It's a sad day for Southern California's geek culture.
Los Angeles’ premiere comic book shop, Meltdown Comics, has announced it’s closing its doors after a quarter century, effective March 30.
The move, announced by owner Gaston Dominguez-Letelier, aka Gaston DL, is a big blow to the SoCal comic book community. Founded in 1993, the Sunset Strip venue quickly became a hub for fanboys and -girls looking to get their hands on the latest and greatest superhero titles. But it became so much more.
Meltdown also turned into a key hub for L.A.’s comedy scene by hosting NerdMelt Showroom, which featured comedy performances, "fictional roasts," writer/artist panels, author appearances and book signings, and other events.
“No business is easy, least of all one rooted in paper surrounded by brick and mortar, yet against all odds we survived just long enough to host, share, and celebrate some of the most creative and imaginative artists in the world,” Dominguez-Letelie wrote in a letter announcing the closure. “It has been my personal privilege to welcome so many incredibly talented minds through our doors, giving them and their work a home in this great city of ours.”
Among the comedians to grace NerdMelt’s stage were Silicon Valley and The Big Sick star Kumail Nanjiani, who co-hosted, with Jonah Ray, Comedy Central’s stand-up series The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. Airing from 2014 to 2016, the show, which filmed at Meltdown, brought to the fore comics like Steve Agree, Jen Kirkman, Todd Barry, and Maria Bamford.
The locale also served as home base for Community mastermind Dan Harmon’s Harmontown — a weekly live show and podcast that began airing in 2012 and was turned into a 2014 documentary by the same name — as well as notable podcasts like You Made It Weird and Mutant Season, among others.
“In signing off, I urge you all to continue creating comics, buying comics, and supporting the comic book world that has given us all so much over the years,” added Gaston. “For one last time, #LetsgoMELTDOWN!”
After the news broke, a number of comedians and celebrities including Patton Oswalt, Jeffrey Ross, and Kevin Smith took to Twitter to mourn the loss of the beloved institution and offer their tributes.