Publishing | Heidi MacDonald reports that shareholders of Platinum Studios held a conference call Wednesday, with President Chris Beall sending a letter to founder Scott Rosenberg suspending him indefinitely as the company’s chief executive officer. Rich Johnston posted the press release announcing the call, and some of the topics on the agenda were fairly jaw-dropping. [The Beat]
Publishing | Andrews McMeel Publishing and Universal UClick (which are different divisions of the same company) are collaborating on a new line of digital comics, Udig, which collects themed newspaper strips into short e-books (the one I checked had 55 comics) for $2.99 each. [Good E-Reader]
Last year Robot 6 reported that the longtime retailer Bud Plant was retiring, with plans to sell off his mail-order business Bud’s Art Books. But after months of unsuccessfully trying to find a buyer, Plant has relented and re-engaged in his business with new energy and new blood–namely, his son.
“We convinced a lot of people that we were going out of business, which I say with some regret now that we have changed our plans,” Plant said in a blog post. “We’ve downsized, but we are carrying on in our 43rd year, with my son coming on board and my renewed interest in digging up cool and unusual books for your approval.”
Bud Plant is a legendary name in the comics community, being one of the biggest proponents of underground comix and also one of the pioneers in comics distribution. The one-time owner of one of the largest comic shop chains in the United States, he sold his warehouses to Diamond in 1988, which helped that then-fledgling company become a national distributor.
With a renewed focus in retailing, Bud’s Art Books plans to transition from being a mail-order business by catalog to embracing the internet with a weekly email catalog to customers. You can sign up to receive it over on their website.
Retailing | A federal bankruptcy judge has granted Borders Group permission to loosen the terms of its $505-million bankruptcy loan, giving the bookseller more time to line up a buyer and avoid the immediate liquidation of 40 more outlets. The book chain, which has closed 237 of its 642 stores, will file a proposal on July 1 to sell itself at a court-approved auction to a guaranteed buyer — most likely, the Los Angeles-based Gores Group. The private-equity firm has a plan that would save about 250 of the remaining Borders locations by transforming them into “more appealing destinations” similar to the Apple Store chain. [Bloomberg]
Retailing | Bud Plant, one of the initial direct-market distributors who, at one time, operated the largest chain of comic stores in the United States, has announced his retirement. In a letter to his mailing list, Plant said he is looking to find a buyer for Bud’s Art Books, his mail-order/online retail business. [The Comics Reporter]
Retailing | Jetpack Comics in Rochester, New Hampshire, has put out the call for area residents to participate in a photo shoot for retailer-specific variant cover for The Amazing Spider-Man #666: “This is not the first time Rochester has appeared on the cover of a comic book — the organizations also organized a photo shoot of Main Street that was featured on the cover of a Godzilla comic, with the city about to be crushed by the creature. [...] According to Jetpack Comics owner Ralph DiBernardo, after seeing how well the Godzilla comic sold, Marvel Comics wanted to capitalize on that success and suggested the city be featured again.” [Foster's Daily Democrat]