In the span of a few weeks, the coronavirus has transformed our daily lives. While a few of us might he happy kicking back at home while we all weather the storm, most of us aren’t accustomed to being shut-in, having to come up with new ways to entertain ourselves or the entire household.
At the same time, businesses are doing it tough with sales dropping off as customers stay home. But it doesn’t have to be this way – there are plenty of local comic book stores that deserve our support and are in a great position to help us get through weeks in isolation.
Whether you’re into comics and graphic novels, card games, board games, puzzles, video games, role playing, rare collectibles or looking to pick up something new, there are stores in every state taking online orders, doing curb-side delivery, showcasing some amazing new stock and old favourites on social media, setting up online reading groups for fans of pop culture and more.
To keep you entertained through the lockdown, we’ve put together a list of some comic book stores in each state and how you can support them right now.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Kings Comics have a professional online store with thousands of items listed already, but they’re also working on uploading as much of their old catalogue as possible, to give readers even more variety while isolating. The team are setting up an online quarantine book club and investigating how to transition their popular Queens of Kings monthly women’s comic book group online.
Keep an eye on Facebook for updates on upcoming book clubs.
Sydney’s largest bookstore, Kinokuniya also stocks an extensive collection of manga, graphic novels, Pop! Vinyls and more.
All of their stock is available for purchase via the online store or over the phone on (02) 9262 7996. They have amazing Studio Ghibli movie puzzles available, as well as a range of games including Cards Against Humanity, Marvel’s Codenames, Betrayal at the House on the Hill and Dungeons and Dragons.
Visit Facebook for the latest recommendations, video tutorial and photos of merchandise.
An Aladdin’s cave of comics, collectibles, anime and manga, Minotaur are doing video tours of their extensive collection on Facebook. If you see anything you like you can message them on Facebook to buy items directly and save yourself the time searching their online store, which is definitely worth a look at the impressive list of genres, fandoms and collections they stock.
Minotaur’s team works in comics, film and television outside of retail hours so check out the new Youtube channel they’ve launched for the shut-in.
ALL STAR COMICS
A great local hangout, All Star Comics are working to get their online store up and running. In the meantime all titles available for purchase are up on Facebook and orders can be placed via Facebook, email or during business hours on (03) 8614 3700.
The team at All Star Comics live and breathe comics so are more than happy to offer over the phone advice for customers who aren’t sure of what’s out there or what to try next.
Fully stocked with toys, collectibles, comics, trades, board games and cards games, Alternate Worlds do mail outs, curb-side delivery, and some socially distant service at the counter.
They’re currently offering 25% off all back issues and have half a million comics in their warehouse dating back to the 1940s.
Check out their online store for the full range and to place an order.
Over 30 years of service, with a slick website and online store, Comics Etc. has a great selection to get you through months isolation. They’re also doing a daily live show on Facebook, so if you’re looking for recommendations, reviews and a good laugh tune in at 2pm.
ACE COMICS AND GAMES
A well know local meet-up for Brisbane geeks, boasting an impressive list of events, Ace Comics and Games have just opened a new online store that should be able to keep fans going until it’s safe to come back for regular role playing and board game nights.
If you’re looking for recommendations and some great memes check out their Facebook page.
ADELAIDE COMICS CENTRE
The go-to comic book store in Adelaide since 1989, the Comics Centre has all the major new releases and back issues, as well as action figures and art books. The team are taking online orders and will be announcing sales as well as special events via Facebook.
Opened in 2016, Greenlight Comics is a great new addition to the Adelaide pop culture scene. They have a sophisticated online store, offer membership with discounts, and have a very active Facebook community, which regularly features comic book reviews and recommendations, as well as live video.
Perth’s friendly neighbourhood comic shop has a solid collection of apparel, toys, posters, comics and graphic novels, and is happy to order in any hard-to-find editions.
Another Perth favourite, Collector Zone stock everything from comics, pop vinyl, action figures, graphic novels to premium Disney jigsaw puzzles from Japan.
Comiczone is an important member of the local community, supporting multiple charity events, making donations of comic books to children’s care facilities and also hosting events such as Free Comic Book Day and Halloween ComicFest.
Eisner Spirit of Retailer Award nominees five years running, ComicZone has single issues, collectibles, statues, toys, apparel and anything else you can think of. The best way to give back to these local legends is by buying up stock through their online store and staying up to with any major announcements on Facebook.
For comic store regulars, the most helpful thing that people with standing orders can do is pick them up. Comic stores have to order the comics they stock for both the shelves and personal standing orders months in advance and pay for them in kind, so there are often cases where shops will have hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars worth of stock that’s already paid for waiting for customers to pick up. Collectors can check out the links above or get in touch with their local retailer to find out the best way of collecting their pull list while maintaining social distancing.
Lead Image: DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels And Chronology 2016