MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS3) – A local comic book store on the square closed its doors after five years of service.
Macomb has been home to a comic book store since the 1980’s. Paul Astrouski opened Journey Comic on the square in 1983.
That store is where John Coker fell in love with comic books.
“I started hanging out in there probably when I was about 10-years-old and he (Astrouski) started putting me to work when I was about 12,” Coker said laughing. “When he got in really bad health, he asked me to buy the store. At the time I really didn’t have an interesting in doing so, but when he passed away, I kind of felt it was the right thing to do.”
Years later, Coker then would open his own comic book store, A Boy and His Tiger.
“One of his and mine favorite ones (comics) we both had in common was Calvin Hopps so that’s kind of why I chose The Boy and His Tiger name.”
After five years of selling board games, comics and merchandise, Coker is closing his store front in Macomb.
“My wife and I are moving due to her job,” Coker said.
Coker said even though he is closing his doors to move his family, A Boy and His Tiger felt the decline of college students over the years.
“Most comic book readers are people that play board games tend to be in college,” Coker said. “So if there aren’t students or professors, I don’t have customers.”
Coker is packing up his love for comic books and board games on his move to downtown Morton, but says he will miss the Macomb community.
“I will miss the tight-nit downtown community and the other business owners here,” Coker said.
Coker will have a grand opening at this new store, To the Moon and Back, in Morton on Saturday, Sept. 28.
Click here to the grand opening event on Facebook.