We don't watch the local news much, so it was just by chance that today Janice had it on and we happened to catch the story that last night there was a pretty serious fire in Renton. Luckily everyone seems to have gotten out of their apartments safely, but one casualty was The Comic Den, the comic store of choice for all the Wizards of the Coast folks ever since the TSR crew arrived in these parts back in the fall of 1997. I was sorry to hear about this, since the people who run it and work there are good folks, and these times are hard enough for small businesses, even well-established ones, without catastrophes making them even harder.
Here's the main story, from the online version of the RENTON REPORTER:
And here's a follow-up story, less about the fire than its impact on the surviving but damaged businesses in that block:
Though it won't have much direct impact on me -- I've slowly drifted away from American comics over the years, to the point where I'm not following a single title these days, having shifted entirely to manga -- it's a sad loss. Each comic book store is unique, and this one had (and I hope will still have) a loyal customer base of people who dropped by the same day every week without fail. I hope they'll be able to re-open. In the meantime, the tv news story mentioned something about a collection being taken up for the two stores that were destroyed, one of which is The Comic Den; if I hear more about this I'll post the information for those who might want to chip in.
But for now, goodbye Comic Den.
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