How to Shop for Comic Books

(And Where to Get Them Free on May 2)

Comments

1
Between Zanadu, Arcane and the sadly defunct Coffee & Comics, Seattle has provided me with the best comic shopping experiences of my life. Notably at the U District Zanadu, which is packed with employees who are excited to recommend and pan equally.
I, too, have had the experience of being outright told by an employee that the glossy, expensive book I'm about to pay for isn't as good as a smaller, cheaper book. If that isn't an honest commitment to your customers, I don't know what is.

I'm currently tighter on cash than I have been in the past, but comics are still a guilty pleasure that I'm happy to indulge in on occasion. Thanks for the excellent article!
2
arcane employees tell me not to buy things all the time, they are usually right, i should listen to them more... they could have saved me some serious cash. their ballard location is great, im gonna have to check out that west seattle store...
3
Now if only Capitol Hill could get a comics shop. I cannot believe a place as funky as the Hill doesn't have one.
4
I agree with Bug Dozer. Capitol Hill needs/deserves its own comic shop.
5
Hey bug and tyler,

Typical Cap Hill sense of entitlement...

Cap Hill used to have a shop, but didn't support it. That's right, there was a great off-the-wall comic shop that split space with the Wall of Sound. Sales were lousy and the owner couldn't afford his rent. How much does Cap Hill "deserve" a comic shop if they couldn't support the one they already had?

If you're really jonesin', Bailey and Coy carries a small but quality selection of comics. When I lived on Cap Hill, they were always glad to order anything I asked for.
6
Very nice piece. I hope it drives some comics novices into any of the GREAT comic shops we have in this town.
7
The best comic shop in Capitol Hill is that huge Half Price books. Theres a good amount of cheap comics and graphic novels there.
8
There was also once a small comic shop about a block off of Broadway, in the mid 1990s -- either on Denny or John, I can't remember which. At the time, local comic shops were plentiful, especially on the Eastside, where there must have been a good 15 of them, to today's zero (I think the musty one next to Houghton Market is closing).
9
"Now if only Capitol Hill could get a comics shop. I cannot believe a place as funky as the Hill doesn't have one."

Yeah, Fallout? Was there for 100 years. Now stop saying "funky."
10
as for what kirbyvsbea said, didn't fallout carry comics too? i miss confounded. they had lotsa great zines too.
11
haha, weird that we both posted that at the same time?
12
I don't understand what's wrong with statues and lunchboxes... Personally, even though I'm not terribly interested in them, I feel like they give comix stores their pop-culture flavor. Since I couldn't find a single mention of Greenwood's Dreamstrands in any of this, I have to give them a shout-out. Super low-key, and really welcoming of non-typical comic lovers. They are always really nice to my eight-year old daughter, and they stock good all-ages comics too, in their own section. Also, to everyone who really just wants to read graphic novels, and not collect them: the Seattle Public Library has a rapidly expanding collection - full of some really good indy and mainstream stuff. They also take buying suggestions. Yay SPL! How I love you!
13
what, zanadu too far? Zanadu is great. I was lucky...I had the fantastic Bailey's Comics around the corner from my house where I grew up. Good times.
14
I don't particularly mind driving up to the U-District to visit Comics Dungeon, because the people there are quite friendly and helpful. All I'm saying is that there has never been a comic store on Capitol Hill since I've lived here, and if there were one, it would make me happy.
15
Arcane had a terrible selection of 'free' comics. From what I saw only Marvel and DC crap. No D&Q or Fantagraphics. I walked out majorly disappointed without buying anything even though I had intended to pick up new some new stuff.
16
Lloyd - One thing I remember from working in a comic store (and this may have changed in the last few years) is that the bigger name free comics (that is, Marvel and DC) cost the stores less. The pricing as I recall is set by the publisher, which means that Marvel and DC can afford to charge less for their books than smaller companies.

The books are divided into Gold and Silver depending on how heavily the participating company is sponsoring FCBD, and retailers are required to order a certain number of Gold books before they're able to order Silver books at all.

So the selection a store carries doesn't necessarily reflect any particular endorsement of superhero comics over indie or anything like that - especially at Arcane, which I think is a great store with tons of product packed into a really small space, and a very helpful staff. It's more likely to be indicative of their budget and what the people who showed up before you decided to pick up.
17
Competent and broad article on the scene/culture/retail experience. Nice one! Sorry those who posted comments to the effect, but any adult who's too lazy or 'inconvenienced' to take a 20 minute bus ride from the Hill to Downtown or the U-Dist - well damn, it must not be that important to you to begin with. That, and/or laziness is how your cultural values/interests are really prioritized.

This past week on "Comic Book Day" the U-dist with Zanadu, The Dreaming and Comics Dungeon (with their amazing backissue selection and a 30-60% off sale!) really delivered on the quality reads, helpful and informative service and pricing that didn't reflect the 'collector' mentality. Most everything I found was coverprice or less!
18
Competent and broad article on the scene/culture/retail experience. Nice one! Sorry those who posted comments to the effect, but any adult who's too lazy or 'inconvenienced' to take a 20 minute bus ride from the Hill to Downtown or the U-Dist - well damn, it must not be that important to you to begin with. That, and/or laziness is how your cultural values/interests are really prioritized.

This past week on "Comic Book Day" the U-dist with Zanadu, The Dreaming and Comics Dungeon (with their amazing backissue selection and a 30-60% off sale!) really delivered on the quality reads, helpful and informative service and pricing that didn't reflect the 'collector' mentality. Most everything I found was coverprice or less!
19
The Owners of this shop are amazing. They worked very hard to bring such a great shop to the Seattle area. Recession or not, you cant pass up on good customer service and truely good hearted people.
20
I haven't been to Arcane's locations, but can definitely endorse those of Zanadu's branches. Knowledgeable, friendly and occasionally goofy staff working for Perry -- the U district branch is my local comic store (lcs) and it's a pleasure to shop and smooze with manager John, Sean and Ed there.