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America's 10 Greatest Comic and Graphic Novel Stores


Or at least so says Flavorwire. Above, the great Quimby’s in Chicago.

Who would you nominate for best comic store?


  1. The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, CA…

    Knowledgeable and friendly staff. They are active in their community whether it is comic book related or not. Its a fun place.

  2. Hands down, Jim Hanley’s Universe in NYC/Staten Island.

    In the business for almost 20 years for a reason: friendly, helpful staff. Always in stock product, excellent sales and deals. A clean, impressive environment.

    A store that’s fun for the whole family.

  3. BTW, Jim Hanley’s Universe excels not only because of JH but because of their first class management, Vito and Nick, who know many if not most of their customers by name.

    No easy feat for a NYC store.

    Grade A(ll the way)!

  4. The best one I’ve been to (in Canada, at least) is Another Dimension in Calgary, Alberta. Beautiful, wide-open shop with a good mix of comics, manga, toy, statues, and back issues, and fantastic staff who always have good recommendations. It’s great.

  5. Geez… that’s tough… Comix Experience in SF, Beguiling in Toronto, Green Brain in Michigan, Tate’s in Florida, Big Planet in Bethesda, Krypton in Omaha…

    My first criteria: selection.
    My second criteria: appearance.
    My third criteria: programming and community outreach.

    Most of the comic shops left know what they are doing. Forbidden Planet, my LCS, does a great job of retailing. But the store is hampered by its location and lack of space… it really needs to add two floors.

    So for NYC, it’s probably Jim Hanley’s Universe. Bergen Street gets points for interior, and the laser-guided selection of good books.

  6. The best comics shop made their list – Austin Books & Comics (but the picture they used is old, the renovated store is much nicer looking).

    Despite the name & mascot – Quimby’s isn’t a comic shop. It’s a great bookstore that devotes a part of its space to comics. But if someone asked you for a great comic shop in Chicago, you wouldn’t direct them to Quimby’s, unless you knew for a fact that they were only interested in a certain, very specifc, slice of available comics.

  7. Strange Adventures in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Located in an old building, on a steep grade, on the below-ground level.
    Knowledgeable and friendly staff. Interesting and well stocked inventory.
    There’s always something on the go there!

  8. Happy to see Bergen Street Comics on the list; lovely little store. However, it continues to amaze/horrify me that almost any time someone does a “best comic stores” list, especially one in NYC (like the Village Voice best of) they always put St. Mark’s Comics in there somewhere. I’ve been a comic fan in NYC for 20 years, and for all the times I’ve gone to St. Mark’s, I would never say it’s my favorite, nor even that good. In fact, I’ve had multiple dreadful experiences there, and I know others with their own horror stories.

    It’s even more sad when you consider that perfectly decent stores like Jim Hanley’s Universe and Midtown Comics don’t get mentioned at all. They both have excellent selections and knowledgeable staff, and they both carry way more than the “standard superhero fare.”

    Additionally, to call Forbidden Planet the “busiest comic shop staff in the world,” I mean, have they ever been inside Midtown Comics Times Square? Especially on a Wednesday? Or on Free Comic Book Day? It’s absolutely insane.

  9. Jim Hanley’s definitely beats out FP for best comic shop in NYC.

    The best shop in my area is That’s Entertainment in Worcester, MA. They’ve got a great selection of everything.

  10. The Brooklyn St. Marks location has always been a perfectly pleasant place to shop for me…but yeah, even that’s not in the region of best…

  11. I’m gonna go on record with CHAPEL HILL COMICS.

    It’s one of the best stores in the country, and routinely gets overlooked in lists like these because it’s not in a major metro area.

    I don’t know if there are many stores that beat their layout, selection, and personality.

  12. Let my add my voice to the chorus protesting the fact that Jim Hanley’s didn’t get on that list while Forbidden Planet did.

  13. Comicopia in Boston. It was an Eisner finalist last year and for good reason. They keep a diverse selection of TPBs/GNs, manga and single issues, well-organized, with a friendly knowledgeable staff who do a ton of outreach (booth at Anime Boston, a back-to-school FCBD for the BU students who live around Kenmore Sq., float in Boston Pride), and very female and child-friendly.

  14. Quimby’s is not a great comic shop, although it is a great book store. There are other stores in Chicago that have a much better selection, with a more pleasant and knowledgeable staff.

    I like Comix Revolution in Evanston much more.

  15. Austin Books & Comics. Brad, Brandon and the staff are over the top excellent. No metal music and friendly staff (unlike at least one of the places on this list) is a winner!

  16. I hereby suggest that the Jeff Albertson Memorial Trophy be created. Commemorating the recently deceased “Comic Book Guy” and his style of comics retailing, the award would be given to a specific store exhibiting the worst and most stereotypical comics shopping experience.

    Stores must be in existence for five years in one location. Appearance of store, selection of merchandise, and customer service would be the primary criteria for judging. Once won, the store is no longer eligible, although other locations in the same chain become eligible five years after the first award.

  17. Replace Quimby’s with Chicago Comics, and add Austin Books and Comics and Meltdown or Secret Headquarters to the list.

    Also replace St. Marks (heard nothing good about from friends I trust) with Jim Hanley’s or Midtown Comics.

  18. Thanks Torsten, all of us at Green Brain Comics certainly appreciate your mention.

    We would also add Isotope Comics, Vault of Midnight (even though they beat us for the Eisner this year) and Detroit Comics (even though they beat us for the Metro Times Best Comic Store this year).

  19. Comic Relief, Flint, MI
    This is my childhood comic shop! I love the peeps there and they’ve got great back issues.
    P.S. This is also David “Mouse Guard” Peterson’s home town comic shop! BAM! And I’d bet Geoff Johns went here too!

    Meltdown Comics, LA, CA
    I live just down the street. Love the store and love the events!

    ComicSmash, Studio City, CA
    The owner, Michael, is awesome and gives free bags and boards. Plus, he’s awesome about subscriptions and pull boxes. There’s no minimum:)

  20. Phantom of the Attic in Pittsburgh’s Oakland section. Great selection (new and old, trades, collectibles, t-shirts, and just generally cool stuff); nice promotions; big open space and easy browsing; and, most importantly for any comic shop, I think, a friendly, knowledgable staff who’s more than happy to help. Actually goes out of their way to help (you don’t get that too often in any retail outlets these days)

  21. It’s not in America (unless you’re talking North America) but The Beguiling rocks. Not just a great store, but lots of cool events. Where else can you have 2000 person street party for the midnight release of Scott Pilgrim Vol 6? :-)

  22. Comic Relief, definitely. Rory may be gone but his spirit lives on.
    Isotope in SF. Very funky environment.
    And in Santa Cruz, which is closest to where I am, Atlantis Fantasyworld. Great staff, especially owner Joe Ferrara, who’s stuck it out for a couple decades now!

    Lance Roger Axt
    The AudioComics Company

  23. I live in LA and been to several and I find Meltdown Comics as being the best overall. Great staff, great events, clean, friendly, the best.

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