The warehouse is something of a salon, a continual comic book colloquium that Mr. Koch calls “The Endless Convention.” He is constantly trading stories and arcana with both his customers and his staff members, who include a former Marvel Comics editor, a former employee at Village Comics in Greenwich Village, a former college professor and various other enthusiasts, who volunteer their time in exchange for comic books.
Sounds like a place I need to visit, if I can find it:
It’s beginning to look a little like Christmas in Joseph Koch’s Comic Book Warehouse.
In classic Koch style, a Christmas tree was suspended from the ceiling, with a bloody, severed ghoul’s head hanging (by the eyelids, of course) from the side.
This passes as mistletoe for customers entering Mr. Koch’s world: a cavernous second-floor space that he has run for the past 30 years, in an industrial section of Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
It houses one of the largest collections of comic books in the country. Also on offer are memorabilia, action figures, books, records, posters and the like.
It is a back issue browsing paradise, with comics filling long white cardboard boxes, placed on shelves extending high overhead.
Mr. Koch, 66, refers to the place as his “Warehouse of Wonders,” with a vast inventory that he calls “The Avalanche.” It consists of “the largest assemblage of sci-fi, comics and fantasy genre-related ephemera on the planet,” according to Mr. Koch, whose trove nevertheless remains relatively obscure outside the world of hard-core comics lovers.
For one thing, Mr. Koch has run it as a mail-order service, limiting much of the browsing to customers with appointments.
For another, it can be bewildering simply to find the warehouse, which lies between the Gowanus Expressway and the waterfront. The surrounding streets bustle with forklifts, flatbeds and tractor-trailers.
The address is 206 41st Street, at Second Avenue, but there is no sign outside, and the entrance is an unmarked door around the corner from a live poultry shop…
In his office, a customer was now calling from the street, unable to find the entrance. “I know it’s a little confusing,” Mr. Koch said.
You can find the whole story by Corey Kilgannonn, Incredible Bulk at a Comic Book Warehouse in Brooklyn, at the New York Times.