70 Years of Marvel Comics
In celebration of Marvel Comics' 70th birthday, on August 11, comic book stores and Barnes & Noble bookstores across the country will be hosting special events. Many will feature appearances and signings by well known Marvel creators past and present, as well as costumed Marvel characters. New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Portland and Seattle will be among the many cities and towns with Marvel anniversary events. More details and a full listing of participating stores are available here.

Quesada, Kidd, Mazzucchelli in Bryant Park
Marvel Comics
Editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, acclaimed comics creator David Mazzuchelli, writer and artist of Asterios Polyp, award-winning book designer Chip Kidd, the man behind Bat-Manga: The Secret History of Batman in Japan and PW Comics Week's own Heidi MacDonald will all appear together in one star-studded panel discussion in New York City's Bryant Park. Moderated by veteran comics writer and editor Danny Fingeroth, it is part of Word for Word author series and is open free to the general public. The event will take place on August 19 from 12:30 - 1:45 p.m. in the Bryant Park Reading Room section of the park, located on the 42nd street side. In the event of rain, the panel will take place at The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, 20 West 44th Street.

New Book from Howard Cruse
Howard Cruse, author of the acclaimed graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby, a fictional account of gay life in the South during the years of the Civil Rights Movement, is publishing a new book, From Headrack to Claude, a compilation of gay-themed comics strips, as a Print-On-Demand edition through Lulu.com. From Headrack to Claude compiles gay-themed comics stories published between 1976 and 2008 along with supplementary material, some of it never published. Many of the stories were originally published in adults-only underground comix so the book is labeled “For Mature Readers.”

Radical, Random House in Distribution Pact
Radical Publishing
, home of such comics as Caliber, Hercules: The Thracian Wars and Aladdin, has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Random House Publisher Services to bring Radical books into mainstream bookstores. Radical will continue to use Diamond Comics Distributors to bring their books to the comics shop direct market.

C2E2 Tickets On Sale
The new Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, known as C2E2, is now offering tickets for their inaugural year's convention. The event will run from April 16 - 18 2010 in Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center. From now through September, tickets will be available online at a special early bird price.

iPhone App Tops on iTunes
Comics website Comixology.com, known for their comic opinion columns and interactive pull-list creator has recently released Comics by Comixology, an ebook reader iTunes app created especially for comics. Now the application has reached the coveted #1 slot on the iTunes app store’s book app bestseller list. It has even unseated Classics, the previous long-time holder of that slot, an unheard of feat for a comics reader.

Users purchase digital comics with are then stored and read within the application, rather than on the device’s “desktop”. One of several such apps, Comics by Comixology has found favor with readers due to a low price point and a wide array of promised future content. Twenty publishers have already signed up to offer content through Comics by Comixology, including Slave Labor Graphics, Adhouse, Red 5 and Zenescope. It also includes 30 free comics with purchase of the $0.99 app.

Twilight's Meyer in Female Force
The Female Force series of biography comics about prominent women will feature an issue about Stephanie Meyer, author of the runaway hit Twilight series. Female Force is published by Bluewater Productions and previous issues have featured Secretary of State Clinton, former Governor Palin and Princess Diana.

Martinbrough Unveils New Website
Shawn Martinbrough, artist of Marvel's new Luke Cage Noir series, has unveiled his new website ShawnMartinbrough.com. The first installment of Luke Cage Noir, which reimagines the Marvel superhero in a 1930's context, will be coming out this month.

Fresh Ink: Comic-con '09 Video; Murs Raps
The television network G4's online comics show Fresh Ink with Blair Butler features video coverage of the recent San Diego Comic Con as well as an episode of the show guest-hosted by rapper and comics fan Murs. Murs talks about his favorite comics including Queen and Country, Northlanders, DMZ and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Vanguard Animation, Vanguard Press Ink Deal
Vanguard Animation
, creators of such films as the Shrek series and Space Chimps, recently announced plans to enter into comics publishing with an imprint named Vanguard Comics. However, Vanguard Press, an entirely different and unrelated company, already published comics and was unamused. Now the two companies have come to a formal agreement: Vanguard Animation will not use the name Vanguard on any comic projects they may publish and Vanguard Press will not use the name Vanguard Animation or Vanguard Films on any possible future film and dvd projects.

Viz Manga Free Online
The manga publisher Viz is making seven new manga series available to read free online as part of their new Shonen Sunday and SigIkki imprints. Shonen Sunday and SigIkki will both serialize their new manga for free on their respective websites before bringing them out into print. Shonen Sunday is a collection of manga by renowned creators suitable for the young shonen audience, while SigIkki is a line of less traditional manga aimed at an adult and older teen audience.

New installments of Arata: The Legend by Yuu Watase, Maoh: Juvenile Remix based on the story by Kotaro Isaka, adapted and illustrated by Megumi Osuga, and Hyde & Closer by Haro Aso will be available on a monthly basis from ShonenSunday.com. Also a part of Shonen Sunday’s offerings is Rumiko Takahashi’s Rin-Ne, which has already been syndicated online in English for several months in simultaneous release with Japan. Meanwhile, installments of Kingyo Used Books by Seimu Yoshizaki, House of Five Leaves by Natsume Ono, Afterschool Charisma by Kumiko Suekane and Tokyo Flow Chart will be running on SigIkki.com. All of the Shonen Sunday books will reach print in 2010, while SigIkki books will eventually be collected as Viz Signature editions subject to reader demand.

This Week @ The Beat
San Diego Comic-con 2009: The New Invaders. The Beat takes a good long look at this year’s Comic-con International.

This Week @ Good Comics for Kids
This week School Library Journal’s blog Good Comics for Kids has a review of Leave it to Chance, a review of two books by Tomoko Tamiguchi, an interview with Andy Runton about Owly and the upcoming Owly cartoon, the 7/29 listing of comics suitable for all ages, and a collection of links for the week including work by Brigid Alverson herself.