Let’s be frank. Your local comics shop, wherever it may be, is in trouble right now. In the best of times, most of them operate under a slim margin, and these are not the best of times. At all times, the best of shops create a community for their customers, not just a place to buy comics (and games and toys and sometimes snacks). And right now, in more and more places, it’s impossible to get to your comics shop. But they can still bring you comics.
It seems ironic to post this when we’re Amazon affiliated. For some people, digital is the only way they can get their books, and that’s understandable. But if you have a shop, and can afford to help that shop, there are still ways to “shop” there and keep them alive until such time we can all venture to our favorite places again and buy comics in person. Right now there’s some question as to whether or not they’ll be able to get new books in, as the main comics distributor in the US, Diamond, has had to put a halt to receiving new product. But there might be a trade paperback or Omnibus you’ve had your eye on — and now’s the time.
This is a by no means comprehensive list, and if you have a favorite shop you’d like us to help publicize, comment below or email editorATfanboyplanet.com, and we’ll add it.
Here are retailers we know will allow you to order by phone or website, and will ship books to you:
Atlantis Fantasyworld – you might recognize this shop from The Lost Boys. We guarantee it to be 100% free of vampires, but not 100% free of comics about vampires. Store owner Joe Ferrara is one of the nicest people in retail (already an industry loaded with nice people), and also regularly performs at local restaurants. Why not pick up his CD, too (available through the store website).
1020 Cedar St.,
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Earth-2 Comics (Sherman Oaks and Northridge, California) – A terrific shop (x2) co-owned by Carr D’Angelo and Susan Avallone. Both locations feature a great selection of comics, back issues, toys, and art. When we can venture out again, you owe it to yourself to stop by if you haven’t already.
You can contact them and order items at:
Sherman Oaks store: 818.386.9590
Northridge store: 818.993.7804
Green Machine Comics – located in NewPark Mall in Newark, California, Green Machine Comics is a newer shop owned and operated by two disabled combat veterans fiercely dedicated to comics and their customers. Just ask the Cult of Cage that formed around a collectible pillow. Go ahead. Just ask. Then order some stuff.
Hours of operation:
Monday through Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 7pm
2086 NewPark Mall Space 1091
Newark, California 94560-2011
Order via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Illusive Comics & Games – The Fanboy Planet podcast pretty much started here, back when it was a shop called Brian’s Books. But when Anna Warren Cebrian bought the store and renamed it Illusive Comics, it expanded and became a force to be reckoned with for its commitment to the local community, and the community it built among its customers. They sell books, games, toys, and art as well, and again, of course you should check the store out when you can.
11 am – 7 pm
Order by phone: 408.985.7481
The Outer Limits – owned by Steve Higgins, this New England comics shop does not control your vertical or your horizontal, but have been around since 1983. More importantly, they can ship comics and other collectibles to you.
Order by phone: 781.891.0444
or email: email@example.com
Subspace Comics in Lynnwood, Washington will also ship books. Their website is under construction, but their Facebook page is thriving.
You can place orders by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
by phone: 425.744.2767
And here’s an interesting service…
Collector’s Paradise Comic Book Shop now offers Collector’s Paradise Curated.
With three locations in the Los Angeles area — North Hollywood, Pasadena, and Winnetka, Collector’s Paradise has long offered a “Graphic Novel Club,” where you get club credit for each graphic novel you buy, which can then be used to defray the cost of graphic novels down the line. And now, when it’s hard to predict when new material will arrive from major publishers, it’s a good time to explore a little more. Been curious about what Image or BOOM! Studios offer? Here’s your chance.
From Collector’s Paradise:
One of the things I always hear from our customers is that we are the best at recommending the right comics and graphic novels. You have learned to trust our tastes over the years, and I believe that this is our greatest asset. That’s why we’re launching Collector’s Paradise CURATED, a curated selection of graphic novels based on 8 different categories. You will choose one of the categories we have created based on the top 8 most requested Graphic Novel selections: Marvel, DC, Image, Boom, Dark Horse, Mixed Indy, Young Adult, All Ages, and you can choose to subscribe for 1-month, 3-months (discounted by 10%), or 6-months (discounted by 15%). Inside each curated selection, you will receive between 3-4 Graphic Novels + a few bonus comic books (all #1 issues) that we think are essential reading, but maybe under-read by fans of that publisher. We guarantee you will get at least a 20% discount (often more) on the graphic novels, and at least a $10 Value on the comics added.
As has been said elsewhere by wiser people than me, it’s time to think outside the box to keep retailers going. I’ll keep reiterating — I know that many people are being hit hard by this, and I offer this list not to guilt anybody into buying comics. But if you can support your favorite retailer, these are ways to do them. I also repeat — if you read this list, and you know that your local comics shop isn’t listed but IS offering ways for you to still get comics right now, let me know at email@example.com.