Monday 22nd December 2014,
Comic Booked

Tonight, We Say Goodbye To a Friend

Victoria Paege 08/22/2011 Features

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!

Another shop on that side of town: Drawn to Comics and Samurai Comics

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.

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About The Author

Victoria Paege is an actor, model and guest contributor for Comicbooked.com. Occasionally posting videos from conventions, news updates and even doing some writing to keep us updated on what is going on in the pop culture world. Imdb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3072221/ Twitter: @cbvee

  1. John W. Edwards 08/22/2011 at 6:09 am

    Dear comic lovers there is also a great shop for comics, toys and Tshirts in North Phoenix. The Arizona Pop Culture Experience in Desert Ridge Marketplace carries a wide selection. We also will special order and are offering 10% off of subscriptions to former Atomic Comics customers. We are the shop located closest to Atomic's PV location. Come by and say hello, talk comics and more! We also feature the 35 member Justice League of Arizona costuming group. New comics and action figures every Wednesday.

  2. AZ dude 08/22/2011 at 7:42 am

    Great article!

    Atomic Comics was the first shop that I stumbled into when moving here to Arizona 20 years ago.

    Thankfully, the best stores in the Phoenix area are fairly far from each other.

    Jesse James, as you mentioned, is a great place to shop. I love their awesome collection of variant covers. What a great way to showcase a book I might not have bought, and show off some amazing talent at the same time. They are getting ready to celebrate two years with a great event at the end of August.

    My favorite on the West Side is Hero Comics.

    3415 West Thunderbird Road #1, Phoenix, AZ

    (602) 843-6320

    Lots of great selection, Todd is a great manager and the owner is always fun to talk to. They are constantly holding events with local artists. Whenever I know that Vincent DePorter is going to be there, I do my best to show up.

    In the central location, it's impossible to beat Samurai Comics. They have two locations, but there central location is awesome! Mike is such a great owner, and a great person to talk to. Huge selection of all things geek related, great hard to find items, and a very family friendly atmosphere. Maybe too family friendly because I always spend more money than I intended to whenever I bring my son with me.

    Samurai Comics‎

    1051 East Camelback Road

    Phoenix, AZ 85014

    (602) 265-8886

    On the east side,

    Gotham City Comics & Coffee

    46 West Main Street, Mesa, AZ

    (480) 649-3065

    Nice location next to some other great stores in downtown Mesa. Buy a book, read it at their shop, then visit some other fantastic stores and restaurants and independent movie houses in the downtown area. Where else can you buy a copy of Kick-Ass, and then watch Hobo with a Shotgun just down the street?

    Pop Culture Paradise, as you mentioned, is a fantastic store. Located in the heart of the ASU campus, they deal in comics, collectables, table top games, and collectable card games. Want to play Magic on a national level? Then you need to qualify first at Pop Culture Paradise! Friday and Saturday night magic event are so huge, the players spill out of the store and onto the parking lot during the school year.

    Marco does a great job of supporting the local industry. This is the first place that I ever met awesome icons such as John Layman, Tony Parker, and Brian Pulido. This is also the first place I ever met such fantastic local artists like April Reyna and Mickey Chaney. Brieanna Brock and Ms. Lessa are two of the many cosplayers that can be found at the store at various events throughout the year. I even met Melissa Cowan from the Walking Dead here last January!

    It doesn’t matter if you want to subscribe to 1 book a month, or want all of the new DC 52 #1’s coming out next week, they treat all of their customers the same.

    Pop Culture Paradise

    707 S Forest Ave # A, Tempe, AZ

    (480) 557-6640

  3. Batfan 08/23/2011 at 4:52 pm

    I was never really a fan of Atomic Comics but, I'm really amazed that no mention has been made of All About Books & Comics, as an alternative. They've always had the best selection and customer service, in my opinion. They've been open 30 years this year and are right in central Phoenix. They also won an Eisner award a few years ago and have been voted Best Comic Shop in Phoenix multiple times.

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