Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Borders files for bankruptcy, plans to close 192 stores


Retailing | Borders Group, the second-largest book chain in the United States, filed for bankruptcy protection this morning, announcing plans to close about 192 of its 639 Borders, Waldenbooks, Borders Express and Borders Outlet locations over the next several weeks. It’s unclear how many of the company’s 6,100 full-time and 11,400 part-time employees will be affected by the closings. Borders, which listed $1.29 billion in debt and $1.27 billion in assets, plans to continue to operate through the court process with the help of $505 million in financing from lenders led by G.E. Capital.

The likelihood of bankruptcy has loomed for the past several weeks as the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based bookseller pushed unsuccessfully for publishers and distributors to convert late payments into $125 million in loans. That concession was critical to Borders securing $550 million in refinancing from G.E. Capital. Publishers like Penguin Group, Hatchette, Simon & Schuster, Random House and HarperCollins are now, in Publishers Weekly‘s words, on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars. Diamond Book Distributors, which stopped shipping to Borders last month, is owed $3.9 million. [Bloomberg, The New York Times]

Comic Relief

Retailing | Shannon Appelcline writes about the declining final years of iconic Berkeley, Calif., store Comic Relief, which closed Monday after about 24 years. [Livejournal, via East Bay Express]

Passings | Bruce Weber pens an obituary from Joanne Siegel, wife of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, who passed away on Monday. [The New York Times]

Publishing | Johanna Draper Carlson takes a closer look Gareb Shamus’ plan for a weekly digital magazine and Diamond Comic Distributors’ Diamond Digital initiative. [Comics Worth Reading]

Publishing | Tom Spurgeon notes recent changes at The Comics Journal website — the departures of The Panelists and Hooded Utilitarian blogs, following the end of Journalista — and rumors that the Comics Comics team might be taking over the publisher’s digital real estate. [The Comics Reporter]

Creators | Adrian Tomine and wife Sarah Brennan discuss Scenes from an Impending Marriage: a Prenuptial Memoir, which began as a comic-book gift for the couple’s wedding guests. [NPR]

Craft | Todd Klein begins a multi-part study of the logos for DC Comics’ Strange Adventures titles. [Todd’s Blog]



List of closing Borders stores via Wall Street Journal:

*Whew* It looks like my Borders in Fredericksburg, VA is staying open. I do see the nearby stores in Richmond and Stafford closing. My sympathies to the employees at all those stores who are now going to be out of a job… :(

Yay!!!! Better news has not been heard in a while!

Thousands of people left unemployed, thousands more without a local bookstore, and publishers and vendors owed hundreds of millions of dollars rates a “yay”?


I am sure the millionaire Democrats and billionaire Republicans will come to the rescue of the unemployed.

In related news, thousands of failed screenwriters, time-killing community college students and recently unemployed bookstore clerks have taken to the streets zombie-style, dazedly looking for public restrooms, dog-eared copies of MOJO magazine and poorly prepared pastry products.

Kevin, when a business can’t pay their vendors anymore, the writing’s on the wall that they won’t be around for much longer. Look at it, they OWE more then they’re worth!!! :-O

Well, the Borders where I worked was on the list. Can’t say that’s a huge surprise.

I’m kinda more sad about Comic Relief closing, actually. I live in San Francisco and never got to go there enough.

Not to worry. I’m sure all the local “Mom and Pop” bookstores that Borders forced out of business will re-open.

I know some management that had all retirement funds in Borders stock. Bet they are kicking themselves now.

Yeah, as if putting money in Borders stock has been any more sensible since the LAST time they were almost delisted by NYSE. If someone’s retirement fund even glanced over at Borders, the fund manager was in trouble before they bought it.

also, the ACUTAL information regarding store closings:

Analyzing the list… a whole lot of bad leases signed in the last five years,
peppered with a few legacy stores which should have closed three years ago.

There is no good way to say this so. Are these closed Borders going to have a close out sale or sell them off at bulk to their competitors? I’m guessing it’s a mix of the two.

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