Hagerstown’s lone comic book shop condemned by city

Atomic Comics

The old Hamilton Hotel building, located in the heart of downtown Hagerstown, has been condemned by the city. The reason? The building was without heat for the entire winter, causing the water pipes to freeze and then burst. The building’s lone tenant, Atomic Comics, Hagerstown’s lone comic book shop, has been forced to close indefinitely.

Anyone who has visited Atomic Comics in the last 15 years should not find it surprising that it’s been condemned. It was always very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. It reeked of dust and cigarette smoke. The aisles were always extremely cluttered with boxes and miscellaneous pieces of junk.

The last time I was there, years ago, there was a used above-ground swimming pool folded up with a “for sale” sign sitting near the door. It was the first thing you saw when you walked in. My guess is that when a city inspector visited the location after the pipes burst, it was the first time anyone from the city set foot in Atomic Comics.

According to the Herald-Mail, Atomic Comics never even had a restroom, which is against city code. Why did it take the city this long to discover how bad the conditions there were? It’s located across the street from the county courthouse.

The place should have been condemned years ago. If Hagerstown city officials had been doing their jobs, it would have been.

Update: Bleeding Cool, the Internet’s scummiest comic book news site, has posted about the closing and the following comment was left by a reader:

I was actually just at this store on Saturday. A friend and I were looking for stuff that our shop had missed, and in the past, Atomic had been the “not my regular, but once or twice a year” shop. We thought it was a bit odd that the electricity was off – especially since this isn’t the best organized shop when the lights are on. But the owner had flashlights and spotlights, so we got to play Silent Hill – The Comic Shop. It was definitely a surreal experience, and I hope he can find a workable solution. I don’t envy him moving his store stock though.


3 thoughts on “Hagerstown’s lone comic book shop condemned by city”

  1. You kind of ppl make me sick. All you do is find the negative things about a place and want to blow it up like its the end of the world. I agree the store was not organized at all but he has nice quality collectables. He always is willing to work out deals woth anyone who walks threw his door. And you are always so fast about telling ppl that its closed so why havent you mentioned that he opened back up on Franklin st? For someone who seems to know everything about Hagerstown (and who wasnt even born in hagerstown) you think you would put up a “blog” about that but no you’d rather bring a business owners reputation down so you can make yourself feel better. You know nothing about Luke at Atomic Comics and as far as the building inspection goes that has nothing to do with the shop owner and quite frankly its none of your damn business how he runs his shop or shows his merchandise. I usally dont even rspond to stupid stuff like this but this is ridiculous. Please get a life and go back to Southern Cali because you obviously have nothing better to do except rip honest businesse owners like Luke for Atomic Comics

    1. Why so angry Travis? Did I say anything that wasn’t true?
      Was it not dusty?
      Did it not smell of cigarette smoke?
      Where the isles not cluttered and hard to navigate?
      Did I imagine the thing about the above-ground pool folded up and setting near the entrance?

      1. I agree with both of you haha. Luke is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Yes the old shop was in a very bad state. However talking with Luke would actually shed more light on what really happened. Which I have done. Because he is one of the friendliest business owners I’ve ever met. The new shop is extremely clean. Well organized due to the extra space. If you wouldn’t mind maybe you could help out and write the guy a new article based on the new location. You were correct with the review of the old location. So give the guy a chance and visit! Thanks man have a good one:)

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