§ National bookstore chain Borders is getting shakier and shakier, and yesterday’s news that CEO Ron Marshall was ankling the joint did nothing to cheer anyone up.

Borders, which has been under a cloud of speculation about its long-term financial stability, has struggled to improve sales in a difficult market for book retailing. It has posted disappointing results amid price pressure from big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and competition from online booksellers like Amazon.

The company announced that sales fell nearly 14 percent over the 11-week holiday period ended Jan. 16, compared with the period a year earlier. By comparison, Barnes & Noble, the country’s largest bookstore chain, said that holiday sales fell 5 percent during a nine-week period ended Jan. 2.

§ Financially troubled printing giant World Color Press has found a buyer, ICv2 reports.

Wisconsin-based Quad Graphics has acquired World Color Press, the Canadian corporation formerly known as Quebecor that is responsible for printing the majority of comics in North America along with magazines like Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone. World Color Press stockholders will receive 40% of the combined company, which will be listed on a U.S. stock exchange (Quad Graphics is currently privately held). Under the deal, which is expected to close this summer, the combined company, which will have 30,000 employees, will be #2 in the industry behind R.R. Donnelley & Sons.

§ Manga publisher Go! Comi . which produced such things as Wendy Pini’s Masque of the Red Death, and Aimee Major’s Japan Ai is having some tough times.

Go! Comi is riding out a pretty tough storm in the publishing industry right now due to a combination of economic downturn and digital theft, both of which have had a devastating effect on even the biggest publishing companies.  A lot of small-to-medium publishers (we fit into medium, at this point) have had to scale back their operations, let employees go, double up workloads, and put many of their books on hiatus or cancel them entirely.  It would not be unreasonable to assume Go! has had to do some of these things itself, though I can’t get into specifics there.  :-X  

§ Old news but worth noting: Platinum Studios has secured another $5 million in capital — holding on for the movies finally paid off.

Awareness for Platinum Studios’ properties has increased significantly over the past year due in part to the upcoming film “Dead of Night,” an adaptation of the beloved Italian comic book “Dylan Dog,” which has sold over 56 million copies worldwide. In a poll conducted in December 2009 by MTV.com, “Dead of Night” ranked fifth amongst all comic book movies audiences were anticipating for 2010. The results came unexpectedly to MTV.com since the film was accidentally left off the list of nominees and all votes for the picture were write-in votes.


  1. I’ll repeat what I said elsewhere–the late Larry Quadracci was the smartest most innovative printing executive I ever met.

    I’m not the slightest bit surprised that his company is one of the last big printers left standing in North America.

    In my first year at Image (1994) we printed at Quad for a several months and the way that Quad was organzized was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. They really valued information moving from the bottom up as opposed to being dictated from the top down.

    Image Comics’ habitual inability to keep a scheduling commitment had us nicely waltzed out the door in a matter of months but I will never forget the conversations with Larry Quadracci about where the printing business was heading.

  2. Speaking privately, remember that the Borders percentage drop of 14% is in relation to sales from 2008. In 2008, when the previous CEO left, their 2008 holiday sales had dropped 14.4% in comparison to 2007. Holiday 2007, sales were up 3.9%. Holiday 2006, up 3.5% from the previous year.

  3. I second Larry’s assessment of Quadracci. I live 2 minutes from one of their (several) plants here in Wisconsin and know any number of people employed by them. They’re a big name locally, one of a handful that carry a lot of weight and have the results to back it up. World Color Press should be in good hands to weather the recession.

  4. I would certainly miss our local Borders. While I do use Amazon quite a bit, Borders is generous with its coupons, and I love to physically browse, and end up spending more than I should but getting good things.

  5. the majority of comics that i care about seem to be printing in Singapore, while the majority of comics i don’t care about seem to be printed in Canada.

    why is this?

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