Comics A.M. | The year of <i>The Walking Dead</i>; comics down in November

Publishing | Declaring this "the year of The Walking Dead," the retail news and analysis site ICv2 notes the $60 Compendium volumes One and Two could "easily" be the top-selling graphic novels of 2012. Those two books also topped the Nielsen BookScan chart of graphic novels sold in bookstores in November, joined by six other collections from the acclaimed horror series in the Top 20. Chris Ware's $50 Building Stories, which has emerged on best-of lists as one of the books -- and the graphic novel -- of 2012, was No. 3 in November, followed by DC Comics' Superman: Earth One, Vol. 2, and, in a surprise Top 20 appearance by Marvel, the $75 Avengers Vs. X-Men hardcover at No. 5. [ICv2]

Publishing | Sales in the direct market were down in November compared to November of last year, but there's a big asterisk here, as last year, November had five Wednesdays and this year it had four. Tweaking the numbers to correct for that gives another up month. Here's the bigger picture: Year-to-date sales are up almost 15 percent over last year, with comics and graphic novels sales growing at roughly equal rates. Marvel had the edge in market share, thanks to the Marvel NOW! initiative, and grabbed eights slots in the Top 10 comics list. The 17th volume of The Walking Dead was the top-selling graphic novel, and three of the top five were Vertigo titles. [ICv2]

Conventions | Organizers of Japan's Comic Market, the world's largest convention dedicated to self-published comics, have barred artist groups ("circles") dedicated to the manga Kuroko’s Basketball following a threat letter and pressure from police. They've also asked other circles not to distribute Kuroko's Basketball-related materials at the Dec. 29-31 event, held at Tokyo's Big Sight. Since October, letters containing powdered and liquid substances have been sent to more than 20 locations linked to Kuroko’s Basketball creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki. At least six Kuroko's Basketball doujinshi events have been canceled. [Anime News Network, Crunchyroll]

Retailing | Comics and politics blend seamlessly at DJ's Sports Collectibles and Comics, the North Haven, Connecticut, store owned by state Rep. David Yaccarino. [The Associated Press]

Creators | Jack Stuef's profile of Matthew Inman portrays the creator of The Oatmeal as a shrewd businessman who built his empire on canny marketing and search engine optimization, rather than his passions. [BuzzFeed]

Creators | Ernesto Priego talks to artist Jamie Smart, who helped redesign the venerable U.K. children's comic The Dandy and drew the cover for its final print issue. [The Comics Grid]

Creators | Emilio Diamantini may be only 10 years old, but he's well on his way to becoming a successful comics creator; not only has he created his own comic with its own world and continuity, but he's getting press coverage for it as well. [Danbury News Times]

Digital comics | Larry Cruz rounds up some webcomics apps for smartphones and is not impressed. [The Webcomic Overlook]

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