Mittwoch, 17. Juni 2015

London Comic Shop Guide

Here's a small guide for comic shops in London. Obviously, there are more opportunities to buy comics in London – you can get great offers for example at Portobello Market or at books stores like  Any Amount of Books on Charing Cross Road. But we'll focus on the shops that are dedicated to comics here primarly.

1. Mega City Comics (Camden Town)


How to get there: Just get out at Camden Town Station and continue to Camden Market. There's a sign pointing out to it, so you can't miss it.

Especially go there if you are into: US-comics, especially superheroes

Description: Mega City Comics is one of the smaller London comic shops. It focuses heavily on US-Comics and superheroes, although it also has a nice selection of 2000 AD, independent comics, European comics for the more mature reader and also merchandise like T-Shirts. The selection just isn't as diverse as some of the other shops that will be presented here.

  • big back issue selection (US comics and some British comics)
  • huge bargain bin (the biggest of all the comic shops in London), hundreds of comic books for 50p
  • some nice additonal offers
  • the guys working there are highly competent and sure know about superheroes 
  • quite small (which can be a plus too)
  • notably focuses on superheroes and US-comics 
My personal opinion: The first London comic shop I got to know and I still like it, but other shops offer a better variety.

2. Gosh Comics (Berwick Street, Soho)


How to get there: Just get out at Leicester Square or Picadilly Circus and make your way to the heart of Soho :)  There are now signs but you can't miss Berwick Street.
Especially go there if you are into: Anything from underground to mainstream

Description: Gosh Comics – together with Orbital comics – probably offers the most diverse selection of any comic shop in London. They have everything from fanzines to the most recent US releases. The back issue collection is smaller compared to other shops though.

  • great variety of comics: US comics, European, Underground – you can get it all at Gosh Comis
  • gallery
  • some nice bargain comic bag offers
  • relativly small back issue collection 
  • relativly small bargain bin 
My personal opionon: Togehter with Orbital Comics probably the best 'all-round' comic shop in London.

 3. Forbidden Plant Megastore

(I will focus on the comic section here.)


How to get there: It is located near the following underground stations: Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Road (the last being closed during all of 2015), just in the centre of London in Shaftesbury Avenue near Odeon Cinema. Don't miss the chance to visit the great book shops on Charing Cross Road on your way there (like for example Any Amount of Books were you will also find some comics)!

Especially go there if you are into: new releases

Description: The comic selection of Forbidden Planet offers a huge selection of all kind of comic books and related magazines. The focus is entirely on recently released comic books.

  • huge and diverse selection of new comics
  • cheap comic bag offers
  • no back issues
  • few special offers
  • no real 'comic shop atmosphere'
Personal opinion: My least favorite of all of them, huge selection but lack of back issues gives it a almost sterile feeling.

4. Orbital Comics


How to get there: It's located near the before mentioned Forbbiden Planet, the nearest Undeground station is Leicester Square. Either take Cranbourn Street and then a turn to the left (you will see a Five Guys on your right there) or take Charing Cross Road and then a turn to the right into Great Newport Street.

Especially go there if you are into: Anything from underground to mainstream

Description: Orbital Comics very much resembles the before mentionend Gosh Comics. It's located in Central london, has a very varied selection of comic books and a nice back issue section. The variety you get here may even be a little big better. It has one room just dedicated to European and Underground comics.

  • huge selection of recent and back issues
  • gallery 
  • big selection of European and Underground comics
  • second hand section
  • good comic bag offers
  • prices on second hand paperbacks might be a little bit steep 
My personal opinion: Once again, probably the best 'all-rounder' of them all.


5. 30th century Comics


 How to get there: Get out at Putney Bridge Underground Station. You will see signs pointing out to the pedestrian bridge when exiting the station. Cross the bridge and then keep to the right along  the Thames for about 10 minutes. It's close to the central street of Putney.

Especially go there if you are into: Vintage US and British comic books

Description: 30th century is a paradise for every nostalgic comic book reader. The small shop is filled on two floors with US and British comics, magazines and some books from 1900 to today. You will find items ranging from 1 to several hundred £ here. They also offer new stuff, but it's clearly not the focus here, the shop clearly addresses itselfs to the collector of vintage comics. This means higer prices too, naturally, but the shop offers something for every budget.


  • huge selection of US and British comic books & magazines from 1900 to today: Marvel, DC, Dell, Warren etc.
  • possible faults of the comics are clearly labelled 
  • very well organized, you'll find the stuff you want easily 
  • good prices (of course, due to the focus on vintage comics, they tend to be a little bit higher than in your average comic shop)
  • offers something for every budget 
  • very competent staff that are sure to help you out with every question you have
  • no European stuff, but that's clearly not the focus of the shop
  • bargain bin practically non-existent, but once again, this is not the focus of the shop  
My personal opinion: Might be my favorite of them all. It's hard for me to spend much less than two hours in this shop, looking at old comic book covers again and again. After my first visit, my hands were black from ink.


6. Books and Comics Exchange 


Esepcially go there if you are into: Anything from underground to mainstream

How to get there: At Noting Hill Gate Underground Station, use the exit to Portobello Market and take a turn to the right. It's a few steps from there.

Description: This one isn't a comic shop per se, because it also offers hundreds and thousands of books and magazine. I will focus on comics here. It's a second hand shop, but at least some stuff in the basement looks like new to me. Upstairs the comic books are organized by publisher, writer etc. Much detail was put into some of the descriptions and there are funny messages to thiefs scattered all around in the shop. It has a great atmosphere, with stuff even on the floor, especially in the basement. The shop offers some real gems if you take a closer look. Relativly cheap copies of Silver and Bronze Age comics are available. You can even get some German or French Graphic Novels for 1£ if you are lucky! In the basement, almost every comic book is 50p! You will easily spend an hour there, somethings even crouching on the floor to find some good offer. Some people on the net complain about unfriendly staff, but I believe that depends on who's at the counter.

  • huge selection: Silver Age, Bronze Age and today, US, European, Underground etc. – you might find anything here! 
  • generally good to very good prices 
  • great atmosphere
  • 50p bargain basement. That's right, not a bin, but a whole basement is dedicated to bargains! 
  • very good comic bag deals
  • even some foreign language comics 

  • some of the prices for paperbacks might be a little bit steep
  • a little bit chaotic – but adds to the atmosphere in my opinion
My personal opinion: Another personal favorite. You can't beat the prices and especially the atmosphere. Something for everyone here.