The longest-running comic book shop in the Valley has reached its final chapter. All About Books and Comics, the uptown Phoenix store that’s dispensed geek ephemera for 38 years, is closing in April due to the retirement of owners Marsha and Alan Giroux.
“We want all of you to know that this isn’t a ‘going out of business’ scenario, but a Celebration of Retirement!” they wrote. “Comic books are still a valuable and viable entertainment form, and we will miss it greatly, but … it’s time.”
The couple says they are also stepping away from the business to spend time with their new grandchild, who will be born in June.
No exact date for the closure has been announced. The store’s physical location, which is on Camelback Road just west of Central Avenue, will offer newly released issues, publications, and merch through the end of March. (Deep discounts of existing items and titles will also be available).
The couple will then begin selling its vast collection of more than a million back issues through eBay, mail order, and the All About Books and Comics’ website.
The Girouxs purchased the shop in 1981 when it was known as A Little Bookstore and located at Third Avenue and Indian School Road. The couple shifted the focus to comic books and renamed the store.
“We bought it when it was mostly books,” Marsha told Phoenix New Times in 2015. “That was at the beginning of the onset of the direct comics market, when comic books started coming to comic book shops instead of grocery stores.”
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The shop moved twice (first to Seventh Street and Camelback in 1983 and then Central Avenue and Medlock Drive in 2000) before taking over its current location in 2015. It's been an institution and go-to spot for local comics aficionados and other geeks for decades.
“We've been such a part of the community for a long time,” Marsha told New Times in 2015.
That's why the couple says closing the store is a bittersweet occasion.
“It been an adventure for the last 38 years!” they wrote on the store’s website. “Fun and rewarding, it has been a great ride, and an amazing place to raise our children, but now it is time to say goodbye to the brick and mortar side of our business.”