The Boston Globe reports that James Welborn, owner of Hub Comics in Somerville, Massachusetts, died Monday of an apparent poisoning. Rescue personnel had found Welborn in the bathroom of his home on May 16; a note on the bathroom door warned of poison gas, and police officers who were performing a well-being check at Welborn's home noticed a strange smell. Firefighters and a hazmat team responded to the scene as well. A bucket of unidentified chemicals was found in the bathroom with Welborn.
Hub Comics, which billed itself as "the comics store for NPR listeners," ran into financial troubles in October and lost its account with Diamond Comic Distributors. However, the store made a comeback, regained the account, and even had a food drive for Free Comic Book Day.
While I never met Welborn, I did frequent Hub Comics when it first opened, and I always found it a friendly venue that was open to a wide range of tastes. They had a special area for kids and tucked the adult stuff away in an alcove. Unlike a lot of comics stores, it always felt welcoming and comfortable. Store manager Jesse Farrell is going to try to keep the business open.