Holymoleys comic book store opens in Paradise City

NORTHAMPTON – Entertainment and pop culture enthusiasts now have a new place to shop for their comics, video games, toys and more in the city, as Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles recently opened on King Street.

Guests entering the Holeymoleys storefront at 90 King St. will be greeted by a life-size statue of iconic Marvel Comics superhero Iron Man, who along with another statue depicting Pinhead from the 1987 horror film “Hellraiser” , oversees a floor sale filled with tables and shelves of comics, movies, toys, video games and other collectibles.

“We love to talk to people about comics, but that’s okay if you’re new to comics and just want to ask questions or find something for a family member who is interested in it.” , said Corinne Barrineau, co-owner of Holeymoleys with her. husband, Tonye Barrineau. “We are really open to anyone who shops here, whether you are a fan of comics or this is your first time. “

The original Holeymoleys opened in Shelburne in October 2018, the Barrineaus said, but after a while, business started to level off after the growth. Comic book stores have become scarce in the area, and as Northampton is more populous than Shelburne, the couple closed their Shelburne store and moved their business to the city. Holeymoleys started doing curbside pickup sales in May, then opened to subscribers in July, finally starting to announce the store will open to the public on July 29.

The comics are clearly the store’s anchor point, as boxes sorted by superheroes and series sit on a large table in the very center of the retail space. Colorful illustrations of new versions of comics are displayed on shelves throughout the store, as are many graphic novels.

Movies and some toys are featured on a store wall, but near the back are additional collectibles – including old “Star Wars” figures packed in their original boxes – puzzles, games video, collectible cards and more. Also on the back is “Holey Mobot,” a light-up robot statue that Tonye Barrineau says stood in a former toy store in eastern Massachusetts in the 1960s or 1970s.

“It’s the beauty of coming here,” said Corinne Barrineau. “It’s just like a cool place to hang out.”

This location is about three times the size of Holeymoleys’ previous store in Shelburne, the couple said. A back area is currently closed to the retail space, but the idea is that it will eventually serve as space for Magic: The Gathering tournaments, model building, video games and more, they said. . Modern Myths Comic Books and Games – which closed its Bridge Street store in 2018 after 15 years – also had spaces for people to play games like Magic.

Corinne said she and Tonye signed their current lease on March 1 and planned to open on March 25, before the COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on those plans. She said she was concerned about the full effects COVID-19 will have on the economy, and whether that will translate to fewer customers at Holeymoleys – but she believes the store has a good formula that can be adjusted as you go. as external factors change.

“We’re pretty creative,” she said.

Holeymoleys has been pretty busy so far, say the Barrineaus, which Tonye attributes in part to people wanting to get out of the house and just look around a comic book store.

“They’re looking for that nostalgia, but during COVID,” Tonye said.

Customers can subscribe to their favorite comic book titles and pick them up as they’re released, according to the Barrineau. Those who subscribe to one or up to nine current titles get a 10% discount, those who subscribe to 10 to 19 current titles get a 15% discount and those who have 20 or more benefit from a 20% discount. The store will order things that it does not have in the store; the Barrineaus also operate an eBay online store of the same name as the store.

Nate Chenevert, 29, of Chicopee, shopped at Holeymoleys on Saturday morning, who bought a graphic novel featuring the group “GWAR” and a 1000 piece puzzle. He said he used to travel to Shelburne from Chicopee to visit the original Holeymoleys, and that he’s happy to be able to bring his comics closer to home.

“The store is definitely in a better location,” Chenevert said.

Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com.

Daniel K. Denny