When I first saw that JHU, the famed NYC comics shop, had a GoFundMe up and was asking for help my heart sank. JHU – the descendant of Jim Hanley’s Universe, is one of the most famed comics shops of New York History – is not only my local, but a busy store in a busy part of town. It COULDN’T be struggling!
Reading through the GoFundMe, however, it’s not a plea to stay open – but rather a call for help in moving to a NEW home. JHU has lost their lease, and needs to move to a new location – but it’s a bit of a fixer upper:
JHU Comic Books have been serving comic book fans in New York City since 2013 (and the owners worked at the legendary Jim Hanley’s Universe, which originated on Staten Island in 1985, before that). We opened our current store on 32nd Street after Hurricane Sandy, and now after 5 years, we lost our lease, and we need to move.
We have found a great new (and affordable) space a few blocks from our current location, in a residental neighborhood. We will be moving from a highly commerical area, and are looking to reestablish ourself as a mom and pop shop. However the new space needs some major work. Floor, lights, bathroom, an awning and more. This is where we need your help.
Your contribution will help to employ contractors to build out the store, temporary help to move to the new location and help keep ourselves and staff employed too, ongoing! We want to be able to continue to sell comics to you, your children and your children’s children too!
We currently have a wonderful clientele, and by moving into this new space, we are hoping to expand on that base and become even more of neighborhood fixture. Sadly, our kind of buisness is becoming a rarity due to the onslaught of online retailers. We are not just a shop, we are an atmosphere! We look forward to continue to be able to serve New York City comic book fans, while keeping ourselves employed in the process!
A second JHU location, on its native Staten Island, remains open.
Moving is always hard, but I have a feeling that the loyal customer base for JHU will rise up and help raise the $30,000 they are asking for to help with the move.
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.