If you have been following the How to Love Comics Twitter you might know that I have been tweeting about new series and comics I have personally enjoying or looking forward to and wondered to yourself “Where can I get my hands on this comic?” This is a very valid question if you are new to comics, as comics are seen as a speciality item. Below I will let you know where you can buy comic books and graphic novels so you can start enjoying them.
Comic Book Stores
The comic book store is a speciality store dedicated to comic books. You can find the latest issues, graphic novels, back issues as well supplies for comic book storage. I believe this is the best place to get your comic books as the store has comics in their best interest and you will find the largest variety. A lot of stores allow for a pull list/standing order system in which they will reserve titles for you each month so you will not miss out. Also, if there is something you are looking for but can’t find most stores will order it in for you – as long as it is not out of print. Along with comics, many stores also stock collectibles, statues, t-shirts and other things similar. Others will stock card games (like Magic: The Gathering) and board games.
The people who work at the comic book stores are generally helpful and knowledgeable. You should be able to ask them questions, even if you think they are stupid ones. It is in the stores best interest that you ask questions as these questions might lead to sales, and maybe even on-going sales, for the store. They are also up for a conversation if the store is not busy and you will find they are generally easy going.
Not everyone who works in a comic book store is like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons, in fact I would believe that they make up a very small number of the people work at comic shops. If you come across someone like this here are a few thing you can do.
How can I find a comic book store near me?
To find your closest comic book store here are a few techniques I suggest.
If you are in the USA use the Comic Shop Locator which will show you all the closest stores to you based on you ZIP code.
For people outside the USA, like myself, Google is your friend. Try googling “Comic book store” and see what results in Google Maps appear. You can also try searching the latter term along with a location. If someone finds some kind of mega-list of stores please leave it in the comments, especially if it includes stores outside of North America as well.
When can I buy new comics?
Wednesday is new comic book day in USA, although in other parts of the world this may vary due to having to ship the stock overseas. The best way to find out is to ask your local store.
Book Stores often have a small section for graphic novels which is generally limited in choice than your regular comic book store. In my experience book stores generally stock a mixture of Marvel, DC, Vertigo, manga and the highly regarded classics like Maus. And like a comic book store, some book stores will order things in for you by request. Just keep in mind that each book store will vary on what they have in stock.
Online Book Stores
If there are no comic book stores in your area then you might want to go online. Some physical stores have an online store and that is always a good place to start as, like I mentioned earlier, they will be knowledgeable when it comes to what they sell. Some of them also allow for a subscription service and you will get an issue mailed out to you every month. Although keep in mind that the comics can be late and sometimes get ruined due to the mail service. But if you are thinking of a subscription service the one I have heard the best news about is Things From Another World. Both Marvel and DC Comics also have subscription services available on selected books.
Of course there are also the big ones, Amazon and the Book Depository. If you have ordered off them before, ordering comics is pretty much the same deal.
If you don’t mind reading comics on a tablet, smartphone or on your computer then digital comics might be for you. It is also great for people who do not have access to a comic book store.
Comixology is the leader in digital comics and you can either purchase comics through their website, or via one of their apps. Comixology handles all of the big publishers, apart from a select few so you can have almost all of your digital comics in the one place.
Other places to find digital comics include…
- Darkhorse Comics App – Home to all the Darkhorse digital comics
- Bongo Comics App – Where you can get all your Simpsons comics goodness
- Viz Media App – Manga in digital form.
- 2000AD App – Weekly British sci-fi
Ebay users are selling comics, old and new, all around the world is a good place to find bargains and hard to find comics. Buying comics from Ebay is just like buying anything else from eBay just make sure you read the description carefully and if in doubt contact the seller.
Comic Book Conventions
And finally, comic book conventions and pop-culture expos are a good place to buy comics and graphic novels old and new. Often retailers from all around the state and sometimes interstate will set up stalls, selling a variety of stock. While a lot of the vendors will have similar stock, the back issues will be different vendor to vendor. Comic Conventions are often the best place to look if you are tracking down a hard to find comic.
I’ve added this as a bonus as you can’t purchase comics from a library, but instead borrow them. This is a great place to find comics to read, especially if you are new to comics or unsure about a particular series and don’t want to risk the money. Just like books stores, each library you go to is going to vary as to what graphic novels/comics they have available.
Hopefully this list of suggestions will allow for comic books to be accessible to you so you can begin to read them and hopefully fall in love with them.
Feel free to leave any comments below on your experiences with finding comics or on anything mentioned in the article.
You can follow @HowToLoveComics on twitter.
Trevor Van As
Trevor Van As is the founder of How to Love Comics and has loved comics all his life. When he's not reading or talking about comics he can be found eating frozen yogurt and dancing like no one is watching.