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St. Mark's is deader: St. Mark's Comics is closing after 36 years

St. Mark’s is deader: St. Mark’s Comics is closing after 36 years
[Photo from 2015 by Stacie Joy]After 36 years on the block, St. Mark’s Comics has announced that it will close at the end of February.The announcement came via social media early this evening (rumors started circulating earlier in the day)…Yes.After 36 years of serving the #EastVillage, world famous St.Mark’s Comics will be closing at the end of February.Thanks for all your kind words and concern as word has gotten out.We will be starting our store-emptying #sale tomorrow morning @ 11AM.Stay tuned for more!— St. Mark’s Comics (@StMarksComicsNY) January 29, 2019https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js In a brief phone conversation this afternoon, longtime owner Mitch Cutler said that a variety of factors, from increasing rents to changing consumer shopping habits, played a role in his decision to close up shop here at 11 St. Mark’s Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.”There are a number of things that contributed to [the closing]. I have been working 90 hours a week for 36 years, and I no longer have the wherewithal to fight them — all of these various reasons,” Cutler said. “It is challenging to have a storefront business in New York City for a number of reasons … it is challenging to keep and maintain a retail storefront and there are enough impediments now that — like I said, I’m exhausted and can’t fight them anymore.”For now, he expects the shop to remain open through February. “Something could change, but that is our expectation,” he said.He hasn’t given too much thought about post-St. Mark’s Comics life and the future. “I suppose after I’ve slept for two weeks I will begin to consider what that is.” Perhaps an online comics business? “We have not ruled anything out, but we have also not planned for that. There are conversations, but they are in the earliest of the early stages.”For now, he’s focusing on a store-clearing sale that begins tomorrow.[Photo from 2015 by Stacie Joy]Cutler said that he told his staff about the closing over the weekend, and has just started informing shop regulars today. The reaction so far?”Universally it has been very sweet and very touching. People are telling us how much they’ll miss us and how upset they are that we’re going. We have known many of these people for a very long time,” he said. “We are trying to keep it a celebration and not a funeral. It gets emotional some time, but we are trying to keep it happy.” Previously on EV Grieve:A visit to St. Mark’s Comics

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