7 Favorite Comic Book Shops in Phoenix
San Diego Comic-Con is over and the latest adventures of Batman have yet to hit the silver screen. So while you're in comic land limbo, we have a few local solutions to get an illustrated fix.
7. Greg's Comics This is the comic book geek's comic book shop. The Mesa store's laid out like a dork hoarder's garage sale -- packed with rows and rows of long boxes, with very little wiggle room. But there's a bounty of back issues in those boxes, at fairly cheap prices, and best of all, mini-series are bundled together and sold at a discount.
You won't find any anime or manga here, however -- Greg's Comics caters mostly to Marvel and DC fans, many of whom are walking encyclopedias of comic knowledge who engage in intense discussions and debates about everything from characters to artists to publishers' blunders (damn you, DC Comics, for changing Superman's costume on the Justice League No. 1 cover!). 2722 S. Alma School Road, Suite #8, Mesa.
6. Drawn to Comics The locally owned comic book shop in Glendale has a full stock of more than 400 monthly current titles and thousands back issue comics as well as kids comics, posters, games, graphic novels, action figures,and a calendar of events, classes, workshops and gatherings for like-minded comic fiends. The owner's studied comics and the pop culture industry for more than 20 years and is happy to share info to newbies and professionals alike. 5757 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale.
5. Samurai Comics Samurai Comics stepped up to fill customers' orders when Atomic Comics closed, and that's fitting, because Samurai is similar to Atomic in many ways: it's a locally-owned chain that carries new, mainstream comics and graphic novels, with a sizable selection of back issues and comic-related toys. Although Samurai's selection is nowhere near as large as Atomic Comics' was, they have a loyal customer base because they host many community events and fundraisers (from comic book signings to appearances by local costuming groups), their prices are fair, and their staff is friendly.Multiple Valley locations. 1051 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix.
4. All About Books & Comics The selection here is staggering. New titles fill half a dozen racks near the entrance of the store, as well as most of the store's south wall. Graphic novels take up most of the north wall, and the rest of the store is shelf after shelf filled with box after box of back issues. We've had to use a step ladder more than once to reach some of those back issue boxes, but it's always worth it, because we usually find what we're looking for -- or something else equally interesting. 5060 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.
3. Jesse James Comics The parking is easy at Jesse James Comics in Glendale -- once you figure out which store it is (the signage is minimal). What they saved in not having fancy signs, they also held onto by not having fancy display racks and lighting. Most of the stock is on tables or in bins in the cavernous main room. But they do house a good selection of local minicomics respectfully displayed on some of their few racks and spinners. 10802 N. 43rd St., Phoenix.
2. Gotham City Comics & Coffee This is the place to go if you want to drink some caffeine (either the store's potent house blend coffee or an energy drink), chat with fellow comic fans, and play some video games. Yes, there's a decent selection of comic books, graphic novels, action figures, and comic-themed paintings by local artists, but this is primarily a hangout place. There are plenty of couches, chairs, and tables in which to sit and read your latest purchase, or watch some anime on the televisions. The gaming room in the back features rows of comfy black leather chairs, flat screen TVs, and X-Box gaming systems, and there's a wide selection of games to choose from, too. Oh, and did we mention there's a big Batman mannequin? 46 W. Main St., Mesa.
1. Ash Avenue Comics & Books Ash Avenue Comics' big strength is their selection of indie comics. They have an abundance of issues of classic indie favorites like Adrian Tomine's Optic Nerve, plus local comics like Russ Kazmierczak Jr.'s Amazing Arizona Comics, back issues of defunct indie hits like The Fart Party, and hardcovers from publishers like Fantagraphics. The store also carries new mainstream releases, but sometimes not enough, as they tend to sell out of the latest hot title not long after national new comic release day (Wednesdays). 810 S. Ash Avenue, Tempe.
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