Comics A.M. | Archie #1 sets auction record; more bookstore layoffs

Comics | A copy of Archie Comics #1, published in winter 1942, sold at auction last week for $167,300, setting a world record for an Archie title and a non-superhero comic. "Archie may have a ways to go to catch the likes of Superman and Batman, his Golden Age counterparts," said Lon Allen, managing director of comics for Heritage Auctions, "but you can bet that collectors sat up and took notice when this comic brought that price. This amount exceeds the priciest of Spidey and Hulk comic books we've sold, which brought in excess of $125,000 each." [Luxist]

Retailing | REDgroup Retail, which owns the Australian booksellers Borders and Angus & Robertson, has laid off 321 employees at the two chains following the closing of 38 stores. The company entered into administration last month. [ABC News]

Retailing | Borders Group has asked a bankruptcy judge for more time to decide whether to assume or reject its 681 leases, including those for 674 stores. If granted, the extension would give the company until Jan. 12, 2012, to deal with its leases. [Detroit Free Press]

Publishing | Oni Press has promoted associate editors Jill Beaton and Charlie Chu to editor. [press release]

Creators | V. Gangadhar and Swati Daftuar write tributes to Indian comics pioneer Anant Pai, who passed away on Feb. 24 at age 81. [The Hindu]

Creators | Lauren Ober offers a lengthy profile of James Kochalka, Vermont's first cartoonist laureate: “I’m kind of like the state flower now. I can’t really expect myself to be the state flower, can I? I can’t be that pure. Can I be as pure as the clover?” [Seven Days]

Creators | Paul Constant talks with Mike Mignola about folktales, the world of Hellboy, selecting collaborators, and becoming a writer: "The last thing I ever expected was being a writer. I only became a writer because I realized nobody was going to read my mind and write the perfect story for me. It was entirely an excuse to draw what I wanted to draw. I actually gotta say, in this five years of doing writing, I have written things I'm pretty proud of. I could see continuing as a writer. There's no problem making up stories, there are a billion stories I'd like to do and a lot of great artists I'd like to work with. But you gotta make decisions. What's really fun to me is doing the drawing. When I write for other people, I've got to leave them a lot of room to do things their way. There's always a part of me that knows how I would do the story, but the way I've kind of lived with it is 'Let them do it their way. This story over here we're going to do ourselves. I do it my way.' That's where I am." [Portland Mercury]

Comics | Glen Weldon casts an eye over BOOM! Studios' newly announced Peanuts graphic novel. [NPR]

Organizations | NBC Nightly News discovers the nonprofit 826NYC and its Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company. [NBC Nightly News]

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