Here’s a story I never hoped to write: Bergen Street Comics, the lovely and much loved comics shop right up the street from Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center is closing, according to a blog post by co-owner Tom Adams.
After six amazing years Amy and I regret to announce that we will be closing the shop next month.
Opening the store, becoming a part of the neighborhood, and getting to meet so many great people has been an incredible experience for us and we are grateful to each and every one of you for giving us the opportunity to build something very special.
We will have more details on the closing – as well as on our plans for the future, including the proper launch of Bergen Street Comics Press http://bergenstreetcomicspress.bigcartel.com/ – in the coming days.
Tom and Amy Adams opened the store in 2009 and it immediately became a neighborhood and industry fixture. With exposed brick walls, art displays, store signings that featured prosecco in champagne glasses, and a full array of graphic novels, small press and mini comics, it was a dream comics shop—elegant and family friendly.
Even though the store wasn’t that convenient for me to get to, I made it out as often as I could for their many great events, and going there became a ritual for me—sometimes grabbing a sustainable hot dog at the place next door, picking up some special comic that I couldn’t get anywhere else in the city, repairing to the local tavern afterwards. Tom and Amy knew how to run a beautiful store that was truly part of the community. The personnel at the store was a parade of local comics types as well…Tucker Stone – who also works for Nobrow Press – became a partner a few years ago and always rang me up when I shopped there.
I won’t speculate on the reasons for the closing, but NYC real estate is off the hook expensive, comics retailing is a marginal business and that math can be deadly. Although the announcement came as a surprise to some, Tom Adams has posted about leaving the store a few weeks ago.
I will be leaving Bergen Street Comics at the end of August.
— Tom Adams (@BergenStComics) August 11, 2015
The news brought an outpouring of grief on Twitter:
— Josh Flanagan (@JAFlanagan) August 26, 2015
— Charles Soule (@CharlesSoule) August 26, 2015
— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) August 26, 2015
I can't thank @BergenStComics enough for introducing my kids to comics and re-introducing me to same. Looking forward to the next issue.
— John Hodgman (@hodgman) August 26, 2015
@BergenStComics !ow! Saddened by the news, but hope you all go on to great new things.
— Dave Roman (@yaytime) August 26, 2015
— Richard Gallagher (@R_Gallagher3) August 26, 2015
— Fábio Moon (@fabiomoon) August 26, 2015
— iFanboy (@iFanboy) August 26, 2015
Bergen Street Comics, whew. What a place
— darrylayo (@darrylayo) August 26, 2015
Thank you and goodbye Bergen Street Comics. Thankfully we still have @desertislandbk.
— Mr. Phil Jackson (@mistahphil) August 26, 2015
Sob! Bergen Street Comics is closing. https://t.co/MsAr5bJwrd
— Derf Backderf (@DerfBackderf) August 26, 2015
Bergen Street Comics' closure is a real blow to alternative comics in New York, which means alternative comics in North America.
— Sean T. Collins (@theseantcollins) August 25, 2015
Bergen Street Comics! Noooooooooo!
— ChrisChrisChris (@InfiniteChris) August 25, 2015
— Matthew Perpetua (@perpetua) August 26, 2015
goodbye bergen street comics!! I love you!!
— Benjamin Urkowitz (@bmfu) August 25, 2015
Oh no! Bergen Street Comics is closing! Say it ain't so, @BergenStComics! You guys are the best kid friendly comics store in NYC!!
— George O'Connor (@GeorgetheMighty) August 26, 2015
Another great New York City comic shop bites the dust. http://t.co/Rt68u41Y0l
— Brian Heater (@bheater) August 25, 2015
— Ivan Brandon (@IvanBrandon) August 25, 2015
— ANDY BELANGER (@AndyBelanger) August 25, 2015
bergen street comics is closing. wtf. my favorite event i ever had was there. cry
— Annie Mok (@HeyAnnieMok) August 25, 2015
We're sorry to see Bergen Street Comics go. A fantastic store that has always been supportive of what we do. All the best to everyone there.
— So What? Press (@SoWhatPress) August 25, 2015
Bergen Street Comics, I will miss you. https://t.co/yegexoQyYe
— Sean Howe (@louchelarue) August 25, 2015
And here’s a photo from artist Ganzeer:
On the plus side, Bergen Street had gotten involved with comics publishing with Michel Fiffe’s Copra (Fiffe worked at the store for a while) and the news that they’re planning to expand their publishing is welcome indeed. Here’s their online store.
This leaves Williamsburg’s Desert Island as the last artisan comics shop in gentrified Brooklyn. I’ve been feeling that the pace of expansion in the comics industry is due for a slow down, and Bergen Street Comics closing may be part of that—or completely unrelated since they’re getting into publishing . They say one last party is planned and I’m sure it will be a blowout. YOU can see the scores of comics luminaries from past events on their Facebook page and here’s one photo from a signing for Fiffe’s Zegas, to remember the good times.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.