Holymoleys’ comic shop opens in Paradise City

  • Tonye Barrineau, left, co-owner of Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles in Northampton, searches for a request by customer Sena Khadem of Amherst, waiting at right near a figure of Marvel’s Iron Man in a Mark VI suit. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Corinne Barrineau, co-owner of Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles, helps a customer with a purchase. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles recently relocated from Shelburne to this space on King Street in Northampton. Photographed on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A Superman flag flies outside the new location of Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles on King Street in Northampton on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Tonye Barrineau, co-owner of Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles, talks about vintage issues available at the Northampton store on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Nate Chenevert of Chicopee gets ready to purchase "GWAR: The Enormogantic Fail" at Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles in Northampton on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles recently relocated from Shelburne to this space on King Street in Northampton. Photographed on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • “Holey Mobot!” stands about six feet tall at the back of Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A Star Wars Episode 1 figure of Darth Maul for sale at Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles in Northampton on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A rack of vintage comic books, including a 1974 issue of "The Incredible Hulk", on display at Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles in Northampton on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 8/16/2020 5:52:04 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Entertainment and pop culture enthusiasts now have a new spot to buy their favorite comic books, videogames, toys and more in the city as Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles recently opened on King Street.

Customers walking into Holeymoleys’ storefront at 90 King St. will be greeted by a life-size statue of Marvel Comics’ iconic superhero Iron Man, who along with another statue depicting Pinhead from the 1987 horror film “Hellraiser,” looks out over a sales floor filled with tables and shelves of comic books, movies, toys, videogames and other collectibles.

“We love talking comics with people, but it’s also OK if you don’t know about comics and you just want to ask questions or find something for your family member who’s into it,” said Corinne Barrineau, who co-owns Holeymoleys with her husband, Tonye Barrineau. “We’re really open to everyone shopping here — whether you’re a comic lover or if it’s your first time."

The original Holeymoleys opened in Shelburne in October 2018, the Barrineaus said, but after a while business started to plateau following growth. Comic book stores have become few and far between in the area, and since Northampton is more populated than Shelburne, the couple closed their Shelburne store and moved their business to the city. Holeymoleys started doing curbside pickup sales in May, then opened for subscribers in July, finally beginning to advertise the store’s opening to the public July 29.

Comic books are clearly the anchor of the store, as boxes of them sorted by superhero and series rest on a large table in the very center of the retail space. Colorful artwork of newer comic book releases are displayed on racks across the shop, as are many graphic novels.

Movies and some toys are featured on one wall of the store, but near the back are additional collectibles — including old “Star Wars” action figures packaged in their original boxes — puzzles, video games, collectible cards and more. Also in the back is “Holey Mobot,” a light-up robot statue that Tonye Barrineau said used to be in an old toy store in eastern Massachusetts in the 1960s or 1970s.

“That’s the beauty of coming in here,” Corinne Barrineau said. “It just feels like a cool place to hang out.”

This location is about three times the size of Holeymoleys’ previous store in Shelburne, the couple said. A back area is currently closed off from the sales floor, but the idea is that it will eventually serve as a space for Magic: The Gathering tournaments, model kit building, videogames and more, they said. Modern Myths Comic Books and Games — which closed its Bridge Street store in 2018 after 15 years — also had spaces for people to play games like Magic. 

Corinne said she and Tonye signed their current lease on March 1 and planned to open on March 25, before the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into those plans. She said she’s concerned about the full effects that COVID-19 will have on the economy, and whether that will translate to fewer customers at Holeymoleys — but she believes the store has a good formula that can be adjusted as outside factors shift.

“We’re pretty creative,” she said.

Holeymoleys has been pretty busy so far, the Barrineaus say, which is something Tonye partly attributes to people wanting to get out of the house and just look around a comic store.

“They’re looking for that nostalgia, but during COVID,” Tonye said.

Customers can subscribe to their favorite comic book titles and pick them up as they are released, according to the Barrineaus. Those subscribed to as few as one or as many as nine ongoing titles get a 10% discount, those subscribed to 10-19 ongoing titles get a 15% discount, and those with 20 or more get a 20% discount. The store will order things it doesn’t have in store; the Barrineaus also run an online eBay store with the same name of the store.

Shopping at Holeymoleys on Saturday morning was Nate Chenevert, 29, of Chicopee, who picked up a graphic novel featuring the band “GWAR” and a 1,000-piece puzzle. He said he used to travel all of the way to Shelburne from Chicopee to visit the original Holeymoleys, and that he’s glad he can get his comic books closer to home.

“The store is definitely better located,” Chenevert said.

Holeymoleys Comics & Collectibles is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com. 


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