Popular Tempe superhero shop Ash Avenue Comics & Books will be packing up its back issues over the next few weeks and heading to a brand new location by year's end. However, according to owner Drew Sullivan, the store's not going very far.
In fact, Ash Avenue Comics is moving less than 100 feet north into the spot recently vacated by Wet Paint Artist Supply, which closed within the last couple of weeks.
"It's gonna be the weirdest move of all time," Sullivan says, laughing. "I think we're putting things on carts, rolling them out to the street, and then walking like 70 feet and loading 'em into the new shop. Or we'll get a U-Haul, load it up and then drive in reverse 40 feet."
Sullivan says he and the store's employees will be transitioning to the new location during the days and weeks ahead with an eye towards opening on January 1. The old location will remain open through the holiday season and is scheduled to close on New Year's Eve.
Sullivan says moving Ash Avenue Comics, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2013, into the former Wet Paint space will allow a "fresh start" of sorts.
"It's our 10-year anniversary on January 1, so I kinda was looking at it as an opportunity to freshen or change things up after 10 years," Sullivan says. "I have of some of my own reasons as well, some of them are not that important."
Um, like what?
"Well, being closer to University [Drive] is a plus. That was my thinking, my motivation. It's approximately the same amount of square feet too. We're looking for a little more visibility. We've liked being next to Casey's and HTC, but now we'll be next to Otto's [Pizza] now and right across from that Circle K," he says. " There will be better chance of visibility from University in the new spot," Sullivan says. "Where we're at right now is across from a home and there's obviously not a lot of foot traffic coming from there. This all factored into making the move."
Sullivan adds that most everything's staying the same with the shop, except for the address and some of the shelving and other furnishings.
"We focus on having pretty much comics. We're not really a gaming store or anything like that. This is just a chance to shed some dead weight, get some new furniture in or different shelving to present our product differently," Sullivan says. "This shop used to be a satellite store for All About Books & Comics 10 years ago and I worked for them. Even though we've moved a whole lot of things around and just put so much more product into this shop, it still has some of the feel from All About. And it's gonna be nice to fully [get rid] of that. Its not like that's a bad thing, its just a chance to reorganize and find a new way to showcase our selection of comics."
Plus, the new space is a wee bit bigger...sort of.
"I think there might be 10 square feet more than we have here. But there's lower ceilings," he says. "We've already been looking at the space and have some pretty good plans for how we're going to make everything work in there."
Sullivan expects that the move should take place rather quickly, given the short distance between the locations. At the same time, however, he cracks a joke about possibly having some of their regulars coming in to help.
"Bring your skateboard, help us move a shelf, get 10 percent off," he says, laughing.