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


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

I blame Hydra.


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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