Allow Me to Introduce... John Stangeland
The email arrived last night like a ninja slicing through the brush: Atlas Comics will be closing at the end of June after serving Norridge, Illinois in suburban Chicago since 1988. The note from owner John Stangeland explained that, though the shop was profitable and healthy, his landlord was making untenable demands in the new lease.
An irony to me was that when I made my weekly comic stop yesterday I was telling John how he was now an "elder statesman" among Chicago comic shop owners!
John is a fine gentleman whose appreciation of Jack Kirby is second only to my own (or is mine second to his, hmmmm). He worked as an inker back in the early 90s for Chicago-based Now Comics on The Green Hornet and other titles, and he has written a book about actor William Warren; here is an interview with John that focuses on his book. Atlas Comics populated the coveted back-cover berth of the 2012 C2E2 Hayfamzone Ashcan when John stepped up to the plate after I invited him to be the one and only advertiser for that historic booklet, as shown below.
The man says that he will be amping up his presence on ebay over here, and of course all of us in the hayfamzone wish John Stangeland well with all of his future endeavors!