Comics A.M. | Strong debut for <i>Fear Itself</i>; is Borders doomed?

Publishing | Marvel's Fear Itself #1 topped Diamond Comic Distributors' April charts with an estimated 128,595 copies, the highest monthly sales for a comic since X-Men #1 surpassed 140,000 copies nine months ago. Retail news and analysis site ICv2 sees the strong debut of that crossover and the performance of DC's Flashpoint prequels as signs "that this summer’s big events may be able to reverse the downward sales trend in the first quarter of 2011."

DC's Fables, Vol. 15: Rose Red led the graphic novel category with about 11,600 copies, followed distantly by Dynamite's The Boys, Vol. 8: Highland Laddie. [ICv2.com]

Retailing | The bankrupt Borders Group reportedly has been unable to find a buyer for its entire business, which could signal the end of the second-largest book chain in the United States. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in February, and is closing about one-third of its locations. [Detroit Free Press]

Publishing | IDW Publishing Senior Editor Andy Schmidt, who oversaw such licensed titles as G.I. Joe and The Transformers, is leaving the company to work for Hasbro. Schmidt, who was previously an associate editor at Marvel, came to IDW in 2008. [Bleeding Cool]

Broadway | The three-week hiatus for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark did little to affect the musical's box-office appeal: The $70 million production grossed $809,941 last week in just five preview performances. [The New York Times]

Conventions | Stacey Whittle wraps up last weekend's Bristol International Comic & Small Press Expo. [SFX]

Creators | Erik Larsen looks toward the double-sized 175th issue of Savage Dragon, which he hesitates to call a "milestone": "You tend to look toward the big round numbers — 100, 200. Passing up Kirby's run on Fantastic Four was kind of the milestone for me when I got to 103. It was like, 'OK, now we're going!'" [USA Today]

Creators | Brian Heater wraps up a four-part interview with Peter Bagge. [The Daily Cross Hatch]

Creators | Joe Casey discusses his six-issue Marvel miniseries Vengeance, which doesn't tie in to the publisher's big Fear Itself crossover: "I begged them to let us suck off the teat of the latest Marvel Monstrosity Event, but to no avail. I figured it’d help us sell at least two copies of this thing. … But since that ship has sailed, we’re just pressing onward with the usual, incredibly low expectations." [MTV Geek]

Comics | Luke Plunkett looks back at DC's Atari Force comics. [Kotaku]

Comics | "Why Aquaman is the best damn superhero in comic history." [io9.com]

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