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Alan David Doane on Brian Hibbs’ Take Re: Bookstores Vs. Comic Book Stores
posted February 26, 2005

Alan David Doane
via the Internet

Brian Hibbs asks "Can we just stop worrying about the 'bad' DM stores, and pay more attention to the 'good' ones?"

This fascinates me, because how do you define a "good" comics shop?

My definition, which I posted earlier this week on my blog:

"Basically, my perspective is, if I can't find the latest offerings from Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly, Alternative Comics, Top Shelf, or Slave Labor in a given comics shop, it's not a comics shop. It's a superhero store. And when I want to go grocery shopping, I don't want to go to "The House of Grape Jelly," I want to go to a goddamned supermarket that has the fullest selection of product possible."

How many full-line stores are there? I seek out comics shops everywhere I go, nerd that I am, and by far, the ones that look at you funny when you ask where their Fantagraphics/D&Q stuff far outnumber the quality, full-line comics shops that seek to serve as wide a customer base as humanly possible. In fact, here's every one I've ever been in:

Earthworld, Albany, NY
Million Year Picnic, Cambridge, MA
Modern Myths, Northampton, MA
The Beguiling, Toronto, ON

I know there are more, because I talk to people on the computer internets, and hear tell of stores like Atomic Pop in Norman, OK or, of course, Jim Hanley's Universe. Or Hibbs's store, of course!

But is there a comprehensive list anywhere, regularly updated, of ONLY full-line comics shops where grown-up readers with diverse tastes can take their friends and loved ones, and reliably expect that the kids, the wives, the girlfriends, the boyfriends, the best buddies, everyone will have their tastes catered to?

If there is no such list, there should be.