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

Legal | Rob Reger's Cosmic Debris Etc., which owns the lucrative Emily the Strange property, has sued authors Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Marc Simont, and is asking a judge to declare that the little goth girl doesn't infringe on their copyright to the 1978 book Nate the Great and the Lost List.

The lawsuit, filed on Monday, appears to be a preemptive strike on the part of Cosmic Debris, which cites online discussion late last year pointing out the similarities between Reger's 1991 creation Emily and Sharmat and Simont's 1978 creation Rosamond. The lawsuit is an interesting read, particularly for its explanation of the visual roots of the "goth girl."

Emily the Strange appears on assorted merchandise, as well as in a series of comics published by Dark Horse. A feature film, produced by Dark Horse's Mike Richardson, is planned for release in 2010. [Courthouse News Service, lawsuit]

Sales charts | Direct-market sales bounced back in April after a dismal March, with comics up 6 percent over the same month in 2008. Retail news and analysis site ICv2.com chalks up much of the improvement to price increases and "a stronger shipping schedule." Sales of graphic novels dipped slightly over the previous year.

Detective Comics #853, the delayed conclusion of Neil Gaiman's two-part "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" story, was the No. 1 periodical, selling an estimated 104,107 copies. The Flash: Rebirth #1 was a close second with 102,429 copies. Watchmen again was the top graphic novel. [ICv2.com]

Publishing | Viz Media has confirmed the cancellation of Shojo Beat with the magazine's July issue, citing "today's difficult economic climate." Kate Dacey, Lori Henderson, Alex Hoffman and Gia Manry have commentary on the publication's demise. [Shojo Beat]

Publishing | Fantagraphics Books is moving into the kids' comics market with RIP, M.D., a graphic novel based on the cartoon series in development from indy animation house Lincoln Butterfield. RIP, M.D., centers on a little boy who becomes a monster doctor to help the injured creatures. [PW Comics Week]

Publishing | Valiant Entertainment is looking for interns. Wait. Valiant Entertainment is still around? [Craigslist, via Occasional Superheroine]

Conventions | Alexander Danner and Terri Heard have reports from last weekend's Maine Comics Arts Festival and East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention. [ComixTalk, PW Comics Week]

Creators | Jeffery Klaehn chats with veteran writer Mike W. Barr about his work on DC Comics' Batman franchise. [Pop]

Creators | Kai-Ming Cha talks with A Drifting Life creator Yoshihiro Tatsumi. [PW Comics Week]

Creators | Brian Heater kicks off a three-part interview with Michael Kupperman. [The Daily Cross Hatch]

Creators | Warren Ellis provides more information on his upcoming comic Supergod: "Someone made the mistake of asking me for another superhero-mode comic, and I suspect maybe since I returned to that subgenre something important in my brain developed moss on it or something." [Warren Ellis]

Humor | "President Obama Vetoes Mutant Registration Act." [Onion Radio News]

Fandom | "How Mjolnir Works." [Very Serious]

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