Hit records and stellar nerdlebrity status aren’t always enough to steer a retail ship through the shoals of hard business realities. System of a Down’s drummer John Dolmayan apparently learned that the hard way, as this sale for Torpedo Comics shows. The online retailer’s inventory and even domain name are being auctioned off to pay creditors.

The proposed online supersite launched in 2007 with high hopes and pictures of giant warehouses:

We have spent years building the most advanced search engine in comic collecting history. Affectionately entitled “Diesel,” you may search our vast inventory with an unprecedented 11 tier search criteria including title, issue number, cover date, artist, writer, inker, cover artist, publisher, main character or team, secondary character or team, and price. In order to serve our customers better, we will strive to continuously improve torpedocomics.com, so please take note of new sections every time you visit our site. In effect, we will monitor and expand our inventory and selection at a rapid pace as we go along, and we encourage you to check our site frequently and make suggestions that will improve our burgeoning business.

The online sale involves some 2,000,000 items so that was a hell of a lot of inventory.


  1. Yeah but maybe too much of a fan, not enough of a business person. If this is the store I am thinking of that set up shop in a local mall (West San Fernando Valley, CA), it was literally in business for less time than it took to set up the storefront. I remember seeing it in various stages of “set up” for many months, heard it was open, and by the time I made it over there (couldn’t have been more than two months later) it was already gone and replaced by an ice cream sandwich shop.

    Looked like it was going to be a great store, too. Oh well. I’m sure Mr. Dolmayan will be OK

  2. Didn’t he pay something like $1 million for Action Comics #1 about a year back. I’m assuming that didn’t help the bottom line any.

  3. That’s a shame but let’s face facts back issues are almost worthless now and won’t be getting any better as reprints increase and more content is available for legal download.

  4. It’s not easy running a comic business these days.I personally own a comic book company here in Vegas,and truth is the popularity of comics comes once in awhile and dies faster. We see little bumps when new movies like spider-man, x-men, hulk, and iron man came out, but the prices settle down quickly. When the wolverine movie came out, wolverine comics, really didn’t go up much at all like many of us had anticipated. I’ve actually been to Torpedo comics, and I’m kinda shocked that it went south for them. I know for sure that John was involved,how much I don’t know, but I once found him sitting un-noticed at his Torpedo Comics booth at the San Diego Comic Con. I remember thinking, if these guys here knew who he was, (drummer of SOAD) then they would be over here buying stuff like crazy. Something like a free autograph with any purchase… I know he would have been busy signing. But it may have made his company a little more popular.

    Then again I think to myself how I really respect a guy who doesn’t use his fame and fortune to run a different business.

    Even if the norm of most celebrites is to use their fame to sell something that has nothing to do with why they are famous

    In otherwords John didn’t go George Forman to sell comics.

    Reguardless of whatever, it’s sad to hear Torpedo is out.

  5. i ordered tons of comics from them. good price, good quality. sucks. i wish they were still around. they had a lot of good stuff there for good prices you could not find anywhere else.

  6. Sorry to hear the news about Torpedo comics. I can sympathize with the poster who mentioned his struggles with his comic business. The # of readers is ever dwindling, and most new comic hobbists want to read books only via the trades. I enjoy new comics every week, but I know I am in the minority at my LCS.

  7. SUCKS!!!!!! Great online shop, I gave them all my business after shopping exclusively at MHC online. I thought Torpedo Comics would do well because they had great bargains on many of their books like 24/7, not just once a month or every two months like some other online shops! No way!!! What am I going to do now?! Well I wish him and all the people that worked there the best.

  8. I’m really sad to see John’s comic shop go under. I’m a collector in the L.A. area and bought tons of comics from him around 2000-2005. I had no idea he was famous and he never once mentioned he was in a huge rock band. He was probably the nicest dealer I ever bought comics from. He would always give me discounts and was easy to talk to. I would see him at small comic shows (Frank & Sons in Industry, CA) and he was always cool. I remember he had a copy of Batman #3 on the wall and I was drooling at it. He saw me staring at it, took it off the wall and handed it to me. I don’t think any other dealer would be that cool. Hope you open a new shop bigger than the last one John. Thanks for all the good books you hooked me up with.

  9. I had no Idea, John, if someday you read this i hope thet everything gets fine to you. You are the best man i´ve ever met.