Bleeding Cool keeps an eye on comic books that have been closing – and opening – at this high pressure time of the year.
Last week, the comic book store The Spider’s Web on Yonkers Avenue in New York announced that it was closing this weekend. In a Facebook post, they stated “With a heavy heart and sadness, This announcement is hard for me to say………. It was the best of times and after much contemplation, I have decided to close The Spiders Web this week. And there are a lot of factors that have made me move to this decision, which some of you may already know some of the reasons! It has literally been a great ten years but it’s time to move on to something else in which I can engage a new passion in life. I would like to THANK ALL OF YOU for your friendship, patronage and continued support throughout the years. Thank you for the spectacular and funny debates on various topics we had in the store. MCU Universe was the best of topics…..lmao! And especially, thank you for the great fun and memories! I have met many great people and made lots of cool friends! I really appreciate it all!!! And most importantly, thank you for being a friend!”
While Smallville Comics, Gaming, and More in Hutchinson closed at the end of the year, with owners Cory and Kyrstal Zeferjahn stating that sales have dropped over the last six months, and putting out a similar message. “It is with a very heavy heart that I must announce that we are closing. There are multiple reasons that have mounted up over the last year or so and we have come to the decision that this is the best for us and our family. It has been a great 5 years and we have enjoyed meeting you all very much and we feel like many of you have become close to family, but unfortunately all good things must end. Our final day will be in December and we will be running clearance sales up to then to clear out our inventory because we have no place to put it.”
Owners Cory and Kyrstal Zeferjahn told Kake that sales have dropped over the last six months. “With the way the economy is going right now, people just don’t have extra money to have fun at the moment Some people are super sad about it, and some people are like, ‘but if you guys are happy, then that’s okay'” and that the Zeferjahns said they also had to raise prices after their distributors raised theirs and stopped offering free shipping. “They say it’s gonna get worse before it gets better over the next couple years, and so that weighed into our decision.”
Three years ago, Bleeding Cool reported on the opening of The Comic Shop in the English town of Crawley. And now sadly have to report its demise as well. They report on Facebook “Apologies for the silence, but the last few weeks have been extremely difficult. Whilst some may have expected this, sadly The Comic Shop will not be opening its doors (or pages) again, and this will be the last post I want to thank all who have been a part of our little adventure, as well as my staff, family and friends, but unfortunately we were unable to continue. We never could have known the communities we would create, the haven we would become, or the love we’d feel. We went beyond anything I could have dreamed of…. but there is always hope. Look for the Shepard. He has the key. He has the secret. Do not let the dream die. He will guide you to another realm. May the force be with you. Always.”
But amidst the closures, new growth. Nine8Culture is a new comics and collectibles shop that has opened in Spearfish, South Dakota, from Wes Pleinis, Allen Conraden, and Randy Lepthien. “The idea of opening a comic book and collectibles store has been thrown around for years. In 2020, while stuck at home, they all decided to make their dream a reality and took their collecting up a notch, adding wholesalers of new products as well as acquiring more vintage collectibles. In early 2022, a building came up for sale in Spearfish that would be the perfect location for their store. After six months of renovating their building, the rest is history!”
We Sell Heroes is a new comic store that opened recently in Comber, in County Down, Northern Ireland. And owner Mario Escobar told Belfast Live. “Our son has always been interested, like me, in comic books and science fiction. Because of his diagnosis, I found out that I had ADHD too. We always knew we were different, and there were few places to go to enjoy what we liked to do. I thought, I can do something about this, and give it a go. We sold our house in Bangor, which was a big deal for us and then moved to Comber. We have always been very fond of Comber because it reminded us of where we lived in England. We made very good friends with some of the people who owns shops in Comber too and once we found a house and settled here in February, I decided it was time to open our own shop. Collecting comic books and action figures has always been an interest of mine. I walk around and just think, there’s not much for kids to do, if they are interested in non-mainstream hobbies. We Sell Heroes is registered as a CIC, a community interest company, and that is one of the main ideas of the shop, for it to be a community hub for young kids. They can come and have a go at table-top gaming, which has become incredibly popular.”
Erica Edwards has opened a new comic book store, 2nd Time Around Comics and More in Conover, North Carolina which gets its name from the antique store in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic books. Edwards is also one of the organisers of the Hickory Comic Con and the recent Conover Comic Con. Her husband also owns a comic book store, Time Tunnel Comics in Hickory. She told the Hickory Record that she opened her comic store last year when she lost her job as regional manager for Family Video. They were married at the Carolina Renaissance Festival in 2021.
And Mike McIntyre has opened his own comic book store Funhouse Comics & Collectibles in Thorold, Ontario in Canada, after suffering a series of heart attacks running a commercial cleaning business. And telling Thorold Today “I am one of the largest comic book stores in the area.This is just a fraction, we almost have 80,000 books. It’s an enormous collection” And that he has bought 3D printers to create his own line of collectibles and he hopes to offer space for table top gaming in the future.
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