Comic Bookie to (choke!) close

Some of you will remember the days when comic books could be found at newsstands, supermarkets, convenience stores, candy stores and the like. In an earlier era, they were ubiquitous.

These days, other than a few in a spinner rack at the Montclair Borders, individual comics can be found only at comics specialty shops, of which there are very few. The entire Inland Valley has just four such stores, in Chino, Claremont, Pomona and Rancho Cucamonga.

Scratch Claremont. After 18 years, many spent in the Old Schoolhouse before a move to cheaper quarters in a business park, the Comic Bookie is closing up shop.

The last day is scheduled to be Oct. 31. Owner Chris Peterson sent out an e-mail to his regular customers this week announcing the end, saying sales aren’t even covering his expenses.

He’s in the midst of sales to clear out his stock — admittedly, the prospect of discount pricing cushions the blow to cost-conscious comics fans (i.e., all of them) — but it’ll be a sad day when the shop closes. Not least among the reasons is Peterson’s friendly manner, which endeared him to West End comics fans.

He liked us too, as his message makes clear:

“I cannot express how much I appreciate all of the great customers who have helped keep CB alive over the last 18 years! I will deeply miss doing business, and shooting the breeze, with you all. I feel very lucky to have spent the better part of the last 2 decades being your local ‘Comic Book Guy.’ But, things change, and it looks like it’s time to move on.”

His store is at 1420 N. Claremont Blvd., Suite 203B, Claremont; (909) 399-0228.

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  • http://www.myspace.com/the_ron Ronald Scott

    I have to admit…with gas going the way it did I had to curtail certain expendentures and comics, dvds and video games were the vices I had to sacrifice. Chris is a great guy and I wish him all the best.

  • Funny Business

    I’m sorry to hear that Chris’ shop is closing. He’s a great guy in this business of collecting and entertainment. His knowledge of his product can’t be replaced by “superbookstores” and their selected choice of our media. New readers need this guidance to keep our “hobby” alive. Another hero is missing. Thanks for the help, Chris.

    Joey Samaniego
    Funny Business

    [Funny Business is the Pomona comics shop. -- DA]

  • Chris Peterson / Comic Bookie

    Thanks David! I appreciate the coverage.

    Just a couple of notes: the Comic Bookie does actually make a profit, just not enough for me to live on (in other words: if someone is interested in buying the store, it does make money — just don’t count on it paying all your personal expenses all the time).

    Also, “Comic Bookie” and “comicbookie” will still exist as an online and comic convention seller for the foreseeable future.

    I am also looking at another comic book/pop-culture enterprise in this area — we will keep all interested updated via our e-mail list. If anyone would like to get on our e-mail list, e-mail us at comicbookie@msn.com.

    Thanks to the people of Claremont and the surrounding communities for helping make the Comic Bookie a fun and unique way to make a living!

  • http://rialtus.livejournal.com Rialtus

    As a regular customer of about 7 years to Chris Peterson’s Comic Bookie, the news of him closing up shop broke my heart. Chris has always been a great person to talk to and always has the greatest of attitudes when anyone walks in the store. I will miss going to see him every Wednesday, and wish him the best of luck on all future endeavors.

  • Will Plunkett

    I haven’t been a regular comic collector for some time, although I had quite the addiction from about ’86-’92. I was a semi-regular when Comic Bookie was on Foothill and Indian Hill (in the old Griswold’s plaza). I’ve stopped in on a few Free Comic Book Days (sounds kind of cheap of me, sorry) once it moved. Always sorry to see any comic shop close (or change product lines).

  • http://www.4colorfantasies.com Chris Brady / 4 Color Fantasies

    Chris,

    I want to thank you for all the help that you gave Nat & I first off. You were a great mentor to me with your personal service and great customer service. Sorry I haven’t been by to visit in FOREVER, but you know how it is with working every hour of the week.

    Good luck and again, Thanks

    [Chris owns Rancho Cucamonga's comics shop, 4 Color Fantasies. That means we've heard here from two of the remaining three comics shops in the Inland Valley, plus Chris Peterson, which is kinda cool. -- DA]

  • marc

    even though i haven’t been buying that many comics the last couple of years, the bookie shall always be remembered fondly. mainly for chris, but also for the way it brought me and my friends together.

    at the old location it was always great to walk up those creaky wooden stairs and smell the incense from the new age-y crystal place nearby, and then spend a good amount of time finding the new releases or back issues from the ample stock. even when chris wasn’t working and the other chris was there, it was a nice place to go and take your time in browsing. it wasn’t perfect (it was sometimes a disorganized place) but it sure had character and felt home-y.

    the new location was a lot different, but as long as chris was there, it was good.
    let me ask — was its older location in the village, near rhino?

    good luck to chris!

    [Ah, yes, the Old Schoolhouse and those creaky steps and that New Age-y shop straight ahead. But you'd hang a right at the top of the stairs to make the turn into the Bookie's jumbled but inviting quarters. We'll have to ask Chris about a pre-Schoolhouse location. -- DA]