Another East Village icon is fading away, like the glorious spires of the lost city of Atlantis sinking into the ocean, never to be seen by the eyes of man again.
As reported by The Beat, St. Mark’s is closing up shop after thirty-six years. Future generations that want some idea of what the store was like will have to rely on the fifteenth episode of Season 3 of Sex and the City, “Hot Child in the City” (original airdate September 24, 2000):
…Yes, I own the third season DVD set of Sex and the City. Hey, it was a good show for those first few years! (And this was one of the better episodes, imo.)
Sadly, you’ll only see the front of the store in this episode, not the glorious, literally-packed-from-floor-to-ceiling back room of old comics. To be honest, I haven’t been there for several years, but it’s still sad to think it will soon be gone forever.
Before this news broke, there was another article on a store closing that had popped up in my Facebook feed—I can’t find it now, but I believe it was a store in the Philly area that had been around thirty years or so. In any case, my Google search for this lost article led me to several other articles on the shrinking comics business. While some are a bit dated, they’re still of interest for our purposes.
Here’s another Beat article from a little over two years back about the possibility of mass store closings (which just might be coming true now); here’s another from just this past summer positing that current creative approaches may be hurting sales; and, just to depress everyone, here’s a list of fifty stores that closed in 2017.
Does this industry even have a future? One the lies beyond nostalgia blogs like this, that is? Stay tuned.
Meanwhile… vaya con dios, St. Mark’s Comics.