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

Kevin is out sick today, so I'm filling in on Comics A.M. ... apologies for the lateness.

Publishers | Viz Senior Vice President and General Manager Alvin Lu discusses the state of the company after the layoffs that occurred in May, as well as the overall manga market. "We continue to get great support from our retail partners. They do see that these very popular series continue to do well. They are getting up there in the 40s and 50s of the volume count, and there is the challenge of bringing in newer readers, to catch them up. I was looking though a calendar from several years ago when we were looking at Bleach Vol. 5 or something. That is a conversation we’ve been having with the bookstores, and they’re being very responsive on how to work with us, to continue to drive the category. They’ve been very supportive of helping us launch new series as well. So it’s a balancing act of getting the space to launch new series while nurturing the more mature series that continue to enjoy a loyal readership." [ICv2]

Events | Brian Heater from the Daily Cross Hatch and Sarah Morean from Blog Chicka Blog Blog have declared Aug. 28 "International Read Comics in Public" Day. They've started a blog that features, as you might guess, people reading comics in public. [Daily Cross Hatch]

Publishing | Ada Price talks to DC Comics art director and Wednesday Comics editor Mark Chiarello about the project, asking if there's any word about a sequel. "There’s some talk about it. I think the only reason to do it would be to do it as good, if not better than the first series, and that’s going to be difficult," Chiarello said. [Publishers Weekly]

Publishing | A profile of Richelle Mead, author of the Vampire Academy series of books, reveals that a graphic novel version is due in August 2011. [Kansascity.com]

Conventions | Gregory Schmidt talks to companies like Mattel and Warner Bros. about how they market to girls at Comic-Con International. [New York Times]

Digital comics | Todd Allen talks to Robert Jacobi, an example of a "lapsed comics reader that the iPad apps were supposed to connect with." [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | Writer Steve Englehart continues to share stories from his early days as a comics writer in a new column for Tor.com. "Many people today are amazed at this. 'They gave you an established icon like Captain America and said do whatever you want?' Yes, they did. And when I did make the book sell and did meet my deadlines, they gave me The Hulk and The Avengers and a whole lot more. I’ve talked about how writing periodicals teaches you to write. I should add that complete freedom lets you explore anything that seems like a good idea without once looking over my shoulder or second-guessing myself. So when I wrote comics, I lived in the moment, letting my stories tell me what to write about, riffing off the zeitgeist month by month." [Tor.com]

Creators | Jesse Blaze Snyder talks about his family, reality TV and his comic book writing. [The Beat]

Creators | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson talks to Rob Worley about creating the all-ages comic Scratch9. [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | Douglas Wolk interviews Scott Snyder about his upcoming run on Detective Comics. [Techland]

Comics | David Brothers offers a detailed analysis of previous Top Cow Pilot Season winner Genius by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman and Afua Richardson: "Richardson's approach to violence is both matter-of-fact and highly stylized. Richardson's freeze frames of violence aren't sensational or overly gory, but her just-shy-of-realistic art makes 'Genius' look almost like a really high quality animated movie. While the big bangs are what push the plot forward, Richardson renders lower key moments just as well. Destiny's way of thinking is presented in an inventive visual shorthand that is instantly understandable and worthy of poring over. [ComicsAlliance]

Comics | Jeffery Klaehn names the greatest comic-book super-teams. [Pop]

Artgerm's Final Catwoman Variant Had To Follow One Major Legal Stipulation

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