Comic Book Shop Memories: Canterbury

The chronological continuation of recollecting my comic book shop patronage moves from Bristol to Canterbury in England’s garden, Kent. After my undergraduate degree at Bristol, I went to the University of Kent at Canterbury (its full title) to do some post-graduate work for several years. Even though it’s only 90 minutes from London, I was worried that there would be no comic book shops (not a factor in my decision, you understand); I needn’t have worried. When I first moved to Canterbury in the early 1990s, there were two places to buy comics. The first was Siegi’s Comics, a small […]

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Comic Book Shop Memories: Bristol

My series of posts about comic book shops has been limited to London, because that’s where I live and have done for quite a few years. However, I have also lived elsewhere and found places to buy comics in these cities; I thought I’d share some memories to keep up the theme. It makes me feel old by writing this, but twenty years ago I went to the University of Bristol. I had a great time, and Bristol is a wonderful place in its own right, but it was also great in that it had a comic book shop on […]

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Comic Book Shops: Mega-City Comics (Number 8 In A Series)

Mega-City Comics (I’ve used the hyphen based on the shop sign), named after the cities in Judge Dredd, has been around for over 20 years, selling comics from its location in Camden to the huge number of people who come to visit the market. When I was a younger man and lived in north London, I would visit Mega-City Comics on my way back from visiting Gosh, Comic Showcase or Forbidden Planet, so it was nice to seeing it still going strong (and with the obligatory and packed website). On a market road just up from Camden Town tube station, […]

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Comic Book Shops: 30th Century Comics (Number 7 In A Series)

Along with They Walk Among Us and Avalon Comics, 30th Century Comics is a comic book shop in London that is south of the river, in Putney ( a few minutes’ walk from the train station, a bit more from the underground stations). Seeing as only 10% of all London Underground stations are in south London, three comic book shops in south London is quite a high number. Like the others, it is in a nice part of south London (yes, there are nice parts of south London), on a quieter road away from the main high street. 30th Century […]

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Comic Book Shops: Avalon Comics (Number 6 In A Series)

(Apologies for the unprofessional photo – you can see my reflection in the shop door. Scratch off ‘photojournalist’ for the list of potential careers.) In the previous posts in this series, I’ve talked about comic book shops mostly situated in central London; these are shops that are some distance from my home and require a trip on the tube to get there. Avalon Comics, on the other hand, is the shop closest to me as the crow flies, but, because it’s a bit more of a pain to get to, I don’t go there, and this makes me feel bad. […]

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Comic Book Shops: They Walk Among Us (Number 5 In A Series)

They Walk Among Us is a small comic book shop in Richmond, which means it’s quite a distance from the previous four comic book shops in central London I’ve talked about so far. I would have thought that the location would be a negative ‒ the central London shops can always guarantee a lot of passing trade, in addition to the regulars who work locally ‒ but the website says they’ve been going for 21 years, so it must be okay, and Richmond is a lovely place with lots of other little boutique shops that seem to be surviving. Richmond […]

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Comic Book Shops: Comic Showcase (RIP)

(Photo taken from Rich Johnston’s Lying In The Gutters: specifically this post containing his rundown of the central London comic book shops) The other comic book shops that I have talked about in the central London area are still operating; Comic Showcase is no longer with us, which is a great shame. The photo above shows the second site of the shop, on Charing Cross Road, near Leicester Square tube station. I’m not sure exactly when it moved there, but it used to be located the Shaftesbury Avenue end of Neal Street, a funky, pedestrianised street off Covent Garden. It […]

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Comic Book Shops: Orbital (Number 4 In A Series)

All the shops in Central London I’ve talked about so far, Orbital is the newest on the block that is still doing business. Like Forbidden Planet, it too has moved location, upgrading from Old Compton Street in Soho to the Tottenham Court Road end of Charing Cross Road. However, its front is the ugliest of the shops shown – a door with a logo next to a barber’s shop on a very busy road (in fact, almost around the corner from the original Forbidden Planet shop). When you enter the small doorway, down the stairs with the walls covered with […]

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Comic Book Shops: Comicana (Number 3 In A Series)

Comicana is a small shop on a small joining road between New Oxford Street and Shaftesbury Avenue, about halfway between Gosh! and Forbidden Planet. There are few shops in the actual vicinity, so you’d really have to go out of the way to go to the shop. The only thing, when compared with those two shops, there isn’t a really compelling reason to go there. This shop is all comics; from the posters in the window (which don’t let in much natural light into the interior) to the long boxes and shelves and those on the wall. The only non-comics […]

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Comic Book Shops: Forbidden Planet (Number 2 In A Series)

When talking about comic book shops in London, particularly the central London shops that have flown the flag for the medium for so long, Forbidden Planet dominates the story. Forbidden Planet was the first ‘proper’ comic shop I went into. I had previously bought comic books from newsagents (back when they sold the new issues) but was told of this treasure trove by a friend in school. The original Forbidden Planet was a small shop on Denmark Street (also known as Tin Pan Alley, due to all the guitar and music shops on the same street) and it was packed […]

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