Many blogs have alluded to this Ben Towle post as evidence that MacGuffin, a graphic-novel heavy comics shop in Newport News, has closed down:
I received news earlier today from Newport News based illustrator Wade Mickley that MacGuffin: The Graphic Novel Bookshop, the amazing…uh, well… graphic novel bookshop–also in Newport News–is now closed. You can find my post from this holiday season about the store here, along with Wade’s comment from today.
While I’m saddened by this news (which I’m assuming is true, although obviously I’m just going on this one comment) because it means that a really great comics shop has closed, I find myself attaching a greater significance to this because MacGuffin–despite its 5 hour distance from me–represented a sort of “litmus test” of the idea that there really was an audience of “civilians” out there who could sustain a retail store specializing in graphic novels of interest to the same sort of general readership that sustains, for example, one’s local Borders store, as opposed to the specialized collector/fanboy clientele that supports the typical comic book store.
This news hasn’t been confirmed but the fact that owner Sam Hobart has not updated his blog in a month is not a good sign. Hopefully he’ll get back online and at least tell us what happened — Hobart’s voice was one of reason, and his observations are needed.