• ICv2.com reports that direct-market sales of periodicals were down 7 percent in March when, for the first time since the site began tracking figures in March 2001, no comic sold more than 100,000 copies. The top comic, Marvel's Dark Avengers #3, sold an estimated 95,546 copies.
Aided by Watchmen sales, graphic novels rebounded from a February decline to post a 6 percent gain last month. The Alan Moore-Dave Gibbons collection was again the top graphic novel in March, selling an estimated 32,132 in comic shops.
Overall sales of comics and graphic novels dipped 5 percent for the first quarter of 2009 (compared to the first quarter of 2008), which ICv2 suggests isn't bad for a period described as "the worst retail environment in memory."
• Bookstore sales plunged 10.8 percent in February, to $1.02 billion.
• Image Comics has joined Diamond Comic Distributors' Final Order Cutoff program,which will allow retailers to adjust comic orders up to 20 days before the release date.
The program begins April 20 for titles shipping on May 13.
• Terry Moore announced he won't be publishing the Strangers in Paradise Omnibus this year because of financial concerns: "With the economy affecting all my business partners—shops and distributor—it’s just not the right time for an expensive collection, no matter how cool. Pick your moments, as they say. And although I have the book near completion, now is not a good time for my partners to try and commit to a $150 book. I’ll have to wait."
• Brett White, who until last week had been the news editor for Wizard's website, comments on his termination and the state of the company: "I was let go, which fills me with all sorts of emotion ... and a lot of free time. I got tons of great memories, lots of cool sketches and made some amazing friends. I've met some of the most genuine, honest, caring and talented people ever. And ... I spent a year watching them get harassed, fired, let go, belittled, annoyed, infuriated, etc. I will miss all of them, but I won't miss seeing them emotionally destroyed on a daily basis and I won't miss being one of them getting destroyed." (via Dirk Deppey)
• Richmond BizSense looks at how Richmond, Virginia, Brett Carreras retailer warehouses his inventory sales at his shop, online and at conventions.
• Michael Cavna examines which strips hold up -- in terms of legibility -- under the strain of the incredibly shinking comics page.