Eight Comic Store Openings & Relocations Across The USA

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Brent Trayce Sands opened a comic book store Impound Comics in Sacramento California’s Downtown Commons last year which sells just one comic book His. Impound, set in Sacramento, now has a second store it appears in as Sands is now opening a new store in Arden Fair mall. Watch out for Josh Hoopes, sir! The second comic book store is called Anti-Hero by Impound Comics, and is a general audience comic book store. Anti-Hero by Impound Comics is at 1689 Arden Way, Suite 2125, in Sacramento, in a 739-square-foot space formerly occupied by The Raider Image.

Wolverine Comics of Sherman, Texas closed after a fire at Kelly Square on Halloween in 2021. But now Beth Ward and Wayne Ward have opened the newly located store at 212 North Crockett Street behind Chase Bank. The new store will have 1,200 square feet of space, almost twice as much as the previous store, and will have new lines of products for sale to fill the space, and are advertising to buy comic book collections.

Outer Planes Comics and Games owned by Dan Radovic, James Palmer and Sean Quattrin in Santa Rosa California has moved locations, to open in a new, bigger space with an abbreviated name. OP Comics & Games has moved from Mendocino Avenue and Seventh Street and is now at 1901 Cleveland Ave near the Coddingtown Mall, a 9000 square feet store compared to the 5,000, with a gaming space on the second floor that can hold up to 150 players at a time with general manager Lauren McCormick in charge.

His & Hers Comic Shop is a new comic book store owned by Jorge Vega and Angela Vega that is just opening at 10 Main Street, Rittman, Ohio, described as a “bar for kids”.

Howling Pages, is a new comic book store that helped fund itself on Kickstarter, owned by Alain Park, and located at 4354 N. Milwaukee Ave, Portage Park, Chicago, Illinois, with an emphasis on graphic novels, children’s comics and illustrative and printed local artwork. Stickers and postcards are also on display, and customers are greeted by an enormous black-and-white mural that Park painted. It features six well-known comic and graphic novel artists and writers whose work is in the store.

Galactic Comics is dubbed the second-largest comic book store in the United States, behind Mike High Comics in Denver, Colorado, after it just finished moving to its new location, formerly a Salvation Army Family Store  1721 W. Palmetto St, Florence, South Carolina. Owner Dale Poston claims the almost-record with 14,200 feet of retail space. Anyone want to challenge him?

Marty’s Marvelous Comics and Collectibles has opened up 150 Rockdale Road, Hooverson Heights, West Virgina by its own Michael Martin.

After 16 years, next week Floating World Comics owner Jason Leivian, is moving his store from Old Town Chinatown, Portland, to the nearby shopping mall, the Lloyd Center. The new location is 1405 Lloyd Center, Portland. Jason writes;

For the past 16 years, I’ve been proud to call Old Town Chinatown home to Floating World Comics. My connection to the art and comics scene in Portland started here. Everything has been connected to this neighborhood: the First Thursday art shows, the Goldsmith Art Blocks, animation fests and book release parties, being a destination spot for locals and travelers alike. It has been a privilege to identify as a Chinese-American business owner with a shop in Chinatown. My wedding was a few blocks away at the Lan Su Chinese Garden and my daughter grew up running around the shop.

We’re still here, which after the past two years is something that I’m happy to be able to say. I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to wait things out in the same location since the pandemic started. But honestly, the past couple years have been lacking a lot of things that used to make this neighborhood so fun and special. I’ve been reflecting on this space – what am I holding on for? A past that might not be coming back… I accepted a sad realization, after 16 years, it’s time to move from Old Town.

I started looking at other neighborhoods for the shop. I was hoping to stay downtown, but availability was scarce.  Something felt out of step. It didn’t feel right to try and go back to business as usual. Everything is still pretty weird, and I started feeling that surreal sense of liberation from the early days of the pandemic – when anything seemed possible and we might actually try something new.

My friend Tony Remple just reopened his record store, Musique Plastique, at the Lloyd Center with a storefront by the ice rink. Wait, the Lloyd Center? Didn’t that close last year? I asked Tony how the new shop was going. It was going great. They were throwing weekly parties with DJs and all their friends were coming to hang out at the mall.

In December 2021, the Lloyd Center got new owners with a two-year plan to bring in new local independent retailers and pop up shops. I contacted the manager and arranged to look at some potential spaces.

Walking into the Lloyd Center for the first time in many years I was surprised by all the natural sunlight bathing the first floor. Had that giant skylight ceiling always been there? The mid-century architecture functioned like a comfortable airport. The foot traffic was chill, but purposeful. I’ve never thought of a mall as calming and soothing, but the energy was fresh and relaxing. A friend remarked that it felt so peaceful that they “expected a deer to walk by.”

It all started to click: the free parking, easy access to transit, central location, a historic space turned blank canvas to be shaped by Portlanders looking to build community. It would be a big project, a bigger task than simply moving my shop, but the potential was too exciting to ignore. I decided: I am moving my shop to the Lloyd Center.

That shopping mall carries so many memories for Portland. I haven’t talked to anyone who didn’t work there at some point, or have some story about the place. It’s weird to have nostalgia for an old mall, but really, this is our heritage. We built these spaces, they outlived their original purpose, but they are ours to either let wither, or to reimagine…

Is an empty mall post-apocalyptic or pre-utopian? We get a say in it. I envision empty storefronts filled with exciting local, independent businesses. Local artist Eric “E*Rock” Mast is opening a Dreem Street shop next door to Musique Plastique. Another friend is starting a gallery upstairs. We’re calling it the “Lloyd Arts District.”

The location couldn’t be more different, but the spirit reminds me of the early years of Floating World. It reminds me of a scrappier Portland that we haven’t seen in a while. After two years of Covid taking so much away, it’s the type of rebirth and renewal story we all need. We have an opportunity to use this beautiful space that belongs to Portland, and actually create new memories there.

I want to give my sincerest thanks to our staff and all the customers who supported us during this tumultuous time. You’re the reason that Floating World is still here, and you’re the reason this change is possible.

We’ll have a Moving Sale to celebrate and say goodbye to the old location. Then we can’t wait to see you at the new space in the Lloyd Center this August. Take the escalator up from the ice rink, we’ll be upstairs next to the Gamestop and Gambit Games.

Things don’t have to go back to the way they were, and that’s okay. In the meantime we’re going to have some fun in the mall.

Eight Comic Store Openings & Relocations Across The USA

Floating World Comics’ soft opening party kicks off at the Lloyd Center Mall, on the 19th of August from 11-7 pm. Let is know if you are going!

 

 

Posted in: Comics | Tagged: chicago, comic shop, comic store, comic stores, portland, texas

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