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]

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]

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