If there’s one thing comics bloggers love, it’s those old B&W photos from Life Magazine showing kids reading comics — proof of a simpler time when children read things, bananas were a vegetable and your real father dropped off a bottle of milk at your mom’s house every day. Well, recently on the LA Times Southern California Moments feature of reader-submitted photos, we came across what looks to be a contemporary example of the genre:


CAPTION: Two young boys, clearly aware that life exists beyond Gameboy, entertain themselves the old-fashioned way. Newstand at Beverly Blvd and Kings Road.

This classic subject has been updated with Crocs and soccer jerseys for modern kick — while the kid on the right might be reading an issue of Vogue, the one on the left looks to have a real comic book.


  1. When I wuz a kid, we kids used to tear around the neighbourhood on our own, or in little groups without any adult supervision.
    Oh, adults knew where we were, and certainly heard about our activities. I knew every corner store in town, and which sold the best candies and comics.

    But do kids even do that now, or are they driven everywhere and chaperoned and protected by parents 24/7? Times DO change.

    Not being sarcastic here, just wondering if that is one reason why newsstands are not frequented by kids like they used to be; kids with tons of electronic toys, preplanned play dates, and over-scheduled little lives.

    Hard to wander off and explore.

  2. I’m only 23 and I still was allowed to go around downtown with friends when I was 10, and that sure as hell included trips to the newsstand to buy Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics.

    I think a lot of it depends on the town, but I really hope that by the time I have kids, I’ll have the courage to let them do the same.

  3. In my day, I used to walk a mile uphill to the local shopping center (sometimes in the snow!) to hit the B.Dalton’s, Waldenbooks, and Read All About It (a bookstore specializing in magazines) to get my weekly comics fix! I’d find the nearest stairwell, go to the bottom, and sit and read the two or three issues I’d purchased. (A neophyte Marvel Zuvembie… Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Men.)

    A year later, I began to walk two miles, uphill both ways, to my local comics shop. Every Saturday, usually after Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends finished. If the weather was bad, I’d stop halfway at the Kwik Shop and warm up a little. Sometimes I’d buy copies from their newsstand if my LCS had sold out. (A three-week delay, never understood why collectors never considered newsstand editions “second printings”…)

    Now I visit newsstands to pick up foreign comics like Fluide Glacial or Mickey Maus.

  4. I have not seen a newsstand outside of Chicago or NYC in…I dunno…10 years or so? They could be in LA and SF, too, I just haven’t been in those cities lately. But they don’t dot the landscape in the MidWest like they used to.

  5. I don’t think a week of my life has gone by without at least one trip to the newsstand. When I was 6 it was Harvey comics at Store 24, now it’s Batman and the Economist at Hudson. Periodical publishing is one of the greatest cultural innovations.

  6. This reminds me: Anyone else notice that the State Farm insurance commercial in front of a newsstand has a sign at the top that reads, “NEWSPAPERS – COMICS – MAGAZINES”?