Atomic Comics hit by car

Atomic Comics.jpgHalloween tricks started early for Atomic Comics, an Arizona comics chain, when a 16-year-old crashed her car into the front of the store’s Mesa, Ariz., location at 9 a.m. Oct. 31.

According to store owner Mike Malve, the incident happened about an hour before the store, located at 1120 S. Country Club Dr., was scheduled to open for the day. In a story at Newsarama, Malve wrote, “The store alarm went off and they [the female driver was accompanied by a 19-year-old male] pulled their car out of the wreckage and left the scene of the crime. Within minutes we received a call from our alarm company. We called the store manager, Julian, who was on his way to the shop. He then called us back at the offices about 10 minutes later, frantic, and saying it was a war zone at the shop.”

Malve and another employee arrived at the store about 40 minutes later to find a number of police and fire vehicles on the scene. According to reports, the car struck a water main, which took the city about a half-hour to close, flooding the store ankle-deep in water and damaging or destroying approximately 90% of the stock.

Malve said that while a water removal team removed the water later that day, the moisture and humidity took their toll. At this time, he’s examining options for the store with his insurance company, but said he plans to rebuild and reopen.

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7 Responses to Atomic Comics hit by car

  1. Tony Isabella says:

    I hope Atomic Comics lets the comics community know if they need some assistance beyond whatever they get from their insurance company. We can’t afford to lose our comic-book shops.

    Tony Isabella

  2. William Gatevackes says:

    Well, I hope Atomic Comic’s lawyers are on the phone to the 16 year old’s parents. I mean, I assume since they know the ages of the kids in the car that it means that they were already caught.

  3. Brent Frankenhoff says:

    According to another news report, the 16-year-old had been arrested but not yet charged. We’ll update the story further when that happens.

  4. jackal726 says:

    Best of luck to Mike. I grew up in Tucson (couple hours south), and a stop at Atomic was always the highlight of any trip up to the Phoenix area.

  5. Brent Frankenhoff says:

    Atomic Comics’ website has pictures and additional commentary on the incident here.

  6. Michael Tierney says:

    They have my symphaties!

  7. Brent Frankenhoff says:

    The latest update from store owner Mike Malve on Newsarama indicates that the driver was charged with criminal damage, but not arrested and that the incident was an accident.

    Malve’s latest update: Please make sure that everybody understands no one was hurt and the kids who caused all this damage werenÂ’t even arrested, though they were charged with criminal damage and leaving the scene of a crime. The story we’re hearing from the police is that the young girl just lost control of the vehicle when she was attempting to park in front of my store. The brakes didn’t work so, confused, she hit the gas, rocketing herself and her car through the Mesa store front. She then pulled out and took off. The police and the insurance companies are now dealing with them so they are completely out of my immediate concerns. I am just happy that no one was badly hurt in such a terrible accident. For the record, I have no ill feelings towards her. I was sixteen years old once and made plenty of stupid mistakes myself that usually go hand in hand with being that age.

    I just want everyone to know that everything is okay… or at least “under control,” and to thank the hundreds of well wishers who keep emailing and calling me. The response I got yesterday was overwhelming from the likes of Joe Quesada, Jeff Loeb, Mark Millar, and far too many more to name. Publishers have offered to help me restock my store with their product and even my fellow retailers have offered to replace stock. I would like to personally thank Phil at Coliseum in Florida for his phone call this morning. Phil, having lost one of his shops in a hurricane, knows exactly what I am going through right now and offered me lots of sound advice based on his experience. I will get back to each and everyone of you in time, but right now I have to deal with the situation at hand.

    We’ll be regularly updating the progress as we rebuild the shop at If there is a bright side to this, it’s that the Mesa store was our oldest and this gives us an excuse to rebuild her bigger and better than before.

    Oh, and anyone going to Wizard World Texas, please stop by the Atomic booth and show the Atomic crew some love. That was our flagship store and losing her has been very emotional for the employees so give ’em a hug.

    Thank you to all,

    Mike Malve

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