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

Awards | The Japanese edition of A Drifting Life, the Yoshihiro Tatsumi autobiography published by Drawn & Quarterly, shared the Grand Prize with Fumi Yoshinaga's alternative-history series Ooku in the 13th annual Osamu Tezuka Cultural Awards. Viz Media will release the first issue of Ooku in August. [Anime News Network, Anime Vice]

Retailing | Although details are sketchy, it appears as if a fire on Sunday afternoon destroyed comics store Graphic Literature in Plymouth, Indiana. No one was injured in either the store or the upstairs apartments. [WSBT]

Publishing | The New York Times spotlights xkcd creator Randall Munroe's move into print this summer with a book published by the social-news website breadpig.com and sold through the webcomic's website. Not exactly the traditional route.

“It doesn’t need to be in bookstores,” Munroe tells the newspaper. “I don’t have hard numbers about this, but the impression I get is that the amount of eyeballs you get from being on the humor shelf at Barnes & Noble — it is almost insignificant.” [The New York Times]

Publishing | Joey Manley views the announcement of Viz Media's free online release of Rumiko Takahashi's new manga as a sign the publisher actually gets webcomics: "Viz, and Takahashi, are big enough names to have played this a lot more carefully — they could have put up a subscription wall, for example, or they could have created some kind of DRM-heavy downloadable package for iTunes or whatever … or they could have just not done this at all, and published the English version at their own traditional pace. Big comics publishers usually don’t put out important, much-anticipated work by their most famous talents out there on the Internet for free. So yeah. This is huge." [Talk About Comics]

Conventions | Mike Baehr, Steve Duin and Christopher Gutierrez file reports from this weekend's Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Oregon. [Stumptown Comics Fest]

Retailing | John Baichtal runs down a selection of titles from Free Comic Book Day, coming up on May 2. The full list of comics offered can be found here. [Geekdad]

Creators | Warren Ellis' debut column for Wired UK is online: "This is the problem with writing fiction in the early 21st century: the real world outdoes you for madness every day. You’d be overdoing it, as a fiction writer, if you had Congolese bushfighters eating their enemies’ flesh during an ebola outbreak… except that it’s happening as I write." [Wired UK]

Creators | Caanan Grall talks about his winning Zuda Comics entry Celadore. [mpd57]

Publishing | SLG Publishing's Dan Vado stresses the importance of fans actually ordering the books they like, instead of simply looking for them on the store's shelves. [Dan Vado]

Publishing | A roundup of Twitter accounts of comics publishers. [Splash Page]

Comics | Noel Murray takes on The Flash: Rebirth, continuity and the "dreary modern super-hero comic": "Here’s all The Flash has to do: run very fast, fight a gallery of colorful rogues in creative ways, and be a righteous dude. Barry Allen can be a little prickly about his rigid code of right and wrong, but he doesn’t need to be angst-ridden. And for the love of Savitar, the D.C. Universe doesn’t need to make its mythology any more convoluted." [The A.V. Club]

Comics | A look at some of Batman's mostly forgotten -- with good reason -- villains. [Living Between Wednesdays]

Manga | Should manga be published in English in its original format -- read right to left -- or should it be flipped? [Good Comics For Kids]

Manga | This chart comparing the characters in Naoki Urasawa's Pluto to their counterparts in Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy story "The Greatest Robot on Earth" is pretty great. [via Faith Erin Hicks and Johanna Draper Carlson]

Manga | Gia Manry rattles off five manga titles that she'd like to see licensed by North American publishers. [Anime Vice]

Art | Letterer Todd Klein takes a closer look at the dreaded Comic Sans font. [Todd's Blog]

Weirdness | After watching the film adaptation of Wanted, a man in Seattle decides to Google his own name like the character Wesley Gibson did. But instead of coming up with no results, as in the comic and movie, Dirk Pratt discovers that the daughter he'd been told died 27 years ago is still alive. [AOL News, via Kiel Phegley]

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