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

Publishing | Direct-market comics sales rebounded in May, increasing 15 percent from the same month last year. Sales of graphic novels, however, fell 13 percent. Diamond's list of Top 300 periodicals was led by Avengers #1 with an estimated 163,867 copies -- 50,000 more than second-place Siege #4 (the final issue of the Marvel miniseries). The lackluster graphic-novel chart was topped by the ninth volume of Ex Machina, with fewer than 5,000 copies. Once again The Walking Dead was a standout, with 12 volumes charting -- including a reprint of the six-year-old Days Gone Bye collection, which came in at No. 19 with about 2,300 copies. [ICv2.com]

Internet | Kimberly Saunders looks at how scanlation aggregators hide titles on their websites, removing yaoi titles from the prying eyes of Google -- Google's AdSense application doesn't permit sites with sexually explicit content -- and seemingly satisfying take-down notices from publishers: "MangaFox is not alone in trying the shell game, either. AnimeA have game on as well. Visit their site, click on a manga title they have supposedly removed, (all Viz so far, just like MangaFox) and up comes a message that it is licensed and you have to buy it. But if you have a page bookmarked, or come via a search engine, and click on a listed  numbered chapter of (name of removed manga), guess what? Yes, it is there, just hidden and inaccessible from the main page in an attempt to appear compliant ..." [The Kimi-chan Experience, via Deb Aoki]

Passings | The New York Times publishes an obituary for illustrator Al Williamson, who passed away on June 12 at age 79. Meanwhile, The Comics Journal reruns the second part of Steve Ringgenberg's 1984 interview with the legendary artist, and Rick Veitch recalls working with Williamson on Marvel's adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back. [The New York Times]

Conventions | Tired of traveling to other cities for comics conventions, fans Matt Bredestege and Andrew Satterfield are launching one in Cincinnati in September: Cincinnati Comic Expo. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

Creators | Tom Spurgeon talks at length with Gene Luen Yang about the success of American Born Chinese, shifting gears with The Eternal Smile (with Derek Kirk Kim), the collection of his New York Times serial Prime Baby, and his upcoming projects. [The Comics Reporter]

Creators | Artist Tony DeZuniga chats briefly about the creation of Jonah Hex: "John Albano (who died in 2005) was approached by Joe Orlando to do this Weird Western Tales series. That year, everything had a 'Weird' tag attached to its title. Then John spoke with me about designing the character. One day, while I was at the doctor's office, I saw the doctor's chart with half of a skeleton and half of the muscles, and I had the idea: Wouldn't it be cool to do half a face like that. When I did the concept [on paper], John was so excited and happy. 'This is the character!', he said." [Suite101.com]

Creators | Jonah Hex writer Jimmy Palmiotti explains the character's appeal: "Sure, he can be abusive, a bit of an alcoholic, have his way with prostitutes, and kill anything in his way — but that doesn’t make him a bad guy. He's just a classic anti-hero in every sense." [Splash Page]

Creators | Laura Collins-Hughes spotlights the collaboration between cartoonist Art Spiegelman and the renowned Pilobolus dance company. “They haven’t done this before, I haven’t done this before, and that’s why I’m just glad that they talked me into it," Spiegelman said, "even if I have to change my name after it appears onstage and start life over under a cartoonists protection program." [The Boston Globe]

Creators | Brandon Burpee chats with Jeff Lemire about Essex County, Sweet Tooth and his upcoming superhero work for DC Comics. [Multiversity Comics]

Creators | Air and Cairo writer G. Willow Wilson discusses her conversion to Islam, which she recounts in her new memoir The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam. [The Boston Globe]

Creators | CCL Podcast posts an interview with Dan Nadel, focusing on Art in Time: Unknown Comic Book Adventures, 1940–1980. [Collected Comics Library]

Creators | Brad Meltzer talks about his arc on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. [Blogcritics]

Creators | Paul Chadwick's website has gone live, complete with a blog, a gallery, comics and more. [The Official Paul Chadwick Website]

Retailing | Teresa Tomassini looks at how a handful of New York City comic stores are weathering the economy. "The comic industry has become such a boutique item that it's become something people will go out of their way to buy -- unless they lose a job," said Stephen Passarelli, owner of Action Comics. [New York Daily News]

Graphic novels | Sandy Billus runs down notable releases for the second half of the year. [I Love Rob Liefeld]

Reviews | Jason Thompson on Monster Collection; The A.V. Club crew on assorted titles, from Jonah Hex: No Way Out to Meta 4; Rachel Cooke on George Sprott; Tucker Stone on assorted titles, from Hellblazer #268 to 20th Century Boys, Vol. 9; John Reed on The Search for Smilin' Ed!; Ben Morse on five recent first issues, including Young Allies and Zatanna; Rob Clough on Smile; Sean T. Collins on Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka

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