Strange Adventures: Gilbert’s Atomic Comics rebrands

Atomic Comics Gilbert AZ
Atomic Comics at SanTan Village in Gilbert (March 2022 photo by Jayson Peters)
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Onetime Arizona chain’s owner out at renamed Gilbert store

The Atomic Comics store that opened in Gilbert, Arizona, in late 2021 is changing its name. The shop at SanTan Village will now be known as Strange Adventures Comics & Collectibles, according to announcements on the store’s social channels.

It’s a second ending for the Atomic Comics store brand, for now at least. Michael Malve, who owned a chain of four Phoenix-area stores with that name that all closed in 2011, was involved in the splashy relaunch 10 years later. But he tells us he has not been associated with the Gilbert store for some time and will not be involved with Strange Adventures, which is owned by his former partner in the ’21 relaunch, Joe Furman.

Furman posted the following statement Friday on the store’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts:

Hello friends and Family! We have news for you. Due to boring legal things, and a change in direction for the company, we will be putting the name “Atomic Comics” to rest. We will answer any questions you have the best we can.

I want to reassure everyone that nothing is going to change with your experiences in the store or with what you love and expect from us. We could not do any of this without you! We need you to continue helping us grow year after year so that we can remain the premier comic and collectible store in Arizona and beyond.

Our new name will be Strange Adventures. What’s cool about this name is it encompasses everything that you expect when you walk into a store that sells comics, toys and games. You’re here for a strange adventure, you’re here to have fun and escape the real world for a bit.

We can’t wait for you to be a part of this new adventure with us.

– Joe Furman owner of Strange Adventures

Malve, one of the movers behind the new Arizona Comicbook Art Festival in Phoenix, told Nerdvana that he retains the Atomic Comics name but has not said when or whether he will open another store.

UPDATE: Furman says the Atomic Comics name is trademarked by other entities both in Arizona and out of state.

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About the author


Jayson Peters

Founding curator of Nerdvana