The Mohawk Trail, these days designated as Route 2, runs across the state connecting Boston to Williamstown, and has existed as a renowned tourist road for more than a century. Before that, it was a Native American trade route for the Pocumtucs and the Mahicans in Massachusetts, as well as the Mohawks in Upstate New York.
In 1915, the road became synonymous with the motoring craze, and all sorts of attractions and motels cropped up, a big draw for tourists with wheels who were looking for a road trip adventure. Nowadays my guess is that its prime tourism purpose is to give people from the Boston area the best direct route to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, but it’s experiencing somewhat of a revival. Case in point, the arrival of a a new comic book store on there. I feel confident in saying that in all its existence it’s never had a comic book store on it, but there’s always a first time for anything.
Holeymoleys Comics and Collectibles opened on the Mohawk Trail on Halloween, 2018, and for the last few months has seen good business in what is definitely an unusual location. But the unusual location was part of the plan.
“We knew we wanted to be on the Mohawk Trail because it’s such a neat and historic stretch of road and we were excited to contribute something unique to that,” Tonye Berrineau told me.
Tonye owns the place with his wife Corinne, and they say it’s been a dream of theirs to open a comics and collectibles shop for years. What spurred them to get moving on the dream was the closing of the comic book shop that was nearest to them.
“We were driving to neighboring counties to purchase our books. A while back our favorite shop closed and we realized there was a gap in the market, and others were probably traveling pretty far for their books too,” Tonye said.
The area is a bit of a comic book store desert, and Holeymoleys now stands as the last comic book store going west until you hit Troy, NY. It’s no wonder that Tonye reports they’ve been amassing tons of regulars and they span the ages groups. It’s a large and complicated demographic for the couple to cater to, but they said they try to make the store a fun browsing experience, really a destination for people, and also an enticement for Mohawk Trail travelers looking for intersting places to stop. They’ve got some plans in the pipeline to that end.
“We’re planning to hold bi-weekly outdoor comic flea markets and record fairs in the Spring and Summer,” Tonye told me, “and plan to host artist signings and other events at the shop throughout the year. One day we hope to expand and open a comic museum too, among other things! Most of all, we are having tons of fun and hope people will come and see what we’re all about. You can take a selfie with our life size Iron Man!”
So now, thanks to Tonye and Corinee, the Mohawk Trail not only has a comic book store, but also an upcoming comic book fair on June 9, 2019.
Tonye and Corinne have lived in Massachusetts all their lives, married for 13 years and have two kids. They previous owned a music promotion company and a media services company, and met more than 15 years ago working in a music distribution warehouse.
Holymoley’s carries current and back issue comics, offers a monthly subscription service, and also features DVDs, music, video games, toys, and board games. Go check it out if you find yourself on the Mohawk Trail!
Holeymoleys Comics and Collectibles
1105 Mohawk Trail, Unit 6
Shelburne, MA 01370
John Seven is a journalist and children’s book writer living in North Adams, Massachusetts. His books include ‘A Rule Is To Break: A Child’s Guide To Anarchy,’ ‘Happy Punks 1-2-3,’ ‘Frankie Liked To Sing,’ and others. Find out about all his things at johnseven.me.