Rocketship, the innovative Brooklyn comics shop which has been a mecca for graphic novels and forward-looking comics retailing, is closed down, several locals reported to The Beat. The store is currently locked up but with all the stock inside intact.
Reached for comment, co-owner Alex Cox told The Beat that it was a real estate problem and the store might reopen at some point. “We’ve come to the end of a five year lease, and are deciding what to do now. Five years went by fast, and my partner and I are suddenly making some large life decisions about what comes next. We love the shop, and as fun as it is, we have to figure out what makes sense for us on a practical level.
“Comic retail was never something either of us wanted to do forever, and if it happens that we close, we had a great five year run, and look forward to what comes next. If not, we will be back in the swing of things soon.”
With a lineup of art shows, parties and signings including release parties for the last edition of Scott Pilgrim, Achewood, Brian Wood, Top Shelf and many other notable books, Rocketship has been the center of a social scene in its gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood, as a gathering place for comics readers and creators. It was also in the forefront of the graphic novel store revolution, as comics shops evolved from stores that relied entirely on the weekly periodical market to ones that operated more like bookstores with wide ranging material for all ages stocked in-depth. It was voted the Best Comics Shop by the Village and and New York Magazine and was a finalist for the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award.
On a more personal level, we’ve spent many a sociable evening at Rocketship hobnobbing with colleagues and friends. It’s the kind of place you want to hang out in and a model for the way comics shops should be run — clean, well-lit, well-stocked and open to anyone of any age or gender. Here’s hoping that Cox can find a way to keep the show going, because the loss of Rocketship would be felt in many corners.
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.