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New England Comics - Malden, Massachusetts location

New England Comics is already on the masterlist, but I’d really like to highlight the Malden location. It’s my weekly Wednesday visit and the staff and regulars are a wonderful array of people of all walks of life - women and POCs come in to pick up their subs every week. Have been recommended some fantastic series here and the staff is a very friendly, outgoing group who are seemingly always ready to talk shop with newbies and who take very good care of their regulars.

JP Comics & Games, , MA

JP Comics & Games

603 Centre Street

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

JP Comics & Games is a fixture in the community of Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood in Boston, MA.  The owners - Paul, Cole, and Keith - are friendly, affirming, helpful folks who are easy to talk to and welcoming to everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, newness to comic culture or any other identity or factor.  

All the owners are easy to talk to and welcoming of discussions and critiques of comic titles and culture.  I have witnessed the owners respectfully discuss misogyny, hetero-cissexism, and racism in comics, and the (almost) monthly comic forum events are frequently populated with folks discussing both the historical and present currents of culture, artistic style, and narrative in comics.  [On a more personal note, I have had one of the owners ask me to help teach them to politely ask folks what pronouns they prefer, in order to be more respectful of folks with a diversity of gender identities.]

Paul and Cole are especially good at helping folks newer to comics to broaden their reading by providing excellent tailored suggestions based on titles they are already reading.  They are also good with steering folks who have never read comics before in the direction of titles they will enjoy based on their preferences in story telling in movies, books, or other media.

Before moving to JP, and finding my comic home (and many friends) at JP Comics & Games, I had fallen out of reading comics.  I have never had a better experience than at this store.  I would recommend it to anyone in the Boston area, or anyone who finds themselves in town on a Wednesday looking for their comic fix.  They also have board game nights on Thursday and Saturday, as well as Dungeons and Dragons night on Wednesday, all of which are equally welcoming and fun!

Website: www.jpcomicsandgames.com

The Comic Hunter, Moncton, NB

The Comic Hunter

465 Main Street

Moncton, NB

(506) 855-4950

This shop is a must-visit for me whenever I’m in the Moncton area. I’ve always been well-treated here, and the staff have been quite willing to engage with me as a female patron. To say nothing of the amazing collection of backissues they offer.

Very friendly, very helpful, and I always manage to find something fabulous when I visit. I’ve gotten some really hard to get comics here, and it’s always a very positive experience. Of all the comic shops I visit, this one is among my top 3 favorites.

At this shop, you’re made to feel welcome.

Website: http://comichunter.net/

Sci-Fi Factory, Keller, Texas

Sci-Fi Factory is a small comic and gaming shop in Keller, Texas that opened about a half a year ago. The full address is 10716 N Beach St, Keller, TX 76244. I’ve been in multiple times with my boyfriend and on my own, and have always been treated very nicely by the people there and the owners. There are Magic: the Gathering and YuGiOh tournaments on Friday and Saturday respectively, and the tournament atmosphere here seems far less hostile than my experiences at the next closest comic shop to my area (Star City Games).

Galaxy of Comics, Van Nuys, USA, California

http://galaxyofcomics.com/

I’ve been in multiple times and the people here seem very nice to newcomers and were very welcoming. The employees will talk to you without any of the holier-than-thou attitude that plagues so many shops. I’ve never felt judged or creeped out by any of the employees, nor have I ever been hit on in store. They’re really helpful if you’re looking to find a specific issue. 

Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, Michigan

Green Brain Comics
http://www.greenbrain.biz/

Dearborn, Michigan

Safe/Unsafe: Safe

I was very, very surprised to see no reference to Green Brain Comics under the Michigan tag. Their staff should be commended for being respectful and making the overall shopping experience a comfortable one.

Main thing is that it’s what a small business’ environment should be like—clean, well-lit, and organized. Really diverse selection too. In addition to new and old issues of the main american comic titles, they have an impressive inventory of international titles, indie comics, and even an ashcan (small comics) rack.

Accessiblity:

The store is situated in one of the older buildings in that part of Dearborn, yet the store is on the same level and there are no steps to negotiate. The foyer is rather constricted because of where the stairs to the record store above start, but the rest of the store is pretty comfortable with its generous aisles. The only other access issue I can think of is that the parking lot would pose a bit of an issue for specialized vans.

Country: USA
State: Michigan
City: Dearborn

The Beguiling - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This place is amazing, and has always ever been helpful, friendly and polite with everybody who comes into their shop. I don’t shop for comics as much these days, but I used to go there fairly often for their selection of obscure indie titles. They stock lots of indie and local comics and art, recommend and sell comics to schools and libraries, and are responsible for starting the (free!) Toronto Comics Arts Festival to promote comic reading. I can’t think of another comic store that has done so much to bring graphic novels to the community than this place. They also have a kid-oriented store called Little Island Comics.

Page 45 (Nottingham, England)

Page 45 is a comics shop in Nottingham that expressly bills itself as being accessible to everyone and having stock for people of all interests. I’ve been shopping here on and off for five years and they’ve always been stellar to me - there’s three regular members of staff (one woman, two men), who are all very welcoming and are really kind to newbies. If you come in and say “I like x and y, what do I read next?”/”I’m interested in z character, where’s the best place to start?” they can usually advise you, or if you say “I’ve never read a comic before” they’re pretty good about finding out what you like and making recommendations from there. From what I hear, they’re also pretty good at recommending for parents/kids as well, if that helps.

They specifically stock a lot of non-superhero comics (including manga! And comics published in the UK!), and have a good selection of LGBTQA titles.

To my knowledge, the shop is disabled accessible, and if you can’t get into the shop in person then they seem quite happy to handle queries via phone/email/twitter/post. The general atmosphere is kinda like Waterstones, which I think I’ve read was to make it look like a regular bookshop and so be less intimidating? The only thing to be aware of is that when the owner is in he usually has the music turned up quite loud, which could be a problem if you are sensitive to noise.

(I’m sorry if this sounds a bit gushy - I’ve taken recommendations from these people before and they’ve not steered me wrong yet, and I really appreciate being a regular of a comic shop where I’ve never ONCE seen anyone given grief for their gender or preferences. Plus, they’ve been really good about ordering titles in for me when I’m the only one in Nottingham reading that manga…)

Additional info about Apparations and Vault of Midnight

I live in Grand Rapids, MI and I saw that more info was needed for a few shops around here. I agree that there are some caveats for Apparations. I’ve only gone with my boyfriend (he has his pull list there and knows one of the guys who runs it for years), and even then I’ve dealt with hearing snide misogynistic and transphobic comments from Tom, one of the workers.  y boyfriend agrees that he can be very dismissive and intimidating towards new readers. They do have an extensive collection older comics, so if you know what your looking for and can tune out negative bs, it’s worth a look.  

Vault of Midnight is very newbie friendly, as they carry lots of trades, and their staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. They carry more graphic novels and independent titles than other shops in the area, and they recently hosted a panel about women in the comics industry, and might be starting up a reading club soon. Most of the staff is female, and I have never dealt with harassment. The only issue is that they are located downtown, and finding parking can be a shitshow.

These aren’t the only two places in town. Argos Book Shop in Eastown sells all kinds of used books and comics, and the owner and employees are pretty nice and courteous. Tardy’s Collector’s Corner has a great selection of older comics, and their staff has always been funny and helpful. Plus, they are right next t an amazing deli with great burgers and gyros.

Keep in mind that I’m a white woman who is usually going to these places with my boyfriend, so your mileage may vary. Out of all of these places, Vault is probably best for those with disabilities as their store is more spacious and easier to navigate.

Superhero Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Florida, USA

My friend asked me to go with her the first time she went because she was nervous and had never been to a comic book store before. But we were both pleased to find that the store owner was very helpful and was genuinely pleased to see new customers stop by. He gave my friend a lot of recommendations based upon what she’d originally stopped by for (the new Ms. Marvel), pointing her towards other female-led comics as well as comics that would help her understand what was going on with the Ms. Marvel storyline better. No judgement at all over the fact that she was 1) a woman and 2) pretty much clueless about comics. We’ve both gone back several times with no negative experiences and have recommended it to other friends.

I will also tentatively deem this place lgbtq friendly as I am queer and was not made to feel unwelcome at all. However, I do not have any direct evidence of this— just a good feeling.

Also, I know that there is at least one female employee there and I believe that she organizes a comic book book club at the shop, but I’ve never been to any of the meetings.

Anonymous

Anonymous asked:

I just want to say, I live in Sarasota now and glad I saw Dark Side Comics on here because I've been in once, just browsed and wasn't harassed. But When I was growing up In Ft. Lauderdale Tates was where me and my middle school girlfriends would BEG for our parents to take us. Looking back, it was a great experience, we would stay there almost all day.

Thanks!

commanderrogerssteve asked:

There's a place in Melbourne, Australia called Minotaur. I've only been there a few times and the second time I've been there I bought a comic, and it's just a fantastic place (it's not just comics, there's books, movies, tv shows, nerdy stuff but there's a huge area for comic books). I've never encountered any sexist remarks there so I believe it's safe.
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