Johnny Fox had to close down his Freakatorium when his rent went up.
But he still dreams of opening back up in NY some day:
Mr. Fox wants to continue in that vein, wants to teach New Yorkers that the comic book and cartoon heroes they grew up with are, in fact, direct descendants of early freaks like the Sacred Hairy Family of Burma or JoJo the Dogface Boy.
"I want to let people see that the characters they love are not just concocted," he said.
But such ambitions require two things New York tends to keep to itself: real estate and money."
Out of towners tell us all the time when they come through, "We don't even have anything like you guys in NY." or "You should really open up a store in San Francisco."
And you know why that'll never happen? You can't really pay the hefty rent of overpriced cities when you're selling $1 zines. What used to make cities interesting were the diversity of people and their broad range of interests. But now the only people who can afford to do business there are large corporations and all you get are Old Navy variations ad nauseum (Hell, they even sell their own Taschen imprints there now!).
Baltimore is still cheap enough to be cool. You can afford to be different and do your own thing. But maybe not for too much longer.