What to Know
- St. Mark’s Comics announced its forthcoming closure Tuesday.
- The store will close at the end of February.
- Its store-emptying sale will begin Wednesday.
From floor to ceiling, New York institution St. Mark’s Comics bursts with eye-catching color. But recently, small black-and-white signs reading, “St. Mark’s Comics is closing! Everything must go!" have begun to invade the bright chaos.
St. Mark’s Comics at 11 St. Mark’s Place announced its upcoming closure Tuesday in a Facebook post. The store will continue to operate until the end of February.
“It came out of the blue,” said Brian Stillman, a patron of the store for 20-plus years. “I think that St Mark’s and the East Village is losing something important with the closing of St. Mark’s Comics.”
The store has been an institution on St. Mark’s Place for 36 years.
“I’ve been here for 35 of them,” said Mitch Cutler, the owner of the store. “I’ve been working 90 hours a week for 35 years. I no longer have the energy to fight all the many, many obstacles that exist for running a retail shop in the city of New York.”
Cutler said that he will miss his staff the most.
“There are all sorts of clichés about a small business being a family, but so many of the staff that have walked through these doors are still family five to ten years after they’ve been here,” he said. “I will miss that aspect of the job.”
The community has since sent an outpouring of love and support for the store. The day after the announcement, the phone rang off the hook and the store was packed with its regulars.
“Today has been really crazy,” said employee Rachel Phillips. “We didn’t really expect that much from the press release we put out yesterday.”
Stillman said that the thing he will miss the most about the store is its serendipitous finds.
“You can poke through it, you can dig, you can find stuff that might have been sitting there for a while,” he said. “That’s what makes it special, the hidden treasures and hidden gems.”
Patrons can buy those gems at half price from now until the store’s closure.
“I think we’re just trying to be happy about it,” said Phillips. “We’re all a little bummed out, but we’re going to make the best of what we have left.”