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

Publishing | John Jackson Miller delves into September's grim direct-market sales figures and discovers a (relative) bright spot: Sales of lower-tier titles -- those that don't crack Diamond's Top 300 -- appear to be increasing, to record levels. "How do we know?" Miller writes. "Believe it or not, a record for high sales was actually set in September. The 300th place comic book, Boom's Farscape #11, sold more copies to retailers in September than in any month since November 1996: 4,702 copies. That's a record for the period following Marvel's return to Diamond. This bellwether tells us about the shape of the market, and how prolific the major and middle-tier publishers are; when many of their titles are being released and reordered, higher-volume titles tend to push farther into the list."

However, the higher you go on the list, the worse things look: "The average comic book in the Top 25 is selling more poorly in 2010 than in 2003. At the very top of the chart, 2010's average top-sellers are about 25% off what the best-sellers of 2003 were doing." [The Comichron]

Comic-Con | A last-minute reminder: Four-day and single-day passes for Comic-Con International go on sale today at 9 a.m. PT. [Comic-Con International]

Creators | AdHouse Books Publisher Chris Pitzer puts out the call to help cartoonist Joshua Cotter, whose apartment was damaged last week by fire. The publisher is donating all money from sales of Skyscrapers of the Midwest, Driven by Lemons and AdHouse Sticker Pack #2 over the next three weeks to Cotter. [AdHouse Books]

Conventions | Greg Mellen reports on this weekend's Long Beach Comic Con. [Contra Costa Times]

Conventions | Wizard Entertainment will add Miami to its expanding convention stable, debuting with an event scheduled for Feb. 26-27 at the Miami Airport Convention Center. [press release]

Publishing | Viz Media announced in the December issue of Shonen Jump that it's launching a digital manga supplement for magazine subscribers. Andre Paploo has the sparse details and speculation. [Kuriosity, via MangaBlog]

Publishing | Deb Aoki rounds up recent title acquisitions by Digital Manga Publishing. [About.com]

Publishing | DC Comics is hiring an editorial scheduling coordinator for the New York City office. [Comix411]

Creators | Robot 6 contributor Chris Maunter interviews legendary artist Jerry Robinson who discusses, among other things, the creation and legacy of the Joker: "... Every great hero had a counterpart as a protagonist. That’s what I wanted to give [Batman]. At the time in the ’30s, he fought all these gangsters and embezzlers, bank robbers, occasionally there was a mad scientist. But mostly they were prohibition-era villains. That’s who Batman was fighting. There was no mind behind the opposition. Strangely enough there was a feeling at the time that a stronger villain would detract from the hero. Now from our standpoint, that’s not true. The great villains provided a platform for the hero. So what if he was stronger, the hero had to win in the end. On the other hand the heroes had to be heroic. Villains could be bastards and they’re always more interesting to write about. More provocative. I think that was part of it." [TCJ.com]

Creators | The Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard is profiled by his local newspaper, and talks about the comic and playing a zombie in the AMC adaptation. [Shropshire Star]

Creators | Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is the subject of a brief article about the 40th anniversary of Doonesbury. [Vanity Fair]

Creators | Tom Horgen spotlights Death-Day, by Sam Hiti, describing the cartoonist as "like H.R. Giger with a softer brush stroke and a sense of humor." [Star-Tribune]

Creators | Faith Erin Hicks answers questions about her work process. [Livejournal]

Creators | Stumptown Trade Review posts an audio interview with Drinking at the Movies cartoonist Julia Wertz. [Stumptown Trade Review]

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