In February, Jamie Lee was excited about getting a sign onto his comics building, The Citadel. Now, in May, The Citadel still has no sign, but also no comics.
Lee, in April, quietly closed his store, which opened in November 2018 at 2418 N. Eighth St. in Pekin. He cited personal reasons in a phone conversation with the Daily Times.
“It was a hard, tough decision,” said Lee. “Sometimes life helps you make a decision even if you don’t want to make it.”
Not only was the decision difficult because of the personal reasons, but also, according to Lee, because of the recent success of the store.
“I closed it just as it was taking off,” said Lee.
Lee indicated he was initially surprised by Pekin’s active community of collectors but, in the later months of his shop, was excited about the prospects of what that could bring to his store.
“There’s plenty of collectors in Pekin. It’s just an outstanding collector’s market. It really is,” said Lee. “It’s a great place to open a shop like that.”
While he won’t have a storefront to offer his collection to area readers, Lee said he will eventually begin making mail order sales, something he did prior to the opening of The Citadel. He didn’t provide a timeline for when those sales will start.
There are no current plans to open another store, but Lee said he hasn’t dismissed the idea completely.
As he looks back, he wants to extend a thanks to the collector community in Pekin.
“They treated me well,” said Lee.
Prior to Pekin, Lee operated the store for about a year in Canton, his hometown. While open, the store speciailized in Silver Age comics, or comics published between 1956 and 1970.