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Comics A.M. | Green Lantern light-up displays pose fire hazard

Green Lantern Animated Light Up Display

Retailing | DC Comics has advised retailers to immediately unplug the $150 Green Lantern Animated Light Up Display after one of the signs caused a small electrical fire Saturday at Rick’s Comic City in Nashville. Other retailers have reported the smell of burning plastic coming from the displays. The publisher will notify stores in the next few days how it will rectify the problem.[ICv2.com]

Retailing | Borders Group lost more than $50 million in February and March as it sought bankruptcy protection and began liquidating 226 stores, a new court filing shows. [The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly]

Publishing | Mike Searle, former editor of Wizard Entertainment’s defunct InQuest Gamer magazine, reportedly will replace Mike Cotton at Wizard World Digital. Cotton, who had been co-chief pop culture editor, left the company on Friday. [Bleeding Cool]

Conventions | Forces of Geek rounds up news from last weekend’s Boston Comic Con. [Forces of Geek]

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Comics A.M. | Dark Horse CEO on state of industry; BOOM! changes

Mike Richardson

Publishing | In a wide-ranging interview with retail news and analysis site ICv2, Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson discusses the state of the market, the potential impact of Borders’ bankruptcy, digital comics, the decline in manga sales, the success of Troublemaker and more. Of particular note is Richardson’s confirmation that Apple’s stricter enforcement of a prohibition on in-app purchases outside the iTunes store was behind the delay of the planned January launch of Dark Horse’s digital comics program. He also says that Frank Miller is working on the third issue of his 300 prequel Xerxes, which is expected to be “roughly six issues, but he hasn’t exactly decided yet.” [ICv2.com]

Publishing | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson provides an overview of recent changes to BOOM! Studios’ kids’ line, from the loss of the Pixar licenses to a new imprint name — changed from BOOM! Kids to kaboom! — to the announcement this week of a Peanuts original graphic novel. “BOOM Kids! was designed to publish children’s comics — kaboom! is designed to be a true all-ages imprint, and for that reason Peanuts is the perfect launch title, the sort of material that adults and kids read alike,” CEO Ross Ritchie said. “Roger Langridge’s Snarked! is along these lines, as is Space Warped and Word Girl.  I put the Word Girl announcement on my wall on Facebook and immediately there were a zillion adults commenting, ‘My child loves this show but I’m buying this comic book for myself!’  The title mix will be broader for kaboom! than it was for BOOM Kids!” [Publishers Weekly]

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New Brighton Archeological Society goes online

Mark Andrew Smith and Matthew Weldon are putting the first volume of The New Brighton Archeological Society, The Castle of Galomar, online. A fantasy story that neatly spans the territory between straightforward (and clean!) enough for tweens and elegant (and clever!) enough for adults, The Castle of Galomar came out in 2009 and was nominated for two Harvey awards.

This is just the start—Smith, who is also known for his work on The Amazing Joy Buzzards, plans to put some of his other work on the site, including a new graphic novel, Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors, which will launch in a few weeks. I grabbed the opportunity to ask him a couple of quick questions, the foremost being why anyone in their right mind would put a Harvey-nominated book online for free. Read on for all the answers, plus a second sample of art from book two.

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Preview: Sullivan’s Sluggers by Smith and Stokoe

Sullivan's Sluggers

Sullivan's Sluggers

Back in July we first heard word that Amazing Joy Buzzards writer Mark Andrew Smith was working with Wonton Soup creator James Stokoe on a project called Sullivan’s Sluggers. Smith was kind enough to send us over some additional preview art, along with a description of the series:

Here’s a first look at “Sullivan’s Sluggers” that I’m working on with James Stokoe.

Sullivan’s Sluggers follows a team of ex-professional baseball players who play farm league teams for cash so that the farm leaguers can say that they’ve played against the pros. Our team of players are called the Dragons, and they are under the leadership of coach Casey Sullivan, who is a disgraced ex-player who spends most of his time in a drunken state trying to forget his past.

Sullivan’s Sluggers get an invitation to play a game in a Texas town called Malice against the Malice Gladiators. Upon arriving in the town, the team notices that the town seems to be stuck in the ‘50s, and something about it seems very off to them.

Unknown to the Dragons, the town of Malice has a curse on it from its shameful history. After the sun goes down during the 7th inning stretch, the other team and the townsfolk turn into monsters with an appetite for human flesh, and they start ripping into and feeding off the Dragons.

The Dragons find themselves battling their way out using all the baseball skills at their disposal, such as fastball pitches, fighting their way out with baseball bats, and communicating with secret signals, as the team rallies to survive until morning.

Sullivan’s will be completed by the end of 2009. The book will be in color at 150 pages.

Thanks for checking out Sullivan’s Sluggers and I hope you enjoyed the small preview.

Check out the rest of the preview after the jump …

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