By Janet Goetze
For the Hollywood Star News
If you’re looking for back issues of Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar or Juxtapoz, the contemporary art magazine, AJ Jones and Mark Fleskes have them in Periodicals Paradise, 1924 N.E. 40th Ave.
Woodworkers, car enthusiasts, cooks and art students are among the customers for old or recent magazines with the directions, designs, recipes or illustrations they are seeking.
Most magazines sell for $1 or $2 each, but sometimes the owners hold two-for-one sales. Some collectible issues with celebrity photos or famous artists may cost $12 to $400.
Occasionally, said Jones, he gets a call for a quantity of magazines, regardless of subject. One such call came from the staff of “Grimm,” the television program set in Portland.
“They needed 200 boxes of magazines to fill up a scene,” Jones said. “A little later, they bought book shelves from us. Maybe those were to store all the magazines.”
Periodicals Paradise started 25 years ago in Southeast Portland with owner Oliver Hutchins, who retired half a dozen years ago. He turned the business over to Jones, who had worked with him for nearly 20 years. Fleskes, a supermarket produce manager for more than 30 years, joined Jones in the venture.
The business has moved several times, arriving in the Hollywood district on Northeast 42nd Avenue about seven years ago. It’s been in the 40th Avenue shop for more than two years, said Fleskes.
The walls are lined with neatly labeled shelves crammed with more than 100,000 magazines, Jones estimated. He has another 2,500 to 3,000 boxes of magazines in a warehouse, he said. Some shelves are labeled by publication name Time, Look, Saturday Evening Post. Others are by subject craft, architecture, boating. In addition to the popular gardening and automotive magazines, the shop has a small assortment of used books. They include fiction, nonfiction, children’s and youth titles.
Like some other brick-and-mortar enterprises, Periodicals Paradise does a certain amount of its business online and on eBay. Fleskes said Jones spends hours at the computer, answering requests but also checking what is for sale and what the asking prices are. That information may guide how magazines are priced in the shop, he explained.
If the price is right and shipping charges aren’t too high, Jones might purchase magazines from another part of the country. In December, for instance, the store’s website (http://periodicalsparadise.com/) announced a new shipment of Rolling Stone magazines, which are among the shop’s most popular items. Another publication that sells quickly is Mojo, a popular music magazine from the United Kingdom. Interior design magazines from England and Australia also are in demand, Jones said.
Collage artists select publications with photographs or other illustrations they want for their work. From the 1960s to the 1980s, National Geographic was printed on paper that is especially sought by those artists, Fleskes said.
One regular customer collects anything featuring Marilyn Monroe, whose popularity tops that of other celebrities, Fleskes said. He estimated the Beatles are next, followed by Elvis. Museums sometimes seek magazines with specific subjects, he said.
“The Museum of Disco in San Francisco is buying magazines from the mid- to late-seventies,” Fleskes said, to display images and stories from the discotheque period.
Frequently, customers seek magazines published around the time of a friend’s or relative’s birth to give as a birthday present.
“We put together a few magazines that tell the person what was going on when they were born,” Fleskes said.
About eight years ago, Jones received $400 for a well-preserved Sports Illustrated for Kids with a Tiger Woods rookie card still attached. Some estimate the same magazine, in good condition, could be worth $1,000 today, he said, but it would sell for less without the card.
Fleskes, who claims his specialty is keeping the shelves neat, nevertheless draws on his marketing background to display covers that he thinks will appeal to customers.
Near the front door last month were Time magazines with cover portraits of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from 1939 ($50), Nazi Party leader Hermann Goering from 1940 ($30) and Gen. Dwight Eisenhower from 1943 ($25).