4267 Overland Ave., Culver City (310) 204-3240
Hidden away in a strip mall in Culver City, this simple, no-frills comic store has an impressive trade paperback selection without all the nonsense of memorabilia crowding the shelves.
7018 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles (323) 658-6047; goldenapplecomics.com
Nestled in the midst of overpriced vintage clothing shops, this bright and nicely laid out store gets the congeniality award. A friendly staff, great selection of easy-to-browse trade paperbacks and no cooler-than-thou vibe that plagues so many pop culture shops. Plus, it’s right around the corner from Pink’s!
Hi De Ho
525 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica (310) 394-2820; hideho.net
The Santa Monica area’s lone bastion of geekdom is thankfully a very good comic store. Their organization system could be a bit more clearly labeled, but once mastered reveals a solid selection with an emphasis on the major superhero titles. They also have bargain mystery bundles of back issues.
Melrose Music & Comics
7301 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles (323) 934-3373; thrillmerchants.com
For the collector on a budget, travel a few blocks east from Golden Apple to this small resale shop. There are too many T-shirts and action figures, and organization is not a priority, but do some digging and you might just find that missing volume of Sandman at half price.
7522 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles (323) 851-7223; meltcomics.com
Arguably the best comic store in Los Angeles, its sheer sprawl is a refreshing change of pace. The space isn’t wasted, accommodating a selection of impressive breadth – from all of the newest issues and art books to a focus on the smaller publishers, as well as art supplies. And the toys and memorabilia are all off to the sides, making it the most maneuverable of stores as well.
The Secret Headquarters
3817 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles (323) 666-2228; thesecretheadquarters.com
Far from your typical comic store, this little shop located in the heart of hipsterdom in Silver Lake was apparently once an actual spy safehouse. Hardwood floors, a sparse layout and solemn atmosphere are sure to keep away the grubby fingers of children, but also most of the fun of a local comic shop. That said, there is a nice focus on small publishers and more artsy fare. The selection also includes new weekly comics and the usual trade paperback suspects. Parking, however, can be a bit of a nightmare.
ON THE INTERNET
Comic Book Resources is the ultimate one-stop source for news, reviews and forums. The site also features regular columns by the likes of Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, writer Gail Simone and archived columns by Warren Ellis and Matt Fraction.
Comics.org – The Grand Comics Database – is a kind of IMDb for comic books, where you can find the credits for writers, artist and editors.
Other news/rumor sites: bleedingcool.com, newsarama.com, comicbookmovie.com, comicvine.com and comics.ign.com
Everyone knows fanboys can be an opinionated and contentious bunch, so it’s no surprise that there is a surfeit of comics-related podcasts out there. iFanboy, ComicVine, Fanboy Radio and Comic Geek Speak are just some of the chat shows that feature news, reviews of weekly releases and the occasional industry guest.
Luckily, the folks at comicspodcasts.com cull all of the comics podcasts out there and highlight and summarize their favorite episodes so you can cherry pick those that sound interesting.
One podcast that stands out is Wordballoon. Host John Squires comes off as less of a fanboy and more of a legit journalist – albeit one with extensive comic book knowledge. His show features epic, rambling phone conversations with big names like Matt Fraction, Brian Michael Bendis, Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker. And while some more structure to the interviews would be nice, he still consistently lands the best guests.
With the advent of the iPad, Webcomics just got easier to read. As with other areas of the digital revolution, Webcomics have provided a means for unestablished (and in some cases established) comic book creators to get their work to the public without having to go through the increasingly difficult machinery of even the smallest publishers. The corollary of this is that just about anybody can publish, regardless of quality. But a kind of communal vetting system is developing with the worthier comics emerging.
Web sites like thewebcomiclist.com and topwebcomics.com offer a kind of Billboard Top 100 list of the most popular Webcomics out there.
The majors are getting in on the action too. DC’s Web imprint, Zuda Comics, takes the form of a contest, with readers voting on their favorite weekly chapters of ongoing series. The winner is published in a hard copy. The fantastic Bayou is one such success story.
Get Your Comics Fix: Stop in These Stores