Winter storms put Juke Joint's shipments on ice, pushing it to the brink of closure

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Winter weather has caused major issues for many in the area, from farmers and ranchers, to shop owners. It's pushed one Bismarck specialty shop to the brink of closing.

Juke Joint is the only place comic book fans in the Bismarck-Mandan area can gather to get the weekly editions of their favorite books, but the store may be forced to close if delivery trucks continue to be delayed in winter weather.

It's been a labor of love for Mike Swenson to turn a comic collecting hobby into a business.

"I believe there is still a place for print and especially comics. There's nothing else like it on the market," says Swenson.

Juke Joint comics isn't just a place to buy comic books and collectibles. It's also a place for a community to gather.

"Comic books are kind of a special thing, and you can't really just get them anywhere. I've been here a few times before, and it's just really cool to come here," says Emily Brandt, Bismarck resident.

"It helps creativity flow. It helps people de-stress and you know, you get to get some good books and meet with fellow readers every week," says Swenson.

But Swenson is having trouble keeping the doors open and the lights on. Winter storms have put his supply of new comics on ice.

Juke Joint normally clears about 90 percent of its shelf every Wednesday and in an industry where staying up to date is so crucial, going three weeks without merchandise can be a killer.

"I'm confident moving forward January should be a really good month, and we'll go from there," says Swenson.

His confidence is backed up by some of his generous customers, who've set up a GoFundMe to keep him in business.

"The support that we've had has been absolutely amazing. Some of the donations have come in from across the U.S. Our story's getting shared which is awesome," says Swenson.

But with another winter storm baring down on the region, Swenson can only hope delivery trucks can be like his Santa, make it through the snow and save the holiday season.

Swenson says he's not alone; he says dozens of other collectible stores have been forced to close because of delivery issues.

If you'd like to contribute to his GoFundMe, you can go to: https://www.gofundme.com/6789rejg