Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ode to Local Comics Shops

I recently looked through my journals from the 1970s (small, spiral-bound notebooks) and found the answer to a question that had been bugging me for a while, ever since I found out Forbidden Planet NY hasn't existed as long as I'd thought. FPNY dates from the 1980s and in the 1960s through the early-'70s, I bought my comics at a local drugstore. So where did I buy them during the rest of the 1970s? The answer, I discovered, was Supersnipe Comic Book Emporium.

When I read that name in my journal, I got so excited. It was familiar! I hit up Google for info and was disappointed to look at photos that didn't further jog my memory. I shopped there. I wrote about going every week, walking over from college, to get my comics. I'm sure this is where I discovered comics-related publications, and yet, the actual memories of the place elude the conscious me. Still, it was clearly my first comic book shop experience, so I'm glad to finally have that mystery solved.

In the early-'80s, I got my comics from a little store called Action Comics (the owner said he'd licensed the name from DC), a few blocks from my apartment, and Forbidden Planet NY (FPNY), which had two locations for a few years and where I could also buy books (science fiction, some fantasy), calendars, and other related items. In the '90s, I alternated between FPNY and Jim Hanley's Universe before settling on FPNY and establishing a pull list there. Nowadays, it feels like a second home.

In all of these shops, never have I felt unwelcome. I might've been one of the few women who shopped in those stores, but I was never treated with anything less than respect as a paying customer. And visiting FPNY weekly is like visiting with friends, where I can discuss movies, favorite comics and characters, and action figures. And I've been able to entertain the younger-than-me staff at FPNY with my stories of going to comic cons in the '70s and getting to meet and get autographs from such big names in comics like Steve Gerber and Joe Kubert. All comic book readers should have a shop like that to visit.


  1. I am so glad that you have had good luck with comic book stores... and got to meet Gerber and Kubert! I can remember getting my books at thet local drugstore, and was over the moon when I found an actual comic book store at college. They had... BACK ISSUES!

    1. I think it's partly because I'm in NYC and there have been a lot of female comic book readers. When I was growing up in the '60s, none of my friends read comics, but when I started going to comic cons in the '70s, I discovered I wasn't so odd, after all.

      And yes, comics shops had back issues. What a concept!