Time to get your nerd on! May 7th is Free Comic Book Day and to celebrate, we’re taking a look at the most awesome comic book shops on the planet, from the streets of NYC to the basements of Hong Kong shopping centres.
While some would argue for JHU or Forbidden Planet, Midtown Comics – right on Times Square – is a nerdy New York institution. It features, alongside comics, everything from t-shirts and posters to action figures, manga and graphic novels. If you find the Times Square location is too tourist-packed, you’ll also find other chain locations in Grand Central and Downtown.
In Japan, the obsession with Manga and anime is known as Otaku, and one of its biggest sellers in the city is Mandarake. Open since 1987, it’s the spot to visit for second-hand comics, toys, figurines and costumes. Mandarake has a whopping 11 stores/complexes throughout the country and its flagship location – in the Nakano Broadway building – houses 26 smaller Mandarake shops, each dedicated to a different aspect of manga and anime.
Visiting Berlin and in need of a comic fix? Modern Graphics (about a half hour walk from Checkpoint Charlie) is arguably the best comic spot in Berlin, featuring mainstream and alternative comics in both German and English, as well as a selection of manga.
If you’re hitting up London’s famous Soho district, take a detour through Gosh Comics (on Berwick Street). It’s been around for 25 years, has two floors, and its products range from mainstream superhero comics to small press issues and even vintage children’s books. Free Comic Book Day here this year includes a signing event with Kieron Gillen, Tula Lotay and more.
Amidst the music, the dancing and the fabulous food, it’s entirely possible to take a comic-book timeout in the Big Easy. Crescent City Comics is brimming with comic books, graphic novels, t-shirts, toys and memorabilia – as well as comics produced by local artists. On top of that, it now sports two locations: the original store on Freret Street and the new flagship shop on Calhoun Street.
Shopping in Hong Kong’s glitzy Causeway Bay Shopping Centre is a tonne of fun, and it’s here that you’ll also find Clark’s Comics. It’s reportedly the biggest comic retailer in Hong Kong and showcases all the faves, from Batman to Wolverine, as well as toys, anime merchandise and video games. New releases flow through the site on a weekly basis.