Atomic Comics, which had Arizona stores in Mesa, Chandler, Phoenix and Paradise Valley before closing in summer 2011, appears to be staging a comeback.
Mike Malve, the once-bygone chain’s owner, teased the return Thursday on social media, as did an Atomic Comics-branded Instagram account (which posted a “coming soon” graphic with the store’s famous logo back on Sept. 6). The Instagram account’s bio sports the website address http://www.atomiccomicsaz.com/ (which, at the time of this writing,” showed a “coming soon” page). Edit: They also now have a Facebook page.
No location, timing or other information was available. UPDATE:
Malve challenged his followers Friday to find the new storefront and take a selfie in front of it, also dropping the information that the store would be open “for the holidays.” The location is Gilbert’s SanTan Village shopping center, and the grand opening is Nov. 24.
At the time of Atomic Comics’ closure, Malve blamed the economic downturn and the chain’s rapid expansion, along with ongoing troubles stemming from a 2006 car crash into the Mesa storefront, for the company’s shuttering and bankruptcy.
Malve originally started the chain in 1988 as Bubba’s Comic Store in Phoenix. It moved to Mesa a year later and changed its name to Atomic Comics. For years it was at the corner of Southern Avenue and Alma School Road, but it later moved to Southern and Country Club. The store on Metrocenter’s outer loop opened in 1993, moving to a new spot there fronting Dunlap Avenue in 2009. The Chandler store opened in 1997, later moving to the mall area in 2002. Paradise Valley got its location in 2001.
When Atomic closed in 2011, Samurai Comics moved quickly to fill the void in the East Valley (and has continued its expansion there with a recent Chandler store opening).
Disclaimer: Samurai Comics has been a recent advertising and web design client of Nerdvana Media, but all editorial decisions are made independently of these services.