Two Iowa Comic Book Stores Close, One Week Of Each Other

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Shield Comics And Games of Ames, Iowa, has announced that May 6th, Free Comic Book Day, will be its last day.

I blame Hydra.

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It has joined fellow Iowan store, Black Medicine Comics in closing up shop by a week. The Des Moines Register covered the closure of that store, talking to owner and now-sole employee Ronnie Free.

"By all metrics, the shop is growing," Free told me on a recent night after hours. "But in a year, the best I've done is break even. I've never been able to pay myself."

The reporter was a customer himself and told his audience about the scene the store created

 

There was one guy with a ponytail who carried 20 knives at any given time and could tell you the purpose of each one.

There was the grandfather from Dubuque, a retired Wisconsin schoolteacher, who came on Saturdays to talk comics and pick up a few books.

There were the seamstress and crafter who once made me a custom Wonder Woman throw pillow out of a T-shirt and pressed me buttons of some of my favorite pop culture characters.

There was the would-be firefighter who detailed his training regimen for the upcoming Des Moines academy and the soft-spoken lawyer who griped about the flaws in state courts.

Black Medicine closes tomorrow. Shield Comics, next Saturday.

 

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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