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

Publishing | Classics Illustrated appears to be the latest victim of Diamond Comic Distributors' new minimum-order policy. Publisher Jack Lake Productions was notified earlier this month that the distributor had dropped the listing for the series, which features reprints of the comic-book adaptations of literary classics. The company will continue to offer Classics Illustrated through other channels. [press release]

Legal | A judge in Macomb County, Michigan, has set bond at $2.5 million for retailer and convention organizer Michael George while he awaits a second trial. The 48-year-old George was convicted last year in the 1990 murder of his first wife, but the judge set aside the conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct. George's attorney said the bond is more than his client can afford. [Detroit Free Press]

Publishing | While most of the reaction to the simultaneous serialization of Rumiko Takahashi's new manga has been of the "Hey, neat" variety, Japanese publisher Shogakukan clearly states the move is an attempt to combat online piracy. Dirk Deppey suggests this may be the first time a Japanese publisher has publicly acknowledged scanlations. [The Japan Times]

Publishing | An article marking the 500th issue of MAD Magazine notes the milestone brings with it dwindling circulation and a shift to a quarterly schedule. Also: a MAD timeline. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Publishing | Marvel Entertainment has promoted Alan Fine to Executive Vice President, Office of the Chief Executive, where he joins David Maisel and John Turitzin. Fine has been Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Marvel Characters Inc. since May 2007, but you may recognize his name from the credits of Marvel comics, where he's been listed as "Executive Producer" since early March. [press release]

Sales charts | John Jackson Miller looks at direct-market sales for March 2009, comparing them to previous years: "Overall, the direct market is off 7% overall for the quarter which is better than might be expected from the general economic conditions. In overall dollar sales, this quarter was still up 22% over the first quarter of 2004." [The Comichron]

Publishing | Kirk Warren takes a closer look at Marvel's $3.99 titles: "... The number of $3.99 books per month has drastically increased and, more alarmingly, so have the number of $4.99 and $5.99 titles (although, they are relatively few to begin with and are mostly 70+ page count reprints of past storylines). Of note, about half of the $3.99 books are the standard 32 page comic with ads format while the remainder are mostly 40 pages with ads." [The Weekly Crisis]

Creators | Cartoonist Box Brown discusses self-publishing, ending his pursuit of newspaper syndication, and the future of cartooning: "I think (hope) that the word 'webcomic' will be abolished and we can just start calling every thing a comic. Hopefully that’ll end the big print vs. web debate which doesn’t look good for anyone involved. I hope to see the return of the floppy alternative comic like what Buenaventura is doing this year. Further, I hope to see the death of the term 'graphic novel'; it’s comics, man." [Comix 411]

Creators | Cartoonist Ariel Schrag talks about Likewise, the final volume in her series about high school. [Decider]

Creators | Stumptown Trade Review has an audio interview with Jeff Smith. [Stumptown Trade Review]

Creators | Cartoonist Don Asmussen chats about his comic strip Bad Reporter. [Poynter Online]

Conventions | Brian Heater talks with Kids Comic Con organizer Alex Simmons. [The Daily Cross Hatch]

Retailing | Christopher Butcher (again) live-blogs his Previews order, in two parts: "It would be nice if there was not a 1-in-250 variant on Batman and Robin #1. Actually, let me expand on this. This is fucking stupid. It either rewards the absolute largest retailers, the ones who are already ordering thousands of copies of these sorts of books anyway (chains mostly) while thumbing its nose at the mass of small-to-mid-sized accounts that make up the meat of the orders on many of these books. [Comics212]

Retailing | Retailer L.E. Becker unloads on a number of "big-name creators" producing late comics: "... This is par for the comic industry. Because if it's not Millar, then it's Miller/Lee (All-Star Batman and Robin), or Morrison/Quitely (All-Star Superman), or J.G. Jones (Final Crisis) or Kevin Smith (too numerous to mention), or the guy from Lost (Ultimate Hulk/Wolverine). I mean, c'mon guys ... take some responsibility for your work and ... I don't know ... FINISH something. [ICv2.com]

Comics | Anticipating a high demand for a Marvel Divas spin-off, E.R. Serrano (jokingly) proposes ... Mighty Men of Marvel: "It's RESCUE ME meets BIG BROTHER meets BAYWATCH in the MARVEL UNIVERSE!" [Comics Waiting Room]

Justice League: Different Iterations of Starman Might Join the Team

More in Comics