Founded in 1982, Collectors Kingdom (originally called Collectors Comics) has been a fixture in the Long Island neighborhood (and beyond) that it calls home. For me, this particular shop has been MY shop for around 15 years.
Sadly, though, this fantastic comic shop/gathering place/community landmark was destroyed in a fire last week. The once jam-packed storefront, filled with comics, statues, action figures, merchandise, toys, games, cards, and more than you could imagine, has now become a boarded-up graveyard of memories. (I’m being dramatic, I know, but over a half-million dollars worth of merchandise was lost.)
Especially in the current day of online comic orders and digital comics (legal or otherwise), it has been increasingly hard to maintain a “brick and mortar” comic shop, but Mike Bradley, the current owner of Collectors Kingdom since 1990 (and friend of mine) has worked his fingers to the bone in keeping the store THE PLACE to go. He has constantly extended himself to his customers, giving “loans” to people who wanted to buy things but couldn’t afford them right away, and has been an all-around great guy, keeping the “comic bug” alive in countless people.
If you’re reading this and you can spare anything — a few dollars, some comics laying around the house that you don’t need, a display case or shelving unit, or even just some well wishes — that’s what I’m posting this for. You can find Collectors Kingdom on Facebook and drop them a message.
If you’re able to, Collectors Kingdom has started an IndieGoGo campaign (found here). They’re trying to raise $25,000, just a fraction of what was lost, but this amount would certainly help them out. Even a few dollars here and there would add up.
Mike currently has moved into a small storefront down the street from the old shop and is starting fresh with this week’s shipment of books. I know it’s been extraordinarily hard to move past this tragedy and I’ve got to commend the guy for trying to collect his mental state back together and pushing onwards. Thankfully, he’s got a group of friends and supporters, myself included, that are determined to help out in any way possible. If you could help too, it would mean the world to him.