On Halloween, Atomic Comics in Mesa, AZ was the victim of a car smashing through the front window, and hit a water main, causing extreme damage…or as owner Mike Malve explains:

Tuesday morning at 9am about an hour before the store opens a 16 year old girl with her 19 year old boyfriend drove there car threw the store front window and crashed into the middle of Atomic Comics Mesa Superstore location. The store alarm went off and they pulled their car out of the wreckage and left the scene of the crime.

Within minutes we received a call from our alarm company. We called the store manager Julian who was on his way to the shop. He then called us back at the offices about ten minutes later..frantic… and saying it was a war zone at the shop. Anybody who knows Julian, knows he tend to overreact to things. So when Jay came into my office and said we need to go drive down to the Mesa store. I sort of went reluctantly. Forty minutes later when I arrived at the store and saw all the carnage.

It was hard to take. There were 8 cop cars and the fire department as well. Apparently the car hit the one part of the store that housed the water main and all the pipes where broken , causing several 100,000 gallons of water to be shot out across the whole store at great force. The store was ankle deep in water in minutes. The city came in and shut down all the water , but it took about thirty minutes to get that under control. So by the time I walked into the shop, comics and toys where floating around the shop.

Things that were clear way on the other side of the shop way up high still got hit. Emergency water removal teams then went to work and got all the water out over the course of the day. But the water and just the moister and humidity took its toll on the rest of the product in the store. I say when all is said and done we took about a 90% hit on all our product being destroyed in the shop.

I have spent all day dealing with all the insurance issues as well as options on what will be next for the Mesa superstore. Yesterday every news crew in town stood in line for hours to interview us. I have tried to get attention like this for years! I guess I’ll start driving the atomic van into our mall store for some Christmas PR. Bottom line no one was killed and Atomic will rise from the muck …as we always do.

You can see a local news report on the accident here. More info at the Atomic Comics Blog, from whence we got this picture.


  1. Tuesday was a damned weird day for cars.

    Here in Cheyenne, a high school student’s car (a small late-model Honda) suddenly sped out of control in the school parking lot, hitting two pedestrians (and sending them to the hospital) before plowing into a brick wall.

    And that same morning, my 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe at first refused to start, and then started with great difficulty, but just barely ran with little-to no power, unable to rev above 3,000 rpm. I managed to limp it over to a mechanic about a mile away. He spent a few hours trying to work out the problem, and then in mid-afternoon the problem suddenly went away — the car started and ran just like it’s supposed to. He kept it over for an extra two days, trying to replicate the problem, but couldn’t.

    Very strange. I got my car back without having to pay, and consider myself extremely lucky compared with Atomic Comics and especially those poor kids who got seriously injured by the runaway Honda.

    All of this on Halloween. Very spooky, huh?

  2. Did I really just hear “a car crashes into a comic store…but it’s no laughing matter”? Did they seriously say that? What’s that crazy Little Lulu up to now I wonder? Between that and the caption “Works Next Store”, my bitter hatred of local news media is sufficiently fed for the day. Time to go back and re-read Nightly News #1.

  3. No offense, but:

    “…drove there car threw the store front window…” and “…the water and just the moister and humidity…” won’t convince non-believers that comics can teach people to read or write.

  4. Oh come now, the guy just had his store destroyed, and he takes a few minutes from what must be a stupendous workload cleaning up the mess and securing what’s left of his store to blog about it, and gets knocked for a few misspellings?