July 13, By Christian Murray
Sunnyside, Queens: A well-known comic store located on Skillman Avenue is closing after being in operation for about thirty years.
Joseph Liesner, 80, the owner of Comic Book Heaven (48-14 Skillman Avenue), said that he is shutting the store down since there is little interest in comic books and collectibles anymore. “The store’s not making any money and, besides, I’m as old as Methuselah,” Liesner said, with a wide grin.
Liesner claims that the digital age is what has killed his business.
“The kids today play video games and spend all day texting their friends,” Liesner said. “Gone are the days when kids would collect things, like stamps and sports cards.”
Furthermore, comic book fans often read them online, while collectors are using eBay to buy them.
Comic Book Heaven moved to Skillman Avenue three decades ago, after doing a brisk business at a flea market at the corner of Queens Blvd and Jackson Avenue 30 years ago. At the time, Liesner said that opening up a store in Sunnyside made a lot of sense.
Liesner said that he would be selling comic books and collectibles at a deep discounted in the remaining two months that he will remain open. He said he is typically in the store on Fridays and Saturday.
At the same time, Liesner is advertising for a girlfriend. There is a sign in the window: “Wanted 35-60 [year-old], attractive…for an old geezer.”
So far, he hasn’t got any takers.