Comics A.M. | Borders sets Feb. 1 deadline; will bande dessinée break out?
Retailing | The Borders death watch continues, with the struggling bookstore chain giving publishers until Feb. 1 to accept or reject a proposal to convert delayed payments into loans. Publishers reportedly are skeptical of the plan, which would see them take up one-third to one-quarter of the bookseller’s reorganized debt. The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based retailer also has hired bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers to advise in its restructuring efforts, which center on negotiations to secure a $500 million credit line from GE Capital.
Borders, the second-largest book chain in the United States, announced in late December that it would delay payments to key publishers and distributors, leading some — such as Diamond Book Distributors — to stop shipping books. Jacket Copy reminds us that Borders Group is closing nearly 200 Waldebooks and Borders Express outlets before the end of the month. Additionally, it’s shuttering 17 Borders superstore locations nationwide. [The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal]
Publishing | As the Angoulême International Comics Festival draws near, writer John Bryne ponders why, outside of Asterix and Tintin, Francophone comics have had difficulty finding an English-speaking audience — and wonders whether this is the year bande dessinée will “break out.” [The Irish Times]
Publishing | Top Shelf Productions has signed with talent and literary agency International Creative Management for media-rights representation. ICM already represents such creators as Kurt Busiek, Todd McFarlane, Grant Morrison, Paul Pope and Jeff Smith. [Heat Vision]
Conventions | Exhibitor registration is open for Small Press Expo 2011, set for Sept. 10-11 at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Bethesda, Maryland. [SPX]
Creators | Birds of Prey writer Gail Simone is seeking realistic design recommendations for Oracle’s wheelchair: “Now, over the years and the course of many, many appearances, she’s had like eight million different chairs, mostly generic, but some a little ridiculous, and quite a few very obsolete in appearance. Unobtrusive is one thing, but some of these chairs looked like they came from the 1700’s. What I want to, and it’s way past time, is to update her chair, and to make it a consistent, reasonable design, that is still not hugely obtrusive.” [Ape in a Cape]
Creators | Carol Hills profiles “South Africa’s Garry Trudeau,” political cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, aka Zapiro. [The World]
Creators | Writer John Jackson Miller talks at length about his work on the Star Wars comic series Knight Errant. [About.com]
Craft | Todd Klein launches a multi-part study of Daredevil logos. [Todd's Blog]
Comics | Douglas Wolk rattles off 15 things that make him happy about comics right now. [Techland]