus on creating a contract model for writers and e-book stores, contract negotiations and legislation. [The Mainichi Daily News]
Publishing | Retailer and blogger Christopher Butcher looks at Drawn & Quarterly's 2005 release of The Push Man and Other Stories as one of the manga milestones of the decade that changed the comics industry. [Comic212]
Publishing | The new Chinese editions of Tintin are more faithfully translated, but don't include Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, which was deemed by government censors as too anti-communist. [AFP]
Publishing | Archie Comics has signed a worldwide-distribution deal with Random House Publisher Services. [press release]
Publishing | Kim Thompson, vice president and publisher of Fantagraphics, discusses the company's successful, and frequently imitated, comic-strip reprint collections, European comics and more. [Collected Comics Library Podcast]
Retailing | Calvin Reid asks several booksellers how they shelve graphic novels like Fun Home and Footnotes in Gaza: "General booksellers concerned about bringing attention to the graphic novel category must decide which is better—break a book out of the graphic novel section and into a specific noncomics category or keep it in the graphic novel section where most comics fans are likely to look." [Publishers Weekly]
Retailing | After retailer Brian Hibbs wrote on Wednesday that water from an overflowing toilet in the hotel above his store destroyed his rack of Marvel comics, Marvel Vice President of Sales David Gabriel quickly responded with the promise of free replacement copies by Friday. [The Savage Critics]
Best of 2009 | Publisher/retailer Kenny Penman, artist Graeme Neil Reid and blogger Stefan Yong name their favorite comics of the year, while blogger Marc-Oliver Frisch wraps up his three-part rundown.
Sales charts | R. Crumb's The Book of Genesis Illustrated was the No. 1 graphic novel sold in bookstores in December for the second month in a row. The only new title to crack the Top 10 was the 29th volume of Tite Kubo's Bleach, at No. 6. [ICv2.com]
Creators | Legendary artist George Perez is profiled, but primarily for his set-design work for a local-theater production of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (he also plays Joseph's father Jacob and the wealthy Egyptian who buys Joseph). The article does, however, mention that Perez "is working on a graphic novel and special projects for DC Comics, including one for the 30th anniversary of the Teen Titans in 2010." [Orlando Sentinel]
Creators | Illustrator Tommy Lee Edwards discusses creating concept art for the film The Book of Eli, and working with UK television host Jonathan Ross on the upcoming vampire-gangster comic Turf. [Independent Weekly]
Creators | Writer Peter David and editor Jody Leheup about the kiss between Shatterstar and Rictor in June's X-Factor #45. “Honestly, we knew this was going to be a cool moment for the fans," Leheup said, "but it hadn’t really occurred to us that it would be so important to gay — and heterosexual — comic fans as a whole.” [Xtra]
Creators | Here's the first part of a lengthy audio interview with writer Gerry Conway about Firestorm, the DC Implosion of the late '70s, creator rights and more. [Firestorm Fan]
Creators | DMZ writer Brian Wood details his five favorite places in New York City. [io9.com]
Creators | Writer Martin Conaghan talks about his historical graphic novel Burke and Hare, based on the deeds of the 19th-century serial killers. [Scotsman]