As a wave of violence has hit several cities in the UK, several comics shops have been targeted by rioters — but fortunately the damage has been mostly cosmetic and new comics were on sale today — a welcome hint of normalcy. Nostalgia and Comics in Birmingham was hit on Monday night, with the front window damaged; luckily the store was intact and as one costumer tweeted:
@robstickler: Was delighted to find @NostalgiaComics trading normally and able to sort me out with my Batman fix earlier.
Nostalgia and Comics, one of England’s oldest comics shops, is located right next door to a Richer Sounds — the English equivalent of Best Buy — which has been looted two nights in a row (videos are up on YouTube) so it’s fortunate that things didn’t go worse.
In Manchester, the Forbidden Planet received a similarly busted front window last night, as Joe Gordon blogged:
I spoke to the Manchester branch just a few minutes ago and they were cheered at the concern and love they had from the local comics fans, so thank you all very much for that.
The Manchester store did take some damage to the windows, but as with the N&C store the day before it doesn’t look like they got into the actual store, so there was no looting, the staff were at home so they are all unharmed, thank goodness. I’ve also checked in with the N&C gang and our crew in Wolverhampton where there were disturbances last night too, N&C reports no new problems and fortunately our Wolverhampton store avoided any damage, although several of their neighbouring retailers were not so lucky (on a positive note though, volunteers are already out on the streets there helping clean up the mess, kudos to them). All of the stores are open for business today – it’s New Comics Day and by grud, we’ll be damned if any bunch of rioting mutie scum will stop us selling new comics today!
A Place in Space in Croyden — where there was heavy rioting and looting including another Richer Sounds — closed early but is in good shape.
Nostalgia & Comics in peaceful times
While all of this violence would be notable and disheartening without any personal connection, I have to note here that I have a very personal connection to the Birmingham rioting. Future Mr. Beat formerly worked at both Nostalgia and Comics and Richer Sounds. His brother, Rob, who I adore, currently works at Richer Sounds, and has spent the last two days trying to help with the cleanup from the looting — and staying safe, too, I hope. I’ve been in both these shops and hung out with the great employees. Hopefully all the stores and personnel stay safe and this senseless idiocy ends without further incident.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.