|Founded||Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., 1978|
Number of locations
|Northeastern United States|
Newbury Comics is an American music retailer based in New England. Newbury Comics began as a comic book vendor on Newbury Street in Boston. The company was founded in 1978 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology students John Brusger and Mike Dreese. Over the next few years, the focus of the company changed from comics to music, although comic books are still sold at stores in limited quantities. Dreese also published Boston Rock, a music tabloid which was active from 1980 to 1987 that focused on punk, new wave and indie bands. There are now 28 stores in five New England states: four in New Hampshire, two in Rhode Island, one in Maine, one in Connecticut, and twenty in Massachusetts. On August 20, 2016, Newbury Comics opened its 29th store (its first outside of New England) at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York and in August 2017, Newbury Comics opened a shop in The Westchester, a mall located in White Plains, NY (in Westchester County) that like Roosevelt Field is owned by the Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group.
Since the late 1980s Newbury Comics has been a vendor of new and used CDs, LPs, singles, and DVDs, and other pop culture–related goods, including comics, posters, T-shirts, trading cards, action figures, buttons, sports merchandise, jewelry, cosmetics, novelties and more. Many locations also sell high end and/or punk-style clothing.
The chain also had a sister store called Hootenanny which mostly sold punk-style clothing, located one floor below the Newbury Comics in Harvard Square. Hootenanny closed in May 2012, while the flagship Newbury Comics banner is altering its product mix to include more fashion. Newbury Comics stores are also gradually shifting from strip centers to mall locations.
- Andy Bonner of the Boston band Piebald worked for years at both the Harvard Square and Alewife locations. The band's "King of the Road" includes the lyrics, "Andy went back to school. He got sick of Newbury Comics."
- Valerie Forgione of Mistle Thrush is the company's Executive Vice President
- Joe Guese, guitarist of The Click Five, worked at the flagship Newbury Comics briefly before joining the band.
- Rob Hamilton and Chris Pearson of Green Magnet School worked at the Framingham store and the warehouse, respectively, when the band was signed to Sub Pop records.
- Aimee Mann worked at the original Newbury Street location before gaining prominence with her band 'Til Tuesday.
- David Shibler worked at the original Newbury Street location while becoming the bass player in the local band the Turbines.
- Jon Syverson, Alexis S.F. Marshall, and Samuel Moorehouse Walker of Daughters have worked at the Providence and North Attleboro locations.
- Chris Pupecki (Doomriders, Black Tail & ex–Cast Iron Hike) worked at the Natick store.
- Johnny Earle, founder of clothing line Johnny Cupcakes, worked at Newbury Comics, where he would secretly sell shirts out of his car on bathroom breaks.
- Jon Strader, guitarist of the band No Trigger, worked at the Shrewsbury location.
- Paul DeGeorge, of Harry and the Potters, worked at various stores, including both Cambridge locations.
- Mark McKay, drummer of hardcore punk band Slapshot was a manager of several Newbury Comics stores and worked in the IT department as well as working for Interscope Records.
- Ryan McKenney and Brian Izzi of the band Trap Them, worked at the Salem, NH store.
- Aaron Dalbec of Bane (band), Only Crime and ex-Converge (band) worked at the Shrewsbury store during the mid to late 90s.
Company logo in popular culture
In the movie Hatchet (2007), star Joel Moore spends much of the film in a blood-spattered Newbury Comics T-shirt. In reaction to this Newbury Comics started selling special Hatchet T-shirts like the one in the movie. The "Tooth Face" Logo T-shirt is featured in the second issue of The Bulletproof Coffin comics from Image Comics.