By Philip Schweier
Oct 31, 2011 - 9:21
Not too long ago I was blessed with an 8-day to Europe;
specifically to London and Paris. Naturally, the opportunity to investigate the
comic book stores was too hard to resist. Thanks to the very friendly and
helpful clerk at one of London's game stores, we were directed to two stores.
The basement of Forbidden Planet. This photo shows maybe 1/3 of the space.
The ground floor features an extensive assortment of genre fiction related merchandise: posters, toys, Dr. Who memorabilia and so on. We did a small amount of holiday shopping for our fellow geek friends, finding many unique items that have yet to make their way to the U.S. The basement of the store is home to its media selection: American and European comic books, graphic novels, books and DVDs.
All in all, it would only be the most fickle fan who can’t locate a choice item or three in Forbidden Planet.
Next came Gosh Comics, at 1 Berwick St. Though it was recommended by the gentleman at the game shop, I found little to interest me, but that may have been because I was on a budget and had visited two stores already. However I did manage to locate a couple of back issues I’ve been unable to locate stateside.
Gosh Comics at 1 Berwick St., London
Moving further away from Notre Dame, we hit something of a motherlode. At the intersection of Bd. Saint-Germain, one will find what appear to be three separate stores, all featuring a royal blue awning with a gold oval and the single word “album” in it. I find it unlikely they’re all affiliated, and one was closed, but the other two both had ample selections of English-language comics (new and back issues) as well as French and Italian comics, as well as many statues, toys and other genre-related items.
Herge's Tintin, with his dog Snowy (Milou)
There are a few stores here in the U.S. (New York, San Francisco, et al), but I found it disappointing that in Paris there was very little to be found in the way of Tintin stores. The aforementioned Paris comic book stores carry some Tintin merchandise, but the only store I found was in London (34 Floral St, Covent Garden).
Certainly this is not a complete list of comic book stores in the London and Paris areas, but if these stores are any indication of what else Europe has to offer American comic book fans, it is clear to me that Americans visiting overseas will find plenty to whet their appetites, whether it is for mainstream material or something completely different.
Praise and adulation? Scorn and ridicule? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org