The annual Phoenix Comicon and all its associated events signal summertime here in the Valley, but what are you supposed to do during the other three seasons between conventions and high-budget superhero movies?
While you're in comic land limbo, we have a few local solutions to get an illustrated fix. Here are 10 of our favorite comic book shops in metro Phoenix.
All About Books & Comics
24 West Camelback Road, Suite G
This comic shop is the longest continually operating store of its kind in metro Phoenix. Owners Marsha and Alan Giroux ran the original location at Central Avenue and Camelback Road for over three decades, and moved to the new location around the corner in 2015. All About Books & Comics is a 2003 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Award winner, and offers a staggering selection of new and back-issue comics. The shop also features toys, books, apparel, and gifts – as well as the neighboring All About Books & Comics superstore and the Discount Comic Hub.
Ash Avenue Comics & Books
806 South Ash Avenue, Tempe
A Tempe staple for more than a decade, Ash Avenue's big strength is its selection of indie comics. There’s an abundance of issues of classic indie favorites, plus local comics, back issues, and hardcovers. The store also carries new mainstream releases, mini-comics, and graphic novels, plus magazines, toys, and apparel. Ash also hosts BYOB-friendly events like the monthly Untidy Secrets Storytelling nights and the biweekly Ash Avenue Comic Book Club.
1945 East Indian School Road
This 8,000-square-foot, Arcadia-area comic book and toy mall is known as the Collectors Marketplace – or Pop Culture Collector's Superstore. There is a wide arrangement of consignment cases holding comics, yes, but also sci-fi, pop culture, and comic-focused toys, games, books, apparel – you name it. Collectors Marketplace also hosts the weekly Phoenix Comic & Toy Show, a gathering of comic and collectible vendors held every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Drawn to Comics
5801 West Glendale Avenue, Glendale
The family-owned Drawn to Comics has a full stock of more than 400 monthly current titles and thousands of back-issue comics, as well as kids' comics, posters, games, graphic novels, and action figures. Plus, the shop hosts classes, workshops, and gatherings for like-minded comic fiends – all happening in the Historic Downtown Glendale area. The owner, Ken Brown, studied comics and the pop culture industry for more than 20 years, and is happy to share his knowledge with newbies and pros alike.
Desert Sky Games & Comics
Three Valley locations
They've got it all here – Magic the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Sega, Pokémon, Warhammer 40K, X-Wing, Netrunner, and more. There’s also a wide selection of DC and Marvel comics, a slew of collectibles, and a bunch of fellow collectors hanging around. Desert Sky Games & Comics has been around since 2012, and it has three locations: DSG Gilbert, DSG Tempe, and DSG Mesa.
2734 West Bell Road, #1346
This is where you’ll get the hard-to-find comics and toys. Based in the north central Valley, Dreadnought Comics opened in 2014, and features comics, toys, and community events like Magic the Gathering nights. Dreadnought has more than 5,000 comics on display in the shop, and more available off the shelves. This is also a big stop for airsoft supplies, as there’s also an in-house airsoft shooting range.
Gotham City Comics & Coffee
46 West Main Street, Mesa
Set in downtown Mesa, this is the place to go if you want some caffeine, a chat with fellow comic fans, and a chance to 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. Gotham City Comics & Coffee has plenty of couches, chairs, and bistro tables where you can sit and read your latest purchase, or watch some anime. 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.
2722 South Alma School Road, #8, Mesa
This is the comic book geek's comic book shop. The Mesa store is laid out like a 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 inexpensive prices, and best of all, mini-series are bundled together and sold at a discount. Greg's Comics caters mostly to Marvel and DC fans, many of whom are walking encyclopedias of comic knowledge ready to debate everything from characters to artists to publishers' blunders. (Damn you, DC Comics, for changing Superman's costume on the Justice League No. 1 cover).
Jesse James Comics
5140 West Peoria Avenue, #100, Glendale
This is more of a neighborhood comic book shop. Jesse James Comics is located near 51st and Peoria avenues, and offers a wide selection of new and back-issue comics, a knowledgeable staff, card games, RPG tournaments and other weekly gaming events, and toys and gifts. The Eisner Award-winning, 8,000-square-foot store was opened in 2009 in Glendale, but they also have a large eBay presence.
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Three Valley locations
Samurai Comics is a locally owned chain carrying new and mainstream comics and graphic novels, complete of course with a sizable selection of back issues and comic-related toys and gifts. Samurai hosts many community events and fundraisers (from comic book signings and Ladies Nights to appearances by local costuming groups) at their three locations: the Samurai Comics Superstore in central Phoenix, Samurai Comics East in Mesa, and Samurai Comics West at Dysart Road and Glendale Avenue.
Correction: This post has been updated from its original version to reflect how long Ash Ave Comics has been open, and to correct that its book club is biweekly.