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It's the end of the story for Fourth Dimension Comics on Main Street in Newmarket.
The iconic store at 237 Main St. will be closing in April after 24 years.
The store's lease is up at the end of April, said owner Steven Gilbert, who did not wish to comment on whether increased rent was a factor.
"It would have been nice to get another year .. to make it perfect-sounding 25 years but, you know, other circumstances arose that maybe made it not prudent sign a one-year extension, so I thought it's time to hang it up," he said.
He added that the past couple of years have been tough as a result of pandemic lockdowns and, on top of that, he has been doing this for a very long time.
Gilbert has owned Fourth Dimension since 1999 and worked selling comic books at another store on Main Street for more than a decade before that, amounting to more than 35 years in the business.
"I'm in position to be able to walk away from it and feel like I've sold as many comics as I'm happy to sell," he said.
It has been a gratifying experience, he said. Newmarket is in a unique situation, having had a large variety of comic books readily available for decades. The store has become a fixture for many comic fans over the years.
But Gilbert said "any further impact on folks' is the enjoyment that they've had coming in, it's doubly so from my part with the personal interactions that I've had over the years with an amazing customer base."
Since sharing news of the closure on Facebook, Gilbert has been overwhelmed with customers coming in. Some are there to take advantage of the liquidation sale, but many are friends he has known for years and he said it has been emotional.
However, as a Newmarket resident himself, he said he is confident he'll still see folks around town.
"I'm sure that I'll be bumping into lots of friends around anyway, but just not in the store," he said.
As for what's next for Gilbert, after not taking a real vacation for 24 years, he is looking forward to taking a bit of time off. He isn't planning on going anywhere but hopes to spend some time decompressing and relaxing.
Gilbert is also a cartoonist himself and has published his own comics in the past and it's something he wants to get back into.
"I've kind of been away from the drawing table for a little while. One of my goals is to try to be a little bit more productive creatively and maybe get back to that and produce some of my own comics," he said.
Fourth Dimension will close for good at the end of April. Until then, inventory is discounted in the hope that Gilbert doesn't have to take a lot of it home with him.
The store is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
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