Comics A.M. | 'The Killing Joke' leads July bookstore sales

Graphic novels | BookScan's Top 20 graphic novels sold in bookstores in July has a decidedly different makeup than usual, with the 1988 one-shot Batman: The Killing Joke topping the list, and seven other DC Comics titles making the cut as well (however, just one of those, Batgirl, Vol. 1, is a new release). Other entries include hardy perennials American Born Chinese and Fun Home make the chart, perhaps as summer reading, and as always, the first volume of Attack on Titan. [ICv2]

Conventions | Denver, already home to one of the larger comics and pop culture conventions, is getting its own independent comics festival, the Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo (DINK), which will launch in March. The show will be held in the Sherman Street Event Center, which organizer Charlie LaGreca describes as "like something out of a Wes Anderson movie," and is looking for sponsors with ties to the community. "The pop-culture, big-box cons are amazing and incredible, and we have them in spades now. They provide such a huge array [of options]," said LaGreca, a Denver Comic Con co-founder who exited the organization last year in a highly publicized dispute. "What’s cool about this is we can bring the focus back to just art and comics and the cross-pollination of what it means for art. It's really embracing all comics genres, not [just] focused on sci-fi and superheroes and stuff like that." [Westword]

Publishing | Roger Cohen writes about the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, which is now flush with cash thanks to popular support after the murders of 12 people during a staff meeting in January. This unexpected windfall is causing dissension among the staff, and Cohen takes an interesting side trip into the French attitude toward money — "If money lies at the heart of discourse in the United States, and sex is taboo, in France it is the opposite," he notes in the lead. [Vanity Fair]

Political cartoons | Derf Backderf criticizes the Los Angeles Times for not only firing Ted Rall as a freelancer but also publicly accusing him of fabrication, and says the newspaper buckled to political pressure: "The evidence now indicates that Ted's account was accurate and, in fact, that the tape had been doctored, with parts muffled and the whistling added to cover up what really happened! Isn't this a crime? Unbelievably, the LA Times fell for this horseshit! Now that the lie has been revealed, however, the Times has not changed its decision or apologized for trashing a cartoonist's reputation ... What makes this so unacceptable is that jaw-dropping editor's note, a public tar-and-feathering based on the flimsiest of evidence, which is now completely disproven." [DerfBlog]

Creators | On the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Paul Gravett reruns a 2005 profile of Barefoot Gen creator Keiji Nakazawa. [Paul Gravett]

Creators | The Athens, Alabama, newspaper profiles local resident Jim Boroch, who draws the strip Pvt. Hazard for a number of military newspapers, with a total circulation of about 100,000. [The News Courier]

Creators | The Tamil cartoonist Madhan talks about his life and work. His history of the Mughals, Vandhargal, Vendraargal (They Came, They Conquered), has recently gone into its 25th edition. [The Hindu]

Manga | Frank Fuller explores the influence of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on anime and manga, not so much as direct references to the bombings but through the recurring themes of misuse of technology, the orphaned child, and death and rebirth. [io9]

Retailing | Saturday will be Archie Comics Day at JHU Comics in New Dorp, Staten Island, with music from the Josie and the Pussycats cover band Pussywolf, a costume contest and other activities, and appearances by Archie artists Fernando Ruiz, Dan Parent and Jamal Peppers. [Staten Island Advance]

Retailing | Hi De Ho Comics in Santa Monica, California, brings standup comics to the comics shop, hosting a monthly live comedy show at the store. Co-owner Mauricio Machuca explains why: "Most important, however, is that every month we will have someone come up after the show and say what a great time they had. And, without fail, someone will mention how this is their first time in a comic book store. That’s what we’re looking for. A pet project is fine, but to have someone come and experience something new and have a good first impression of your store is priceless." [Santa Monica Daily Press]

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