St. Mark's Comics, one of New York's oldest and most beloved comic book retailers, closed in 2019 amid reports that it was simply too expensive to keep up with the costs of being located on St. Mark's Place, one of the most expensive retail areas on New York's Lower East Side. Now, just under two years later, the retailer is coming back to the city...but not to St. Mark's. While the name will remain "St. Mark's Comics," the store's location will be in Brooklyn's Industry City, an upscale building that houses retail spaces as well as warehousing, art studios, and manufacturing spaces.
An announcement happened back in May, but with a storefront now erected and ready to open soon, fans have started to take note. The original location on St. Mark's Place was open for more than 30 years, buying, selling, and trading with fans for comics, graphic novels, toys, and more.
"There was such an enormous outpouring of support when we closed our last location. We were a proud part of the East Village for over 35 years," owner Mitch Cutler said in a statement. "Almost immediately, people began proposing a new shop. We’ve had many offers to reopen over the past two-and-a-half years. The pandemic certainly slowed us down, but we were really waiting for the right situation. We’re tremendously excited to have found the perfect new home at Industry City."
To that end, the store will host a grand reopening on July 30.
The original store was a New York icon, a regular fixture at New York Comic Con, and featured on New York-set TV shows including Friends over the years. While other, newer stores like Jim Hanley's Universe or Forbidden Planet managed to become big presences in the New York market, none of them had the same cultural cache as St. Mark's Place.
In the last decade, St. Mark's has gone from a haven for entertainment, which housed t-shirt and record stores as well as St. Mark's Comics and Kim's Video & Music, to a stretch of road driven more by eateries. It's arguable that the erosion of physical media ownership made such a change inevitable.
Just last week, the Astor Place KMart, located about a block from the former location of St. Mark's Comics, closed abruptly after 25 years.