I remember first walking into Nostalgia, Ink. at 10 years old and feeling like I was discovering a whole new world.
Up to then, collecting comics was a catch-as-catch-can operation. I’d find a few titles at book stores, or at the pharmacy, and once in a while I’d see a classified ad of someone selling their collection.
But a whole store? Devoted to comics? Heaven.
From that time on, I’ve had an on-again, off-again comic habit. In the early days, I’d bike down West Washington Ave. in Jackson by myself once a month to get the latest issues. As an adult, I’d drive to the shop on Wednesdays to get the newest editions.
Then the editors of Amazing Spider-Man would piss me off with their latest bad idea, and I’d quit buying for a year or two. A habit’s a habit, however, and I’d always make my way back.
So a month ago I get my usual Superior Spider-Man and Uncanny X-Men issues, and I notice a flyer on the counter: Leonard’s going out of business. He’s retiring.
I nearly cried.
I’ve been coming here since I was a kid. Through the comic bubble of the early ‘90s, through a Magic: The Gathering card collection, and now into adulthood.
Not for long.
Until Labor Day, everything’s on sale at increasingly-discounted rates. Back issues, books, everything.
Leonard says it’s time to retire. He’s been looking for a buyer, for a way out after almost 30 years. No one (as of yet) has come forward to take the business over. But there are a few things in the works.
For now, he wants to unload everything. Clear out the inventory.
And what an inventory. Miles and miles of long boxes. Bagged and boarded. Organized, roughly.
Not just comics, either. If you were into D&D, or Magic, or – hell – old issues of Playboy, Nostalgia was your place. Toys, shirts, posters, cards. Everything.
Hunting for the thing you wanted was half the fun. If Leonard didn’t have it, he could order it.
Lots of good memories in this place. Maybe someone will swoop in and help spirit Leonard away to retirement properly. Until then, we’ll help him clear out that inventory.
All the best, Leonard.
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View the full set on Flickr.
Read MLive’s coverage of the store’s closing.
(All color images edited with VSCO Film. Photos created with a rented Fuji X100. Many thanks to Leonard for allowing me all-access to the store.)