The final panel for a Village geek haven comes this weekend.
St. Mark’s Comics will close its doors for good on Sunday at 6 p.m., after nearly 36 years of business.
Mitch Cutler, who runs the East Village comic shop staple, says he’s closing because of several factors that made it harder to keep the store afloat. It’s time, he says, to end on a good note.
“It is exceptionally difficult to run a retail store in the city of New York,” he tells amNewYork by phone. “I am having my Danny Glover moment.”
The store at, 11 St. Mark’s Place, opened in May of 1983 and sells a wide variety of comics and pop culture related items, such as figurines and trading cards. The shop has been filling the shelves with new material since announcing its plans to close last month. In its final week, exactly 102 books (possibly some classics) were brought up from the St. Mark’s basement storage and priced for sale during the shop’s “farewell tour.”
“Still pulling things out of the endless basement,” a Facebook post reads. “Comics, hardcovers, strip reprints, out-of-print things, who the heck knows what else.”
Gathering a cult-like customer base of readers over the years, news of the looming closure is being dubbed a “sad day” for the city by fans. More than 100 comments flooded the initial Facebook announcement post, with many recalling their fondest memories.
“I moved to the EV in 1992 and your store was among my regular haunts. Mitch, you introduced me to so many great titles (‘Planetary’) and 20 years later you helped my niece Madeleine Piechocki-Cannet learn about comics. Blessings to you for all your efforts,” Jackson Heights resident Kimberly Brown writes.
Comic writer Brian Michael Bendis, who co-created the “Jessica Jones” Marvel character, tweets that he’s left “gutted” by the announcement. “I salute you @StMarksComicsNYC you’ve been amazing to my pals and i for our entire careers and always a delight when we stopped by. go there and enjoy them while you can.”
Gabriel Fernandez, who worked at St. Mark’s for nearly 10 years, says the shop became a second home.
“I took real pride in working there,” he says. “We carried things no one else would. Every day I helped someone find a missing gem that they couldn’t believe we had … I’m saddened to see St. Mark’s Comics go because aside being a great job that I enjoyed going to, it gave me some of the most memorable moments in my life.”
Acknowledging the strong customer loyalty the shop has developed, Cutler recalls a somber moment when a customer came in the day after the Sept. 11 attacks, still thrilled to find the latest comic issues were on sale.
“In light of what was going on, comics was a minor thing, but people were looking for any type of stability they could count on after the whole world turned upside down,” he said.