BEST COMIC BOOK STORE Phoenix 2005 - Samurai Comics - CLOSED
Here in the Valley, the comic book landscape seems to be dominated by ginormous Atomic-powered retail establishments that are "All About Books and Comics." These titans of the sequential art set draw teenagers and other socially maladjusted hooligans from Tempe to Tolleson into their establishments with the latest multi-paneled, four-color adventures from a cadre of superheroes, or exclusive signing sessions with big-name artists like Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada. Meanwhile, Moryha and Mike Banks -- owners of Samurai Comics -- have survived and thrived in the shadow of these comic colossi over the past three years. Operating their smallish shop out of a cramped strip mall a few doors down from Gay Denny's, the couple has developed a cultlike group of regulars who've graced their shop looking for the newest from major publishers like DC, as well as harder-to-find titles like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Eightball. The Bankses often book well-attended appearances by such obscure small-press artists as James Kochalka (author of the zany sketch diary American Elf) and Craig Thompson (who's penned such graphic novels as Blankets).
Business has been so good, Moryha and Mike are in the process of opening a new location at 107th Avenue and Indian School Road. Looks like the underdogs sometimes win out in the end after all.