Comics A.M. | U.K. charity store receives comic book windfall

Retailing | An American collector donated about 800 comics to the Books For Amnesty charity store in Bristol, England, just ahead of a planned sale of comics and graphic novels. Volunteer Richard Wallet said the collection, which goes back to the 1960s, is probably worth tens of thousands of pounds. The store, which benefits Amnesty International, recently had another windfall when someone donated a copy of the Beatles album Revolver signed by the designer, Klaus Voormann, and valued at £1,000 (about $1,716 U.S.). [Bristol Post]

Comics | Jim Rugg interviews retailer Andrew Neal about the Ghost Variant cover program, which was created by a group of store owners. The idea was to commission a prominent artist to do a special variant cover for a particular comic and release it, through the stores in the group only, with very little promotion. It turns out that some comics buyers like a little mystery! [BoingBoing]

Digital comics | Jeff Gamet looks at six alternatives to comiXology, but it turns out that five of them are comiXology's branded apps (for Marvel, DC, Image, IDW and Doctor Who), plus Dark Horse. What makes them alternatives is that at the moment, anyway, they still offer in-app buying, which has been dropped from the main comiXology app. [Mac Observer]

Creators | Manga-ka Moyoco Anno talks about her work, which includes Happy Mania, Sugar Sugar Rune and Sakuranher marriage to Neon Genesis Evangelion director Hideaki Anno, which she depicts in Insufficient Direction, and what attracts her to a character: "I feel like a lot of women make foolish mistakes. Despite the fact that they have successful careers, when it comes to relationships, they turn out to be exceptionally foolish. So that’s what draws me to the victim and it goes the other way as well. Certain women are good at relationships and are really good at dominating males. On the other hand they’re absolutely terrible at their jobs." [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | Gabrielle Bell discusses drawing diary comics, how she built an online following, the comic she regrets most, and gender bias: "I think there is a big prejudice against female autobiography. There was a man who interviewed me recently, and I could tell he saw me as 'just a woman doing autobiography.' Whereas with a man, they do autobiography and it’s considered art or being great and interesting." [The Huffington Post]

Creators | When the venerable U.K. children's comic The Dandy folded last year, frequent contributor Jamie Smart gathered some of his fellow artists and put together a free children's anthology, Moose Kid Comics, which debuted late last month. "We wanted a line-up of comedic characters, the sort you’d see on Nickleodeon or Cartoon Network, all original content and owned by the creators," Smart says. "I wanted the stories to be quick slaps in the face then straight onto the next one, comics you could pick up and put down and dive into at random. Comics you could read again and again without particularly needing to know what happened before." [Broken Frontier]

Creators | When Tim Ernst moved to Japan, he knew he would always be an outsider, so he decided to just run with it and created a daily comic strip, Gaijin, which ran in the English-language Mainichi Daily News for a few years and was later compiled into two books. [Japan Times]

Comics | The Animal Welfare Institute and the Kenya Wildlife Service have put together a graphic novel for middle-school students that depicts the problem of ivory poaching; poachers kill up to 25,000 elephants a year. The story takes an interesting approach, as it is told from the point of view of a young heiress to an ivory fortune who goes on safari. [Treehugger]

Retailing | Todd McDevitt, owner of New Dimensions Comics in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, says the market for high-end collectible comics has been close to recession-proof: "The 1 percent is still buying." That's why he's comfortable asking $2,700 for a copy of Young Allies #1 and $2,300 for Daredevil #1. He also has a much cheaper issue of Daredevil #1, though, and he explains the factors that make the difference. [Ellwood City Ledger]

Conventions | Whitney Matheson offers some tips for going it alone at Comic-Con International. [USA Today]

Conventions | Reporter Amanda Kooser describes the scene at Albuquerque Comic Con, where was dressed as Tom Baker's Doctor. [CNET]

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