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

Publishing | Comic sales to the direct market fell 14 percent in October, versus the same month a year ago, resulting in the biggest decline since May. Sales of the Top 100 graphic novels plummeted 30 percent -- again due to the brisk sales of Watchmen last fall -- combining for an overall decline of 17 percent.

As we reported last week, DC Comics had the top six bestselling comics for the first time in four decades, with the fourth issue of its event miniseries Blackest Night coming in at No. 1 with an estimated 137,169 copies. Marvel's Wolverine: Old Man Logan hardcover collection topped the graphic novel chart with an estimated 7,347 copies.

The retailer-focused news and analysis site ICv2.com notes that Marvel's $3.99 titles continue to slip, with the third issues of Ultimate Comics Avengers and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man each shedding about 5,000 copies from the previous issue. Of course, they weren't the only ones to slide: 19 of the top 25 comics saw drop-offs in what the website describes as "a bearish month." [ICv2.com]

Passings | Mark Evanier pens another remembrance of Shel Dorf, co-founder of Comic-Con. [Hero Complex]

Conventions | Calvin Reid spotlights the comics programming at the Miami Book Fair International, which continues through Sunday. [PW Comics Week]

Conventions | Brian Heater files his report from last weekend's King Con Brooklyn. [The Daily Cross Hatch]

Creators | Frederik L. Schodt, author of The Astro Boy Essays, discusses the cultural impact of Osamu Tezuka: "In Japan, Tezuka is called the 'God of Manga' not because he invented manga — he certainly didn’t — but because he made some innovations in the traditional comic-book format. Tezuka took the basic setup and did something that was very new at the time: a hybrid between comic books and animation. He expanded stories to make them very long and cinematic, so many readers almost felt like they were watching a movie compared to traditional comic books. That allowed other artists to begin employing the same techniques and the same methods, thus elevating the original medium to a full-fledged form of expression. Artists could suddenly depict the same sorts of things that would be depicted in more mature novels or films." [A.V. Club]

Creators | Graeme McMillan interviews American Vampire creator Scott Snyder about the upcoming Vertigo series, working with artist Rafael Albuquerque, and how Stephen King became involved. [io9.com]

Creators | Rachelle Goguen chats with cartoonist Gregg Schigiel, who's writing Marvel's X-Babies miniseries. [Living Between Wednesdays]

Creators | Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney visited an elementary school in Belleville, Illinois, last week after eighth-grader Tom Fields won Kinney's nationwide contest to find young cartoonists. [Suburban Journals]

Comics | William Gatevackes looks at some of the appearances by The Beatles, or Beatles analogs, in comics, from Marvel's Strange Tales #130 to Vertigo's Greatest Hits. [PopMatters]

Comics | Johanna Draper Carlson highlights some of the graphic novels due in stores in January, including the first volume of Dark Horse's translation of Blacksad. [Comics Worth Reading]

Comics | Y: The Last Man makes this list of "10 underrated depictions of the apocalypse." [Chicago Tribune]

Art and design | I know I link to Paolo Rivera's blog a lot, but I really like his "Wacky Reference Wednesdays" feature. This week he spotlights a panel from Mythos: Captain America. [The Self-Absorbing Man]

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