Derelict shopfronts and decaying strip malls aren’t hard to find in America these days, as the economy has never truly recovered from the 2008 crash. Retailers like to blame consumers doing more of their shopping on the internet, which is fair. But also less people with free cash to spend = less people buying shit, and establishments that sell non-essential luxuries are usually the first to go.
When I first moved to this new quadrant of the American Galaxy I spent a lot of time just warping around, getting my bearings and mapping the local wormholes and nebulae. I was cruising through the local system when I saw a wretched wreck drifting between a grocery store and a check cashing place:
This is definitely one of the saddest structures I have seen in my travels, and I’ve spent a lot of years living in New Jersey! Both the adjoining tattooist’s and a hair salon were derelict as well.
An internet search revealed Brute Squad’s history; according to the store’s FB page it was robbed in late 2012 and closed in early ’13. The Master List of Comic Book Stores has it verified as open back in 2010, so the shop made it a couple years at least. I hope the proprietors landed on their feet and found success in some other way.
Who knows how many local nerds (young and old) spent their lazy weekend afternoons browsing back issue bins or playing tabletop games? A town losing a comic shop is a sad thing indeed.