The Milwaukee, WI, comic shop Collector’s Edge has a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 for sale, ABC News reports; the issue marks the first appearance of Spider-Man, and a CGC 9.6 copy sold for $3.6 million in 2021 (see “Marvel’s ‘Amazing Fantasy’ #15 Becomes the Most Expensive Comic Ever Sold”).  The Collector’s Edge copy, which a couple found among the belongings of a deceased relative, is graded 3.0, and owner Steve Dobrzynski expects to get about $35,000 for it.  The store posted on its Facebook that anyone interested in purchasing the comic should stop by and talk to the owner.

Geoffrey Patterson II, owner of Geoffrey’s Comics and Hi De Ho Comics, announced on Facebook that the stores will close on December 31, 2023.  “We were literally the first comic book stores in Los Angeles,” Patterson said; his father opened the original store in 1977, and Patterson II later took over the business (see “Business 3X3: Geoffrey Patterson at Geoffrey’s Comics and Hi De Ho”).  In the Facebook post, Patterson attributed the closing to a number of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, having multiple distributors with different new comics days, declining profitability of tabletop card games, his own health problems, and his mistake, ordering too much in hopes that the business would return to pre-COVID levels.  Despite the closure of both brick-and-mortar locations, however, Patterson will continue to offer pull list services and plans to have “pull parties” at different locations so customers can pick up their comics and hang out with other fans.

Two more closings of note: Pulp 716 Coffee & Comics will close both its locations, at Lockport and North Tonawanda, New York, on October 31, according to its Facebook.  The North Tonawanda location was twice nominated for the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award.  And Heroes Comics of Fresno, California, will close its single location on December 31 after over 30 years in the business; owner Dave Allread told ABC30 the main reason for the closure is that his landlord wanted to raise the rent by 70%.|

Sean Duff, owner of the West Seattle, WA, comic shop Tails to Astonish was left reeling after the store was burglarized twice in six weeks. The burglars went for valuable back issues, including some signed by Stan Lee.  “Half of our business that we did was back issue sales and three-quarters of our back issue value was probably on these walls,” Duff told KIRO7.  In the aftermath of the second robbery, he plans to increase security and stop keeping comics worth more than $100 in the store.

Brainstorm Comics and Gaming in Frederick, MD, which closed one of its locations because of the pandemic (see “Shop Talk: Openings and Closings”), is now closing its remaining location, but co-owner John Frazier says the closure is temporary.  "We fell behind on our taxes, so the state told us, you know, we couldn't renew our business license until we settled that, so it was either close down or start being fined for operating without being compliant," he told the Frederick News-Post.  The store owes $70-$75,000 in back taxes. Frazier is hoping to auction off some of his inventory to help pay the bill.

In happier news, several new game stores have opened their doors recently.  Philip Lataille, who just launched Hidden Table Games in Eagle, Colorado, told Vail Daily that his purpose in opening the store, half of which is a game-playing area, is to give local gamers a place to meet.  “The whole reason why I’m starting this to begin with is to develop a community and create a place where people can come to purely have fun,” he said.  “I’m really doing this because I want there to be an alternative to people drinking three to four nights a week.

Justin and Jordan Schotz have opened the Room and Board Gaming board game shop in Fairborn, Ohio.  Justin Schotz told the Dayton Daily News that the shop will focus on interesting but lesser known games. “You can find the best sellers just about anywhere — you can go to Target and get a lot of them — but we want to carry the stuff that you’re not gonna find at other places,” he said in the article.  “We had one called Raccoon Sky Pirates that lasted about an hour on the shelf.”  The shop will have a casual, family-friendly atmosphere, similar to the recently closed Centerville store The Gaming Goat.  “It kind of left a little void,” Schotz said of that closure.  “I like all of our local game shops, all of them — but there was a different vibe. And that’s kind of what I wanted.”

Here's another tale of a career change leading to retailing:  Hanna Al-Tarmidhi was working in film production in New York when the pandemic hit; unable to work, she returned to her family home in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Now she runs Here Be Dragons, a “one-stop tabletop shop” in the suburb of Petaling Jaya.  “I’m a self-confessed introvert, but I enjoy storytelling and engaging, and RPGs are a cross-section of all the things I love,” she told FMT Lifestyle.  “You get to spend time with loved ones in a cosy setting while telling stories.  Or fighting to the death, for some board games!”  The store focuses on RPGs but has a wide selection of other games as well as snacks, a room for painting miniatures, and a private gaming room.

Retailer Bryan Winter is bullish on game stores, so much so that he just opened the third location of I’m Board! Games and Family Fun in Madison, Wisconsin.  Winter told The Cap Times that he left a middle-management job in 2011 to open his first store, in Middleton, telling his wife, “I don’t want any deathbed regrets, so let’s give it a try.”  The stores stock “gateway games” such as Catan as well as other board games, TCGs, and RPG supplies, and they are designed to be friendly to first-time customers.  Winter offered several pieces of advice to would-be retailers, including this one: “Make a business plan… It’s one thing to say, ‘I have a really strong feeling that this will work.’  It’s another one to prove it on a piece of paper and then take that piece of paper to a bank and say, ‘Give me some money to make this happen.’  So do that work ahead of time, make that business plan and keep it up to date.”

Short Takes

Galaxy Comics, Games & More
in Stevens Point, Michigan, posted on Facebook that it has reopened in a temporary location after the store was damaged by a building fire in September.

Looking for comics shops in northern New Jersey?  The Montclair Girl has you covered!

The Daily Iowan profiles Daydream Comics, which has been the only comic shop in Iowa City, Iowa, since 1986.

The comics, record, and pop-culture chain Newbury Comics is opening a new location in Syracuse, New York, according to

Kevin Flash, owner of Vendetta Comics in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, tells the FDL Reporter how he expanded from one store (Flasch Point Comics & Collectibles) to two.

Washington, DC, news station WTOP spotlights Fantom Comics in the Dupont Circle area.

Thinking of opening a comic shop?  BookRiot tells you how.