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Comics A.M. | Digital comics sales dropped in 2015 for the first time

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Digital Comics | Digital comics sales dropped 10% in 2015, according to calculations by the geek-industry retail site ICv2. This is the first decline since the category started to take off in 2010. “Industry participants” offered a number of possible explanations for this, including the leveling-off of new tablet and e-reader purchases and competition from Humble Bundle and other bundle services. Conspicuously not mentioned is comiXology’s decision, in spring of 2014, to eliminate in-app purchases on iOS devices, removing the most convenient way to buy comics from the most popular platform. The article does mention that sales through the Google Play store and direct digital sales from publishers of DRM-free comics had increased, although they are still a small segment of the industry. Also, e-book sales in general are down. Despite all this, ICv2 calculates that digital sales totaled $90 million last year, which is still pretty good considering that the market was just $1 million in 2009. [ICv2]

Conventions | New York Comic Con will extend the party with a series of events tagged “NYCC Presents,” running from October 3-9 (the con itself is October 6-9). The events include a “We the Heroes” Ball, Doctor Who costume and trivia contest, a live episode of “Game Grumps,” and “Shipwreck Presents: A Literary Erotic Fanfic Competition based on William Goldman’s The Princess Bride.” All events require separate tickets—your NYCC badge won’t get you in. [New York Comic Con]

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‘Assassination Classroom’s’ Yusei Matsui to appear at NYCC

Assassination Classroom, Vol. 1

Assassination Classroom, Vol. 1

Yusei Matsui, creator of the hit sci-fi comedy manga “Assassination Classroom,” will appear in October at New York Comic Con for a series of events and autograph sessions.

Published in North America by Viz Media, the action-packed series debuted in 2012 in Japan, telling the story of a class of misfits determined to kill their new teacher — an alien octopus with bizarre powers who has just destroyed the moon and will do the same to Earth … unless his students can stop him. Making the scenario even more complicated, it turns out he’s the best teacher they’ve ever had.

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Comics A.M. | The convention market ‘is starting to saturate’

New York Comic Con 2015

New York Comic Con 2015

Conventions | ReedPOP Senior Vice President Lance Fensterman looks back at New York Comic Con 2015, which drew 167,000 people over four days; the increase came from making Thursday a full day, he says. Fensterman also offers some thoughts on conventions in general, saying the market is starting to become saturated, but not in terms of fans, who will always go to a cool show: “I think the saturation is more so on the side of content, and by content, I mean exhibitors, brands, guests, studios,” he says. “They don’t need that many shows.” Dealers will always show up, but, Fensterman says, “Fans don’t want to pay a ticket price to come in to spend money. There needs to be content that is engaging, exciting and unique. And there’s a limited quantity on that.” [ICv2]

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Comics A.M. | Settlement may loom in ‘Comic Con’ dispute

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con International

Legal | Representatives of Comic-Con International and Salt Lake Comic Con are scheduled to meet Nov. 24 with a federal judge to discuss a possible resolution of their dispute over the term “Comic Con.” Comic-Con International sued the Utah event in 2014, insisting organizers were attempting to “confuse and deceive” fans and exhibitors with their use of the term “Comic Con.” The producers of Salt Lake Comic Con have called the lawsuit “frivolous,” arguing that Comic-Con International’s trademarks are invalid. Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder Bryan Brandenberg, who met this week with Comic-Con International organizers, said he’s confident a settlement would be “greats news for our fans,” but he declined to say whether the Utah event would keep its name. [KSL.com]

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MODOK Donald Trump could be next year’s Spider-Gwen

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Amid the tumult of New York Comic Con, i09.com was able to zero in on one of the burning questions of the day: What would Donald Trump look like as various supervillains?

So one of the website’s contributors headed down Artists Alley to ask a handful of creators, including Joe Staton, Jim Mahfood and Nathan Fox, to try their hands at it. And, boy, are we glad they did. The results ranged from Poison Ivy to The Joker to Ursula, but Fox’s MODOK easily emerges the winner.

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Go inside that awesome Hulkbuster costume in this video

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That incredible 9-and-a-half-foot-tall Hulkbuster cosplay was the talk of New York Comic Con, generating buzz both on the exhibition floor and on social media. Extreme Costumes even won Best of Show in the NYCC Eastern Championships of Cosplay.

Now Tech Insider offers a close-up look at the costume in this video, which details the lengths creator Thomas DePetrillo must go to when he suits up: It takes him a whopping 20 minutes — and that’s with assistance. Of course, those stilts can’t make it easy.

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Remain calm: There’s an enormous Hulkbuster roaming NYCC

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Whether you’re attending New York Comic Con or merely following along on social media, you’ve likely caught sight of the enormous Hulkbuster strutting around the exhibition floor. Don’t be alarmed: It’s that incredible cosplay we showcased just last week from Extreme Costumes.

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NYCC: Because Ghostbusters shoes make you feel good

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If you already own the signature khaki coveralls and indispensable proton pack, you may want to complete the ensemble with a pair of hand-made, limited-edition Ghostbusters sneakers.

Unveiled this week at New York Comic Con by Australian company Nookiee, the officially licensed shoes come in a handful of styles for men and women: there are those inspired by the Ghostbuster suit, complete with “elbow pads” on the heels and “Stantz,” “Spengler,” “Venkman” or “Zeddemore” stitched on the side; the “no ghost” variety, in black or white; and “Gozer.”

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‘Chewie, we’re home': Hasbro reveals new Han Solo action figure [Updated]

hasbro-sw-han-social

Hasbro has officially unveiled images of the new wave of 6-inch figures from its Star Wars: The Force Awakens Black Series, including General Hux and a First Order Snowtrooper. But as cool as they are, they’re nothing compared to what the toymaker showcased last night at New York Comic Con.

At its annual ’Twas the Night Before … Party, Hasbro displayed the very first Han Solo figure from the new film. Although no official photos have been released just yet, some folks were on hand to snap their own.

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Comics A.M. | ‘Tintin’ original art fetches $1.2 million at auction

From "The Blue Lotus," by Herge

From “The Blue Lotus,” by Herge

Auctions | A rare drawing of Tintin by Hergé from the 1936 book The Blue Lotus was sold at auction Monday in Hong Kong for $1.2 million. The black-and-white illustration, which depicts Tintin and Snowy being pulled in a rickshaw through the streets of Shanghai, is the only original piece from the book that remains in private hands. [BBC News]

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NYCC: Marvel artists create superhero helmets for FDNY auction

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As part of the 150th-anniversary celebration of the Fire Department, City of New York, the FDNY Foundation has teamed with Marvel to display and auction off specially designed helmets at New York Comic Con.

According to the New York Daily News, 10 helmets featuring Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, The Hulk and Black Widow and others were designed by such artists as Joe Quesada, Kaare Andrews, Walt Simonson and Damion Scott. The full lineup will be unveiled today during the “This Week in Marvel” podcast at Discovery Times Square.

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NYCC: Kodansha reveals teaser image for ‘Attack on Titan’ panel

Art by Tomer Hanuka

Art by Tomer Hanuka

Just ahead of New York Comic Con, Kodansha Comics it teasing its “Biggest ‘Attack on Titan’ Manga Announcement Ever” panel with the release of art by artist Tomer Hanuka.

No additional details were provided, leaving fans to try to discern clues from the art itself. Hanuka only offered, “This is massive.”

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NYCC | ComiXology Submit to give away print variants

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ComiXology will give away limited-edition print variants of select Submit comics next week at New York Comic Con.

As announced this morning at EW.com, throughout Oct. 8-11 convention, 500 copies of each of these titles will be available on a first come, first serve basis: Aw Yeah, Comics #1, by Art Balthazar and Franco; the Fresh Romance anthology, edited by Janelle Asselin; Gamma #1, by Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas; Heathen #1, by Nastasha Alterici; and Revenger #1, by Chuck Forseman.

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This ‘Mega Man X’ figure is reason enough for fans to flock to NYCC

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TruForce Collectibles has unveiled a New York Comic Con-exclusive Mega Man X action figure that will undoubtedly make franchise fans wish October would hurry up and get here. And that they’d bought tickets.

Described as “X’s evil counterpart developed by a mysterious man during the formation of the X-Hunters,” X-Kai features more than 30 points of articulation, die-cast armor on its chest, shins and feet, an LED X-Buster, purple effects parts, and a display stand.

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Funko reveals ‘Arkham Knight’ and Daryl Dixon NYCC exclusives

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As we begin the countdown to New York Comic Con, Funko has unveiled its first wave of event-exclusive merchandise, including a Batman: Arkham Asylum (Detective Mode) 6-inch Dorbz, a Walking Dead bloody Daryl Dixon Vinyl Idolz, and a Tenth Doctor Pop! figure in a spacesuit.

They’re joined by the likes of the Star Wars Platinum Greedo Hikari figure, the classic Battlestar Galactica Commander Cylon Pop! figure, the Bravest Warriors Catbug Orange Glow Pop! figure, and the Futurama Alternate Universe Fry and Leela Pop! two-pack.

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