Rochester comic shop owner dies after sudden illness

Craig Cotten, the owner of the Book Review comic and sports card shop in Rochester, died on Monday after being felled suddenly by a mix of illnesses in late June.

Craig Cotton
Craig Cotten, the owner of the Book Review comic and sports card shop in Rochester, died on Monday after being felled suddenly by a mix of illnesses in late June.
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ROCHESTER — A well-known Rochester businessman and store owner passed away on Monday night, after suddenly falling ill less than three weeks ago.

Craig Cotten was a familiar and popular figure in the Rochester retail scene for decades, working first at Face The Music and then at The Book Review. He became the owner of the Book Review, a comic, gaming and sports card shop in Rochester’s Hillcrest Shopping Center, in 2008.

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Kelly Moore, Cotten's sister, announced his death on Facebook on Tuesday.

"It is with a heavy heart that I let you know Craig passed away on Monday night. We will be having a Celebration of Life sometime in the next few weeks. I will post the details once they are set," she wrote.

Cotten fell ill on June 23 , when what he believed was just a cold turned into something more serious. Doctors at Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Hospital told him that his organs were shutting down due to septic shock, according to his family.


He was diagnosed with kidney stones and pneumonia as well as a very aggressive acute leukemia.

Cotten’s Book Review store, which he staffed by himself, is closed.

In 2016, Cotten wrote about the experience of running his own business for an article in the Post Bulletin. He estimated that he worked more than 60 hours a week to keep the business going.

When he was asked about the hardest aspects of owning a business, Cotten wrote, “Long hours, low pay and high stress.”

However, he also answered the question of what is best aspect of being self-employed and staffing his own store.

“Being your own boss. You look forward to going to work each day. It's a challenge. It is all on you, if you make it or not,” he wrote.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard Around Rochester." Send tips to or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.

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Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard Around Rochester," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. The opinions of my employer do not necessarily reflect my opinions. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Send tips to or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.
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