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Comic relief provided to His and Hers Comics through donation

  • His and Hers Comics received a donation on Friday of roughly 10,000 comic books from Alan Morgan, former owner of the “original” Greenfield comic book store, Comic Relief, which closed in 1988. Staff Photo/ZACK DeLUCA

  • His and Hers Comics received a donation on Friday of roughly 10,000 comic books from Alan Morgan, former owner of the “original” Greenfield comic book store, Comic Relief, which closed in 1988. Staff Photo/ZACK DeLUCA

  • His and Hers Comics received a donation on Friday of roughly 10,000 comic books from Alan Morgan, former owner of the “original” Greenfield comic book store, Comic Relief, which closed in 1988. Staff Photo/ZACK DeLUCA

  • His and Hers Comics received a donation on Friday of roughly 10,000 comic books from Alan Morgan, former owner of the “original” Greenfield comic book store, Comic Relief, which closed in 1988. Staff Photo/ZACK DeLUCA

  • Nishon Morgan of His and Hers Comics opened his new store at 40 Bank Row in Greenfield in March for just 10 days before Gov. Charlie Baker’s executive orders on essential businesses forced the shop to close. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • His and Hers Comics at 40 Bank Row in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • The comic books donated to His and Hers Comics are the entirety of the 1988 closing inventory from Comic Relief, Greenfield’s first comic book store. The store, pictured, was open from 1984 to 1988 in the space between the Garden Cinemas and Brad’s Place. Contributed photo/Alan Morgan

  • The comic books donated to His and Hers Comics are the entirety of the 1988 closing inventory from Comic Relief, Greenfield’s first comic book store. The store, pictured, was open from 1984 to 1988. Contributed photo/Alan Morgan

  • Customers attend an artist signing event at Comic Relief, which was open in Greenfield from 1984 to 1988. Contributed photo/Alan Morgan

  • Customers attend an artist signing event at Comic Relief, which was open in Greenfield from 1984 to 1988. Contributed photo/Alan Morgan

Staff Writer
Published: 5/19/2020 1:44:01 PM

GREENFIELD — You could say His and Hers Comics has received some comic relief in the form of a donation of roughly 10,000 comic books, courtesy of a former Greenfield comic book store owner and local resident.

The books were donated by Alan Morgan, former owner of the “original” Greenfield comic book store, Comic Relief. Nishon Morgan, who co-owns His and Hers Comics with his wife, Katy, and who is not related to Alan Morgan, said the store is ineligible for relief programs available to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he considers the act of kindness a huge help.

“I was shocked,” Nishon Morgan said of the donation. “We’re very grateful for Alan.”

His and Hers Comics opened for 10 days in March before the governor’s restrictions forced them to lock their doors. During those brief days in business, Alan met Nishon once, and talked about potentially selling the collection. In light of the pandemic and the store’s temporary closure, Alan Morgan said he decided to donate the books instead.

The donated books are the entirety of the 1988 closing inventory from Comic Relief. The store was open from 1984 to 1988 in the space between the Garden Cinemas and Brad’s Place. Alan Morgan said he packed up the inventory when Comic Relief closed, and brought it home with the expectation of selling it whole at some point.

“Then along came eBay and the collapse of back issue prices,” he explained. “Offers kept getting lower and lower. The latest offer was $20 per box. A sad condition for all that creativity and art.”

Alan Morgan said he wanted the comics to stay in their hometown. This way, the books will end up in the hands of a new generation of Greenfield youth and help get His and Hers Comics off the ground.

“I thought they would get scattered all over the country, but I wanted them to be in the hands of people who would read them,” Alan Morgan said. “I always thought that would be the most important thing.”

Nishon Morgan was sorting and processing the donated books on Friday, with help from Tim Knowles, owner of Enterprize Comics Etc. in Keene, N.H., who previously assisted the Greenfield store as it prepared to open on Bank Row in March.

All but three boxes of the donated books will be priced at 20 comics for $20, or $2 each. The other three boxes will be 50 percent off guideline prices.

While there are not many “investor” books, Nishon Morgan said fans who like to read and appreciate art — which he said is “the real purpose of comics” — will find some great books in the collection. He recognized a lot of the titles in the inventory from when he had his first store, Super Soup Comics, which was open from 1986 to 1994 in Bennington, Vt.

“These comics are probably going to be older than most of his customers,” Alan Morgan said. “The books will encourage them to reach back in time. They will show the continuity of comics over time and help them realize there are other things beside just superheroes.”

Roughly 50 percent of the donated inventory is comprised of independent comics, including titles like “Scout” and “Grim Jack.” Alan Morgan said the “explosion of creativity” that came from independent comics in the 1980s is part of what inspired him to open Comic Relief. The rest of the inventory is comprised of Marvel and DC books, with some dated before 1984.

The donation contains five to 10 copies of most items, allowing for less competitive shopping and searching. Once the store reopens, Nishon Morgan said it will likely operate with restrictions and will only allow five customers inside at once.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.



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