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Sunnyside Resident Documents the Rise and Fall of Comic Book Heaven

Snippet Cover from E.J. McLeavey-Fisher’s ‘Comic Book Heaven’ Vimeo Documentary

Sept. 22, 2014 By Christian Murray

A well-known comic store called Comic Book Heaven closed last year after being in operation for about thirty years.

Joseph Liesner, 80, the owner of the comic store (which was located at 48-14 Skillman Avenue), said last year that he decided to shut down the business since there was little interest in comic books anymore. “The store’s not making any money and, besides, I’m as old as Methuselah,” Liesner said last year, with a wide grin.

Sunnyside resident E.J. McLeavey-Fisher released this video documentary on Liesner and his store.

Liesner claimed last June 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.”

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.

Comic Book Heaven from E.J. McLeavey-Fisher on Vimeo.

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Ty Sullivan

God I miss Joe and Comic Book Heaven! I had to stop my spending spree after I got married and had a child. My daughter is now a comic fiend and I wish he was here for her now like he was for me then.


That mini doc / video was fantastic! Great job – all aspects of it!

Hopefully the old man can find some comic relief in his retirement.

Thanks for sharing

scoody boo

Well done! Eerie to see the empty store. I would like to see the footage not used. Imagine Joe talking about his search for a new girlfriend. That’s all he talked to me about when I went in there.
Anyway, wish him well.


Seriously – can’t this site weed out the negative comments?

Why do people like Joe Blo get away with it? A nice video about a local character and a slice of life — but here comes Joe Blo. Speaking of losers.


Fantastic story. Never met joe but I wish him a long and healthy retirement . Love what he said about ” the punisher” couldn’t agree more with him.


Great video, I thought I didn’t have time and I just wanted to see what it was all about, I got hooked and watched it all. If some random video can keep your attention for 13 minutes, then it’s a very well done video. At first he sounds like a bitter old man, but then then everything he says is true. I hope Fisher does more documentaries like this, we would especially love to see one on history of sunnyside.


Much respect for this man; Joe is one of a kind. To this day he is the only person I’ve ever bought comics from. I’ve only own a handful, but all bought from Joe and all The Punisher. (I heard him say that about the Punisher and it stuck with me) When he first open I used to spend a lot of my paper route money there (mostly on baseball cards). But like he says in this documentary, the comic book hype came to an end in the mid- 90’s. It’s a shame to see him go but like all things in life, you either evolve or adapt to change or you’ll perish. In his case a website or even a few computers in order to find things quicker would’ve helped. But just the thought of having to spend so much time sifting through all those boxes one by one was a downer.


Great documentary. Really sad to see his store go. I can say I bought a collector from there though. Have s great retirement Joe.


What a great little documentary!!! I loved it! what a fantastic guy! I went into the store once–and i really enjoyed talking to him.


Thank you for this video. It puts smile on my face as well as a little bit of sadness too. But, I am glad Joe had a good time and is enjoying his retirement. I’ve been living in this area for many years. Thank you Joe! and thank you E.J. McLeavey-Fisher and the crews for this production.



I used to spend a lot of money and time in this store back when I was a teenager. Had I known about their going out of business sale, I probably would’ve gone.


I used to go to Comic book heaven when Joe was in QP’s marketplace. I also went to the store on Skillman ave. as well but not as much as I used. Recently bought more comics as my sons were of age to read them.

It’s true parents/kids are interested in reading comic books. The good old days are fading.


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