For David Erskine, the last 35 years have passed like the pages of a must-read comic book, and on Saturday he did the unthinkable and took down the sign outside his shop, Aftertime Comics.
“We’re all done here,” Erskine told ALXnow as he unscrewed the sign.
The coronavirus pandemic stalled his plans to reopen next month at a new location on N. Washington Street in time for the busiest day of the year — Free Comic Book Day on May 2. But with the day postponed, Erskin has decided to cool his heels until the smoke clears and restrictions are lifted before reopening his shop.
Most comic book sales for the shop are online, and interested customers will need to see what’s available on its Facebook page.
Like many superheroes, Erskine has another identity. By day he’s a general clerk for bulk mail with the U.S. Postal Service. He’s collected comic books since he was five years old, and got hooked selling them after attending his first convention in the early 1970s.
“People ask me all the time what kinds of comics should they invest in,” Erskine said. “You can never go wrong with Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man — the classics.”
Erskine added, “I don’t have a secret collection or anything. Anything we have we sell. I had a Superman number one, which I sold. It wasn’t in very good condition, but I owned it. I’ve also sold numerous Spider-Man number ones.”
The shop has also suspended buying comics from fans until further notice.
“I hope we reopen,” Erskine said. “My garage is completely full of comic books right now.”