Food or Comics | Money, comics and the economy [Updated]

Variety reports that 20th Century Fox is closing Fox Atomic, the division created in 2007 to produce comedy and genre films.

The studio hasn't confirmed the move. However, the story is being reported independently by Nikki Finke. (Update: The Hollywood Reporter has word that about six production employees will be let go.)

The label, founded by Peter Rice, generated such movies as Turistas, 28 Weeks Later and the Hills Have Eyes 2. It also included a publishing arm called Fox Atomic Comics.

At WonderCon in February, BOOM! Studios announced a publishing deal with Fox Atomic for a line of comics set to kick off in June with another 28 Days Later series. It's unclear at this point how, or if, the shuttering of Fox Atomic would affect that agreement.

BOOM! declined to comment.

Canned Dogs has translations of creator Satou Shuuhou's blog posts about the financial aspects of the manga industry, including a breakdown of his pay and expenses, the state of the Japanese market, and the treatment of authors and their assistants. Last week he announced he'll make his comics available online, for a small fee, a month after they appear in print.

• Warner Bros. and Marvel came in third and fourth on License! Global magazine's list of the 100 biggest licensing companies in 2008, behind perennial top dog Disney. Warner Bros. held steady at $6 billion from 2006 to 2008 while Marvel grew from $4.8 billion in 2006 to $5.5 billion in 2007 and $5.7 billion last year.

• Comics retailer Up Up & Away! in Cincinnati apparently is doing well, despite the dismal economy. "We're not just surviving, we're thriving," owner Kendall Swafford tells The Cincinnati Enquirer.

• Judge Parker, cut from The Washington Post's comics page in a recent round of belt-tightening, has won a reprieve thanks to the "intensity of feeling" among complaining readers.

Incoming: Marvel Reveals New Covers for 2019's Final, Massive One-Shot

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