Food or Comics | A roundup of money-related news

• Small publisher Asylum Press has announced it will try to sell the first issue of its action-comedy title Fearless Dawn directly to retailers after the comic failed to meet Diamond's new order minimum.

“Although we received 1,200 orders for Fearless Dawn #1, we simply didn’t meet Diamond's  purchase order benchmark," Asylum CEO Frank Forte said in a press release.  “Twelve hundred is a significant order for us especially considering the state of the market place."

• It looks as if the "temporary" suspension of syndicated comics by alternative-weekly chain Village Voice Media won't be so temporary.

• The troubled Borders Group announced it lost nearly $185 million in 2008.

• Tom Spurgeon responds to Todd Allen's "direct-market doomsday" scenario.

• Retailer Lisa Lopacinski comments on the uncertainty surrounding Gemstone Publishing's licenses for Disney comics and The EC Archives, and the future of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide: "... To be honest people don't seem remotely interested in buying Overstreet this year. When people call or stop in and want help pricing books and we show them the guide they look at the price and are no longer interested. This could be partly due to the economy, partly due to people thinking Wizard is the ultimate price guide (I'll argue that not only is it not now, it NEVER was), and partly due to people being able to just use the internet as a resource."

Sean Kleefeld and Bobby Bryant look at recent comic-strip storylines reflecting the real-world economic crisis.

• According to the Japan Export Trade Organization, "character goods" made up 89 percent of the $4.8 billion U.S. anime market in 2007. That's merchandise like keychains, T-shirts and the like. Gia Manry has some commentary.

Line It Is Drawn: I Can't Believe It's Not Batman!

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