Comics A.M. | The graphic novel market, and webcomic economics

Publishing | Calvin Reid interviews Kuo-Yu Liang, vice president of sales and marketing at Diamond Book Distributors, about the state of graphic novel sales, the international market, manga and more: "I think we are entering the golden age of selling graphic novels. The demographics and the audience are both broadening. We are lucky that the core readers have stuck with us through the recession. We are finding new readers crossing over from literary, commercial, speculative and genre fiction. Non-fiction graphic novels are doing well. We’re getting more kids and parents (I’ll talk more about that later). I also think the growth of internet shopping has changed the game, because now it is easier than ever to find what you like to read, and get recommendation from fellow readers. The key is still good books. Without them, we don’t have an industry." [Publishers Weekly]

Publishing | Heidi MacDonald spotlights BOOM! Studios, with a focus on the publisher's marketing efforts. "The secret to our success to go to the thing that other people haven't done; it isn’t to go head to head against people, or trying to take their market share away or trying to duplicate their editorial style," says co-founder Ross Richie. "We've had to invent a space in the market place to exist. " [Publishers Weekly]

Publishing | Josh Hyatt profiles Nancy Silberkleit, who last year moved from school teacher to co-CEO of Archie Comics following the deaths of Richard Goldwater and her husband Michael Silberkleit, who passed away within 10 months of each other. [Fortune]

Webcomics | George Grohac Jr., operations director of Oni Press, has released his master's thesis "Copyright and the Economics of Webcomics" (PDF), which examines the effects of copyright and licenses on the popularity and profitability of webcomics. Gary Tyrrell notes with some excitement that Rohac includes his data set, permitting access to nearly 300 survey responses about unique visitors, merchandise, income and more. [George Rohac]

Awards | Politico cartoonist Matt Wuerker has won the prestigious Clifford K. and James T. Berryman Award for editorial cartooning. [The Washington Post]

Creators | Phil Hester and Andy Kuhn, creators of Firebreather, are interviewed about the comic's animated adaptation, which debuts tonight at 7 EST/PST on Cartoon Network. "I always assume it will never happen," Hester says. "Hell, at the premiere I half expected a camera crew to jump out and proclaim it all a giant hoax. I guess it's a default self-preservation mode. I have had a lot of things optioned by some truly amazing talents, but this is the only thing that's come to complete fruition. If I just assume the worst, every good thing is a happy surprise. That said, the highs and lows are sometimes unavoidable. I keep my distance, but some hit close to home. Right now the high is inescapable." [Mania, Des Moines Register]

Creators | Brian Heater wraps up his four-part conversation with Jaime Hernandez. [The Daily Cross Hatch]

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