Curious to see what the state of play is where everyone is. Up in Aberdeen, Scotland, we’ve got two great indie comic shops (my local does signings, but the other is a great shop as well), as well as a FP, but that seems more toy based, and we’ve had the second year of a local comic convention. So what’s your city like?
1 annual comic con.
1 dedicated comic shop (with books and merch)
1 bookstore with a massive comic shop section (with books and merch)
A few smaller books and merch stores
The local scene is very…derivative.
Nothing original really out here.
Two comic shops in the city of Sydney, but one is closing this year - the one that will remain open is a very inviting, bright, shop, with uniformed staff and a storefront display appealing to casual passers-by (usually tie-in merch to whatever big comic property is in theatres).
The one that is closing was the first comic shop I ever visited (bought The Killing Joke, among other things at age 9) and it has barely changed in 26 years; it’s very much the dark, smelly, unfriendly, dusty comic shop of old.
There’s an excellent TPB section in the massive Kinokuniya bookstore, and they hold events of some sort on occasion (not really my thing).
There are two or three other dedicated comic book shops that I’m aware of in the greater metropolitan Sydney area.
As for shows, Supanova is the big one nowadays, but as with things like Wizard World and even SDCC there’s more of a pop culture focus than comic books (with the biggest comic guest this year being Art Adams - most of the other guests are TV and voice actors). There’s a second event that’s not as well established - Oz Comic Con.
I am based currently in the Philippines. Here, the indy scene is pretty strong as the mainstream boys all collapsed in the early 2000’s. Comicons are a fan driven thing but last year, we had a really huge international one called AsiaPop Comicon (organized by comicon bigwigs in Singapore) which was a first. So it was a milestone. A true Convention with all the bells and whistles.
They had Missandei and Vision as guests (I mean, the actors). Anyway, great fun. There is another AsiaPop comicon coming this August where I already got my table.
To be sure, it’s been building up to that point and it is thanks to all the smaller organizers who have put up shows year after year until the fanbase has grown.
Today, we have a Komikon almost once every 2 months. With Cosplay events averaging once every 3 weeks. Cosplay is a HUGE thing here. There was one nearby at my local mall. the costumes are just stunning. Amazing to see the variety of materials kids now have.
Various cities all around the country are now holding their first Komikons which is a great sign.
For a year now, I have been making good money which is a great thing.
When I began 5 years ago, I treated the early comicons as just a social gathering for I would lose money.
And our local creators and superstars are so accessible.
It is very common to see Leinil Francis Yu, Harvey Tolibao, guys like Stephen Segovia of Dynamite signing at one comic book shop or other including the recent FCBD which was held at two major locations in Manila. Or they would just show up at a mall somewhere unannounced because they also buy comics by the armload.
One of our superfans (and fast becoming a good friend) got the trip of a lifetime when he rode in my car to visit Gerry Alanguilan (who inks for Leinil Yu but also created and drew the Eisner winning GN “Elmer”).
The scene is smaller than the USA, but more intimate like that.
Anyway, anyone wishing to come visit let us know.
I’m a bit spoiled growing up in New York – a wide choice of comics shops in all shapes and sizes, numerous small comics shows throughout the year, and now the big annual NYC Comic Con (which I have not yet attended).
When I go on vacation trips in the USA and overseas, I typically seek out an LCS to see how each city/region differs. Sadly, there are fewer and fewer places that actually have an LCS that I can visit.
The nearest city to me, about 15 miles, is Dundee. It has probably a good claim to being or having been at least, the comics capital of the UK. So many of the childhood comics mainly age group 5 - 12 were created and published there.
There are even bronze statues of comic characters in the streets.
Surprisingly, perhaps, I only know of two comics shops and one of them only opened recently.
Nowadays, though, it is probably better known as a major hub of the video games industry (not entirely a skill set mismatch with comics) being the birth place of major titles like Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto etc.
Although much of those have, through commercial success, moved to larger cities, the universities in Dundee are at the forefront of continuing to produce talent in the field.
Something worth mentioning is an exhibition this Summer on the history of comics, not in Dundee but in Scotland’s largest city Glasgow. It is on at the Hunterian Museum. It has examples of on display of comics throughout history, including the World’s first, allegedly ‘The Glasgow Looking Glass’ (I know, always going to be contentious.)
However the exhibition should be educational for those interested in comic history. See link.
A very short movie about the Glasgow exhibition which contains a brief interview with Frank Quitely so those who can’t make it can get a flavour of the exhibition.
I’ve been hearing rumours that Forbidden Planet are leaving Aberdeen and setting up shop in Dundee, though not sure if/when that would happen. Saying that though, the FP up here has had a ‘for lease’ sign up for about 8 years now.
Saying that though, I’m surprised there wasn’t an FP down there before, especially with the comic literature courses through the university. And having conventions with the likes of Warren Ellis and Dave Gibbons wouldn’t hurt either.
Arizona has some really great shops, some even host drawing nights once a week for local artists. The comicons are getting bigger every year and June’s phoenix comicon brought some great creators and artists, however, I’m still longing for the day shops have key issues lining the walls again. I really miss walking into a shop with some extra cash and finding a book that would hold its value.
I’m n indianapolis and we have a cpl of pretty nice cons that they started a cpl of yrs ago… I’m still trying to find some independent publishers tho