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

Publishing | Japanese publisher Shueisha will print 2.85 million copies of the 56th volume of Eiichiro Oda's popular pirate adventure One Piece, making it the largest-ever first printing for any manga. The previous volumes reportedly have sold a combined 176 million copies since the series debuted in 1997. The latest volume will be released on Dec. 4 in Japan. [Anime News Network]

Legal | Metro cartoonist Magdy el Shafee talks about his conviction in Egypt last week, with publisher Mohammed el Sharqawi, on charges of infringing "public decency," and the official banning of his graphic novel: "The political and business figures in this book, they are easily recognisable to the Egyptian public. ... These are very corrupt and disgusting people who rule Egypt, who are in the pockets of the regime, and it is the ordinary people who love Cairo who are suffering.'' [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Passings | More than 3,000 mourners attended the funeral in Tokyo for Crayon Shin-chan creator Yoshito Usui, who died in September while on a mountain hike. [My Sinchew]

Passings | The Comic-Con International website pays tribute to event co-founder Ken Krueger, who passed away on Nov. 21. Peter Rowe also has an obituary. [Comic-Con, San Diego Union-Tribune]

Publishing | Geoffrey Cain looks at the history and growth of Korean comics, and wonders whether manhwa might some day surpass manga in popularity: "Since 1995, Japanese manga sales have more than halved, thanks in part to an aging fanbase that’s looking for something new. Unlike Japan’s gritty post-apocalyptic mangas for teenagers, manhwas are full of realistic dramas for aging fans, touching on adult themes like domestic violence, romance and gender inequalities." [GlobalPost]

Publishing | North American erotic-manga company Icarus Publishing has announced it will end its Comic AG magazine next month with Issue 110. "Comic AG has, in my view, lost purpose by doing what it was supposed to do: it got our foot in the door of the comic industry," writes founder Simon Jones. "Publishing porn manga at the time we started, amid lower sales and the explosion of interest in the internet (and the Pandora’s box that unleashed), was very risky. We needed a product that was a great deal for readers, with a format that comic shops were familiar with and could take a chance on, but also be different enough to stand out from the crowd, and Comic AG was it." [Icarus Publishing]

Internet | Tom Spurgeon finds word that the new online-oriented Comics Journal will launch on Dec. 1. [The Comics Reporter]

Internet | Ron Perazza, vice president of creative services for DC Comics, has compiled his tweets about making comics in a blog aimed at aspiring creators. [RonPerazza.com]

Manga | Liesl Bradner looks at a predecessor of modern manga and anime: Kamishibai, “street theater using painted illustrations,” popular in Depression-era Japan. [Culture Monster, Hero Complex]

Retailing | Brothers Donald and Tim Karter, who last year sold Dreamwell Comics in Las Vegas after 22 years, will open a new store next month in Carson City, Nevada. [Nevada Appeal]

Retailing | Christopher Butcher again goes where few dare to tread: live-blogging the monthly Previews order: "Congratulations to the fine folks at DH for putting back into print Blacksad, the only furry comic most 'normal' comic fans aren’t embarrassed to have on their bookshelves. Sexy jungle-cat Blacksad P.I. is tracking down murders and kidnappers and the like, getting into trouble, and having sex with sexy cat ladies. It’s 1930s and 40s pulp noir streaming through the hand of an extraordinarily talented Disney animator. It’s beautiful, it’s sexy, it is hard-boiled kitty cats." [Comics212]

Sales charts | John Jackson Miller casts an eye over bestsellers from Octobers past. [The Comichron]

Libraries | Using the recent controversy in Kentucky as a news hook, J. Brian Ewing considers the challenges Greensboro, North Carolina-area libraries face in acquiring and shelving graphic novels for adults. [News & Record]

Creators | Charles Hatfield writes a lengthy appreciation of the work of J.H. Williams III. [Thought Balloonists]

Creators | Artist Nic Klein discusses his background, sketchbooks and, in passing, his Image Comics series Viking. [Zero 2 Illo]

Creators | Nick Simmons (son of Gene) talks about his Radical Publishing comic Incarnate. [Toronto Sun]

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