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Comics A.M. | ‘Asterix’ still reigns supreme in France

Asterix and the Missing Scroll

Asterix and the Missing Scroll

Comics | Wim Lockefeer translates and digests the annual report of the ACBD, the French association of comics journalists, which reveals that Asterix continues to rule the roost: The latest album had a print run of 2.25 million, dwarfing the next largest, Titeuf, with 550,000. Overall, sales are up 3.5 percent, but some of the old standards — like Asterix — are down from their historical peaks. Oh, and relevant to the recent debate involving Angouleme: The report lists about 1,400 active comics creators in France and French-speaking Switzerland and Belgium, of whom only 173 are women. [Forbidden Planet]

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Comics A.M. | The Washington Post pulls Ted Cruz cartoon

cruz-washington post

Cartoon by Ann Telnaes

Political cartoons | The Washington Post has removed a political cartoon from its website following a complaint by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Drawn by Ann Telnaes, the cartoon depicted the Texas senator in a Santa suit playing an organ grinder, and his daughters as monkeys on leashes. Cruz and his family appeared in an offbeat campaign ad released over the weekend in Iowa in which he and his wife read their daughters books with titles like “How Obamacare Stole Christmas” and “The Grinch Who Lost Her Emails.” Telnaes insisted that by allowing his daughters to appear on television, he had made them “fair game,” saying, “Ted Cruz has put his children in a political ad — don’t start screaming when editorial cartoonists draw them as well.”

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Store Tour | Coliseum of Comics in Orlando, Florida

coliseum of comics

Welcome to Store Tour, ROBOT 6’s weekly exploration of comics shops, and the people who run them. Each Sunday we feature a different store, and also get to know the person behind the register.

To discover a comic store in your area, visit FindAComicShop.com

This week’s store is Coliseum of Comics, located at 4672 Millenia Plaza Way, in Orlando, Florida, near the Mall at Millenia. There are also locations in Kissimmee, Lakeland, Tampa and at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando. We spoke with CEO and President Phil Boyle.

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Comics A.M. | ‘Vinland Saga’ could end U.S. release with Vol. 7

vinland saga-v7

Publishing | Kodansha Comics announced Tuesday that its North American release of Makoto Yukimura’s historical manga Vinland Saga could end following the seventh volume. “Please preorder and don’t let this great series die!” the publisher wrote on Twitter, adding, “We’re hoping we’ll be able to license the next arc, but it’s up in the air at the moment.” Kodansha began the U.S. release of the series in October 2013. The seventh volume will be published Dec. 29. [Anime News Network]

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Comics A.M. | Spanish artist Luis Bermejo Rojo passes away

Luis Bermejo Rojo

Luis Bermejo Rojo

Passings | Spanish artist Luis Bermejo Rojo has passed away at age 84. Often credited as “Luis Bermejo” or just “Bermejo,” he began his career with Spanish comics in the 1940s and later was an artist for Warren Publishing’s Creepy as well as numerous British comics, from Girls’ Crystal to Battle Picture Library. “His work could turn the most banal of story lines into an absolute visual treat,” said fellow artist Ron Tiner. “His masterful grasp of narrative composition, his delicate ink line and consummate skill in the use of deep shadow endowed his story sequences with a bewitching, moonlit quality unmatched by any other artist-storyteller I ever saw.” [Down the Tubes]

Comics | Rob Salkowitz looks at the top five comics stories of the year, from the Charlie Hebdo shootings to convention consolidation. [ICv2]

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Comics A.M. | ‘Edge City’ comic strip to end after 15 years

edge-city-r6

Comics strips | Terry LaBan and Patty LaBan are bringing their syndicated comic strip Edge City to an end after 15 years. In his farewell message, Terry LaBan cites not only exhaustion but also a sense that the funny pages aren’t what they used to be: “It’s rare to meet anyone who reads a newspaper anymore, at least anyone under the age of 50. Comic strips, which once occupied a place at the center of pop culture, have fallen completely off most people’s radar. As much as we love it, it’s depressing to work in a form that seems to have lost its relevance and is, for the most part, ignored.” [The Daily Cartoonist]

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Comics A.M. | Trial date set in alleged Pokemon gun plot

Pokemon World Championships

Pokemon World Championships

Legal | Two Iowa men suspected of plotting an armed attack in August against the Pokemon World Championships will stand trial on May 9 in Boston. A pretrial hearing is set for Dec. 30. Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, have been held since their Aug. 22 arrest on charges of possession of a large-capacity weapon and other crimes. Prosecutors say the two, who allegedly made multiple online threats against the event, drove to Boston with guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in their car. [Ames Tribune]

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Comics A.M. | The rise of the custom retailer variant cover

John Romita Jr.'s exclusive "Dark Knight III" #1 variant for Ssalefish Comics

John Romita Jr.’s exclusive “Dark Knight III” #1 variant for Ssalefish Comics

Retailing  | The Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal looks at the increasing popularity of custom retailer variant covers, focusing on local stores Acme Comics and Ssalefish Comics, which last week debuted an exclusive red-foil variant for Wrath of the Eternal Warrior and this week will release a cover by John Romita Jr. for Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1. The latter costs Ssalefish $18,800, which covered printing of color and black-and-white covers and Romita’s commission. “Even if we don’t make money back on the books, it’s still nice advertising,” said Bret Parks, owner of Ssalefish. “It’s a lot of fun and it makes our customers realize they’re getting something special, because although you might see a big stack of these ‘Eternal Warrior’ variants in our store, we’re the only store in the world that has them.” [The Winston-Salem Journal]

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Thieves steal $20,000 worth of LEGO from Ontario toy store

lego-robbery

Police are on the hunt for three men who forced their way into a toy store in Hamilton, Ontario, last month and hit the bricks with more than $20,000 worth of LEGO.

It’s thought the robbery may have been motivated by the skyrocketing demand for LEGO, which has triggered a holiday shortage in Europe and effectively created a black market for the toys.

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Store Tour | Gosh! Comics in London

gosh-social

Welcome to Store Tour, ROBOT 6’s weekly exploration of comics shops, and the people who run them. Each Sunday we feature a different store, and also get to know the person behind the register.

To discover a comic store in your area, visit FindAComicShop.com

This week’s store is Gosh! Comics, located at 1 Berwick St. in London, England. We spoke with manager Andrew Salmond.

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Thanks to legalized pot, Mile High Comics is selling its Denver HQ

mile high

Veteran retailer Chuck Rozanski stands to reap a hefty profit from the sale of Mile High Comics’ Denver headquarters, and he has Colorado’s booming legal marijuana economy to thank for it.

He announced this week in an email to customer that he’s putting the 22,000-square-foot warehouse at 2151 W. 56th Ave. on the market, where it’s listed for about $1.6 million, or nearly triple what he paid three decades ago. Why the high price?

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Comics A.M. | Sydney, Australia’s oldest comic store is closing

comic kingdom

Retailing | After nearly 30 years in business, Comic Kingdom — the oldest comic store in Sydney, Australia — will close its doors for good. Clayton Wildridge, who’s worked at the store for two decades and now manages it, points the finger at digital comics: “The culture has changed. It’s all internet and downloads now. The last thing I read said readership of comics was actually up, but purchases of hard copies were down. People download them instead and read them on the phone.” [The Daily Telegraph]

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Comics A.M. | Amazon opens its first physical bookstore

Amazon Books in Seattle

Amazon Books in Seattle

Retailing | Online retail giant Amazon will open its first brick-and-mortar store this morning in Seattle’s upscale shopping center University Village. Called simply Amazon Books, the store features between 5,000 and 6,000 books, from bestsellers to Amazon.com customer favorites. “Amazon Books is a physical extension of Amazon.com,” Jennifer Cast, vice president of Amazon Books, said in a statement. “We’ve applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping.” As The Seattle Times notes, the opening arrives with a dose of irony: For years Amazon has been able to undercut most other retailers largely because it didn’t have any physical locations. [The Seattle Times]

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Store Tour | The Comic Book Shop in Wilmington, Delaware

tcbs2-social

Welcome to Store Tour, ROBOT 6’s weekly exploration of comics shops, and the people who run them. Each Sunday we feature a different store, and also get to know the person behind the register.

To discover a comic store in your area, visit FindAComicShop.com

This week’s store is The Comic Book Shop, located at 1855 Marsh Road in Wilmington, Delaware. We spoke with co-owner Sarah Titus.

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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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