My friends, it has been confirmed that one of the most beloved comic store chains, Atomic Comics, has closed it’s doors for the very last time.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit an Atomic Comics location, then you know why this is such a heavy loss. For those of you that were not fortunate enough to step inside, let me tell you a few stories.
Atomic was a shop that you walked in and immediately felt welcome. There were comics, there was manga, there were toys, t-shirts, cosplay, swords (!!!), game tables… really? More? Yup! They hosted tournament nights and had a yo-yo club; they had it all. They would show classic movies (how many times have we seen Flash now while browsing the new comics?) and even host signings.
The signings at Atomic Comics were nothing short of incredible. I personally met some amazingly talented and incredible people like Mark Millar, Mark Waid, John Layman, Tony Harris and Ethan Van Sciver to name a few. Not only did I meet and enjoy their company, but also that of everyone that was always working in the shop. They were genuinely knowledgeable and loved everything about comics. Now I wasn’t the only one that felt so strongly about the company. Owner, Mike Malve had a way of running things so that we all felt like family. Mark Millar, for example, feat
ured the comic shop as THE comic shop in the 2010 movie KickAss. If you turned to social networks like Twitter or Facebook today you would felt the sadness in the air by many who had their lives touched by the shop. It is truly like losing one of the family. I made more than a few friends in these shops and can’t imagine what life will be like without them.
Of course the question now is, where do I go for comics without Atomic Comics around? Depending on what part of the valley you are in, you may have more choices than you were aware of. If you happen to be in Glendale, one of my favorite places is Jesse James Comics. Jesse James Comics, run by, you guessed it: Jesse– is a favorite of mine because he is such a HUGE supporter of the local artists, constantly holding signings that include a room full of artists– at all skill levels, including the bigger names like John Layman, Mike DeBalfo and Nei Ruffino. Everyone is a big family there and he creates and demands that the environment is the best it can be. Plus, Jesse cares about everyone and LOVES the industry. You can visit his page for proof!
Here are a few choices on the other side of town:
Greg’s Comics– 2722 S. Alma School Rd. #8 Mesa, AZ– I have been in here. It is a nice, smaller shop with mostly comics. Lacks the Atomic, busier style but hey, Atomic is hard to match.
Another place that I really like is Pop Culture Paradise in Tempe. It sits right in the heart of Tempe in a cute, quiet location. It’s deceiving as it takes up a bit more space than you would imagine and it allows for signings and a rather large collection of comics.
Those are just a few places to try out now that our beloved Atomic Comics is no longer with us. Feel free to share any Atomic – or any comic shop– story on our forums. Pictures, stories, whatever. I have tons I can share over the next few days. Let’s hope that I can take plenty of pictures and make new memories at another great shop or two around town. I know that we will all miss Atomic Comics and cherish the memories we made there.
Thank you Mike for such and amazing comic shop. We will miss you tremendously.