More than $500,000 in comic books and merchandise were destroyed in a fire that broke out early Wednesday in a Huntington Station, New York, comics store and then spread to other shops in the Long Island strip mall.
Mike Bradley, who's owned Collectors Kingdom in the West Hills Shopping Center since 1990, said he lost everything -- from Golden Age comics valued at $500 to $1,000 each to statues and toys -- in the blaze, as he had no insurance.
"Things got tight, and when things get tight you look for stupid avenues to cut," he told Newsday. "And unfortunately that was one of the things I cut."
However, Bradley said he's already searching for a new location, and is planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help him get back on his feet.
"Collectors Kingdom would like to thank you for all the amazing support while we go through this tough time," states a message posted Thursday on the store's Facebook page. "We are working towards some ideas to help us 'rise from the ashes.'" The post was accompanied by an image of Dark Phoenix.
Originally known as Collectors Comics, the store is described as a fixture of the community since 1982. Bradley reportedly employed about five people.