Rumors started flying this afternoon, and it was confirmed in a tweet: New York City is losing one of its iconic comics shops as St. Marks Comics is shutting down at the end of February.
After 36 years of serving the #EastVillage, world famous St.Mark's Comics will be closing at the end of February.
Thanks for all your kind words and concern as word has gotten out.
We will be starting our store-emptying #sale tomorrow morning @ 11AM.
Stay tuned for more!
— St. Mark's Comics (@StMarksComicsNY) January 29, 2019
The store is located on St. Marks Place, a street famed, in the 70s and 80s, for being a hotbed of punk energy, fashion and music and a shopping destination for everything avant garde for decades. As time went by, the street lost its edge, all the clubs got turned into condos, and 9th St’s Little Tokyo crept over a block. It was great for yakitori and karaoke, but indie retail dropped to high rents, as record stores, video stores and fashion stores went under.
St Marks Comics lasted the longest, but it was only a matter of time.
A Brooklyn outpost of the store closed in 2015.
We’ve reached out to owner Mitch Cutler for more information, but this is another era ender. With it’s iconic gogo-check storefront, St. Marks was the messy indie rebel to JHU’s more orderly store to the north in the 90s and beyond, before Midtown took over as the clean mega-store of the city.
St, Marks was cluttered, dusty and impossible to find things in. It also featured adventurous signings and hired female clerks long before that become the industry standard. When I moved to New York it was the end of the night destination for many a cartoonist dinner since they stayed open until midnight or later. A few years ago I saw the incoming cartooning class at SVA being taken there on their orientation.
Our advice: stop by for that sale. St,. Marks is sure to have some buried treasure in those vaults.
We’ve been asked why.
There are lots of obstacles to running a retail storefront in NYC; too many of them at once to fight, and after 36 pretty intense years, not enough left to fight them.
We are forever grateful to our customers, who made it possible to pursue our passion for so long.
To our families and friends, without whose patience and indulgence we could never do all the things required to run a retail business for 36 years.
Most especially, to all the talented and dedicated staff, mostly now extended family, who contributed their time, expertise, ideas, and love to make this the very best shop it could be.
We’ll see you soon to say goodbye and share a good memory.
Let’s make this month a wake, not a funeral.
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.