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Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Blackest Night #3

Blackest Night #3

Publishing | Sales of comics to the direct market increased 12 percent in September over the same month last year, lifting the third quarter by 7 percent. Graphic novels, meanwhile, slipped 2 percent in September and 10 percent for the quarter, largely because of the strong performance of Watchmen in 2008.

DC’s Blackest Night #3 topped Diamond’s comics chart, with sales estimated at 140,786, followed by Marvel’s Captain America: Reborn #3 with 108,331. The “Blackest Night” event performed well for DC, with five related titles placing in the Top 10. ICv2.com notes in its analysis that the $3.99 price tag on some of Marvel’s comics appears to be having an impact on sales, with the second issues of Ultimate Comics Avengers and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man falling about 15,000 copies each, and Hulk #15 dropping about 18,700 from the previous issue.

The graphic novels list was led by the fifth volume of Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, with an estimated 7,225 copies. However, the most interesting entry is probably R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated, which charted at No. 28 with some 2,178 copies. [ICv2.com]

Astro Boy

Astro Boy

Publishing | Astro Boy, Phoenix, Black Jack and other creations by Osamu Tezuka soon will be available on iPhones and iPods in the United States as Tezuka Productions and D-Arc Inc. launch Weekly Astro Boy Magazine. The first English-language manga service for mobile devices, which could launch as early as this month, will volumes of about 100 pages for about 99 each. [AFP]

Publishing | Speaking of R. Crumb, I’m not sure that I buy this article from a U.K. newspaper that asserts his adaptation of Genesis is at the center of a “Biblical sex row,” particularly when a representative from just one group is quoted as objecting to the graphic novel. In related news, Entertainment Weekly‘s Ken Tucker thinks The Book of Genesis Illustrated could be on track to become a bestseller. [Telegraph, Shelf Life]

Alan Moore

Alan Moore

Publishing | Alan Moore discusses his new underground magazine Dodgem Logic, which launches next month: “We want to provide something that is going to illuminate the rather dismal times that we are currently going through — and which I tend to suspect will be getting a lot worse – as well as giving people some practical information. Whether that’s under the rubric of our recipe pages, DIY clothing pages, articles on squatting or the more political articles. To keep people informed in a way the conventional media doesn’t do anymore.”

Moore also explains what happened to, and what may become of, the songs recorded for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier. [Mustard]

Conventions | The London MCM Expo (that’s “Movie Comic Media”) will be held this weekend. And while it’s not exactly a comics convention, it does include a Comic Village that will feature such creators as Andy Diggle, Jock, Ben Templesmith, Alan Grant, David Lafuente, Frazer Irving, Antony Johnston, Marc Ellerby, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Emma Vieceli, Bryan Talbot, Gary Erskine, Simon Spurrier and others. [London MCM Expo]

Retailing | Heidi MacDonald reports on the “upbeat” Diamond Retailer Summit held Oct. 11-12 in Baltimore. [Publishers Weekly]

Retailing | Shadow Gear Comics opened about a month ago in Exeter, Maine New Hampshire. [SeacoastOnline]

Business | The financially troubled Spider-Man musical is “still a $45 million mess,” apparently. [Showbiz 411]

Creators | Jason Thompson, author of Manga: The Complete Guide and the forthcoming King of RPGs, talks about his work. [Sequential Tart]

Creators | Writer B. Clay Moore runs down his favorite graphic novels and collections. [On Broken Radios]

Digital comics | Neal Adams bangs the drum for motion comics in what amounts to a carnival barker-esque press release for Marvelfest (at which he’ll appear) and the Astonishing X-Men adaptation (which Adams directed and his Continuity Studios produced). [Hero Complex]

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Comments

6 Comments

Re: “Blackest Night #3 topped Diamond’s comics chart”

Well, money talks; the clear message seems to remain that publishers should continue flooding stores with dull but much-hyped, all-consuming “event” stories. I suppose the only prospect for change, at this point, is that editors at one or both of the big two will develop “event fatigue” from coordinating these things (given that readers apparently aren’t developing it from buying them).

Of course, in the bigger picture “140,786″ topped the chart, followed by a dropoff of more than 30,000 to the runner up. A growth industry this is not.

Re: “Retailing | Shadow Gear Comics opened about a month ago in Exeter, Maine.”

It’s actually Exeter, N.H.

“…the clear message seems to remain that publishers should continue flooding stores with dull but much-hyped, all-consuming “event” stories.”

Yep. The ‘dull’ (to you) event story outsells the second place stand-alone title by almost 30%. And then the event story helps raise the sales of many other books, too.

Crossovers are here to stay, whether a few of us like the current one or not.

DC is really giving people what they want. In my opinion, Marvel has pretty much just created a four year long promise machine that never pays off with the occasional hyped up ‘thing’. I can’t call what they do as a real story because ‘No More Mutants’ is a concept, not a story. Just saying ‘Magic happens, now stuff is different’ is really stupid and lazy. I think DC is probably on to something.

Perhaps singles shouldn’t be the industry standard for sales and success, since trade waiting seems to be the norm these days. Roll on Longbox to rejuvinate singles somewhat.

I’m with Alex, DC is really clicking with me lately while Marvel is fizzling out.

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