So is Marvel lowering their number of $3.99 books or not?

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Marvel’s solicitations came out today* and indsuytry watcher were standing by with microscopes to scrutinize a proposed 1) drop in the number of $2.99 books and 2) decrease in the number of books altogether.

On #2, there seems to be some corroboration with what was said at the NYCC retail breakfast, according to Bleeding Cool, which does a big count of all titles in all families. Compared to December there is a 17 percent drop in the number of titles, and a 20 percent decrease in total cover price.

31 Days of Halloween: Kyle Bolton

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Animator Kyle Bolton provides a team-up of sorts between his own Smash Comics character and a more familiar one. Smash Comics is a superhero webcomic for kids, written by Chris Bolton, that was recently picked up by Candlewick Press. More info here.

Sarah Glidden is going to Iraq for "Stumbling Towards Damascus"

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With her How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less soon to come out (and getting solid advance reviews) cartoonist Sarah Glidden is embarking on another journey to the Middle East, with hopes of turning it into another non-fiction comic. And she’s funding part of the travel via Kickstarter with a project called “Stumbling Towards Damascus”. For the project, she’ll be working with the Common Language Project, a Seattle-based group of journalists who travel to under-reported on areas. For this trip they’ll be journeying to places affected by the Iraq war, including Syria, Turkey and the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Glidden’s larger hope is to follow in the tradition established by Joe Sacco, whose “comics journalism” in the Middle East has won multiple awards.

Pekar's death ruled accidental overdose

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Cuyahoga country coroner Frank Miller has issued a report on Harvey Pekar’s July 12th death and ruled it was from natural causes, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. However the cause of death was given as an accidental overdose of fluoxetine and bupropion (commonly sold as Prozac and Wellbutrin.) Pekar suffered from high blood pressure, asthma and clinical depression, and was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

Jonny Rench remembered

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The Wildstorm blog has a series of tributes to colorists Jonny Rench who died over the weekend at the age of 28. Among those he worked with, Neil Goodge, Liam Sharp, Trevor Hairsine, and this from Gail SImone, whose Welcome to Tranquility series he colored: