Diamond reports that for the last two years, their number of accounts has gone up by 1% each year—a tiny amount, to be sure, but at least it isn’t falling. Here are some recent stories about NEW stores opening up, and one old one reopening—proof that indie bookstores and comics are not doomed quite yet.
¶ Rocket Comics: In Menifee, CA, Life-long residents to open comic shop pictured above.
Cousins Jesse Heinrichs, 22, and Zach Heinrichs, 25, plan to open the first comic book shop in Menifee’s known history.
The grand opening for their shop, Rocket Comics, is planned for 10 a.m. April 6 at 27140 Shadel Road and includes food, drinks, a raffle and a free package of buttons for the first 20 customers.
The shop, which specializes in comic books but also sells games, toys and other collectibles, is the realization of a dream for the two cousins — who proudly embrace the label “comic nerds.”
The two hope the store will be an after-school destination for kids, which seems to be a growing trend for shops located near schools.
¶ Vintage Villains: In Danville, IL another pair has opened a shop:
Partners Chris Perrault, a laid-off FreightCar employee, and Troy Walton have opened the shop, which opened today in the former Bruce Huff Photography business next to Hoarder’s Paradise, at 103 N. Vermilion St. [snip]
Perrault said the downtown pedestrian traffic also played a part in their decision to locate downtown.
During the last few months, they have been painting, removing a wall and renovating the space to fit their needs.
The shop has sections of T-shirts, reproduction movie posters, buttons, records and music CDs, horror/sci-fi/anime, VHS movies and DVDs, video games and video game systems — such as Atari and Nintendo, non-sports cards, action figures from movies and television shows and toys from the 1980s and 1990s.
The store sounds fine but we’re curious about the spot called Hoarder’s Paradise!
¶ Heroes For Sale: Liverpool, UK Yet another pair of determined fans opening a shop:
It hosts a vast collection of items such as classic comic books, action figures from Star Wars, Iron Man, Transformers, Ghostbusters and other memorabilia that is a journey of nostalgia through the sub-culture of TV, cinema and cartoon series heroes across the second half of the 20th Century.
The shop is run by Pierce King and David Ross, who are themselves collectors and enthusiasts and have collected most of the shop’s content over the past two decades.
¶ Hypno-Tronic Comics, St. George, Staten Island, NY; this one is run by a couple:
From tiny robots, laser beams, space invaders and bad monster costumes, a new comic shop in St. George is stocking up on vintage science-fiction and horror movie merchandise. Aside from the usual stock of superhero comics, Hypno-Tronic Comics will sell everything from Elvira dolls to Star Trek laser-disks.
“We’re different,” said co-owner Joy Ghigliotti. “We try to cater to sci-fi, horror movies, television, pop culture stuff, as well as the comics.” The store already has a large collection of memorabilia culled from garage sales, conventions and the personal collections of owners Ghigliotti and Edmund Varuolo.
¶ Finally, in Lynchburg, VA, Collector’s Lair has reopened in a new space following a fire:
The blaze, which burned for days, remains under investigation, Lynchburg Fire Marshal Thomas Mack said. About a month after the fire, Lair reopened his shop less than a mile away, next door to Chestnut Hill Hardware and near Fort Avenue’s intersection with Wards Road. He has operated a hobby shop for more than 20 years and knew he had to reopen. “That was almost immediate,” Lair said. “We were successful at what we were doing.” For 10 years, Lair sold collectibles from his former location on Fort Avenue, previously the Continental Hobby Shop. Lair opened his store in the 1980s after his childhood hangout, The Treasure Chest, closed. The faded sign from Lair’s first store is displayed in the front window of his new location.
Glad to hear this store was able to reopen following what sounds like a pretty bad fire.
How much these openings have been helped by Diamond’s incentives to help new stores open is unknown, but it’s definitely a welcome trend.
Has a comics shop opened near you? Tell the Beat!
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.