Step inside Comic Book Jones and it feels like you're sitting in someone's living room. The cozy comic book shop is set to close its doors to the public, much to the dismay of its loyal customers.
The Staten Island hobby shop has been a hangout for fans of Marvel, DC Comics, cartoons and anime since it opened 12 years ago.
Laura Zomchick has been coming on Wednesdays with her dad for as long as she can remember.
"It's always been our thing,” said Zomchick. “So, like, Wednesday’s were comic book day. So it's, like, the week is terrible, but at least I got Wednesday."
But now Zomchick says she's not sure what she and her dad will do on Wednesdays, amid word the beloved comic book shop is set to close.
Comic Book Jones owner Mike Rivas, known to his friends and customers as Socko, says he probably should have closed up years ago, but didn't because of the sense of community in his store.
"My heart is breaking,” said Rivas, the owner of the shop. “I'm totally gonna miss it. Like I said, it's mostly the people."
Trouble started a couple of years ago when events like Comic Con started to grow in popularity, drawing thousands of people to spend lots of money there that used to be spent in shops like Comic Book Jones. Add rising taxes, the advent and ease of online shopping, and the availability of digital books, and Rivas says he had no choice but to call it quits.
"It's cyclical. So people are really into comics at one point, people have been collecting for years, they fall out for a while. They come back, they fall out for a while,” said Rivas. “It's just that there's more and more people falling out of it and not as many people coming back."
Aside from all of the comic books, figures, tee shirts and toys, the shop has also hosted writers and artists, comedy shows, Black Friday events and Superhero movie premiere parties.
Rivas says it's been a home away from home for teenagers who struggle to fit in, offering a space where loitering is encouraged rather than frowned upon.
Carol Anderson brings her children several times a week, and they're sad to see it go.
"There were just dreams here...lots of dreams here," said Dylan Anderson.
There's no final closing date for the store, but it is expected to be within the next week or so. The store's owner says he wants to make sure he has enough time to say goodbye to each and every one of his loyal customers.