A Tale of Three Comic Book Shops

Visits to three different Portland comic book shops in the last month for books or events spurred some quick reviews on my experience with each.

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Excalibur Books and Comics 

Long white boxes for days.

2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 231-7351 

This has been my go-to comic book store since I picked the habit back up a few years ago.

I’ve had a box here off and on –  though I stopped by recently to pick up a few books because of their convenient 8pm closing time.

The visit was prompted by the need to secure issue #1 first issue of Stumptown, and the owner sold my her last (and personal) copy. It absolutely made my day! 

This is the place to go to pick up back issues of the major books and I’m a huge fan of their 50% off sales. 

Cons: All the books are sealed before you buy them, so no REAL browsing, and the atmosphere is not conducive to hanging out or spending any quality time chatting with other nerds. All the space is taken up by comic goodness, so it’s hard to really complain.

For the most part, this a weekend visit store for hunting down something very specific. It reminds me of the comic book shop of my youth, when I would spend hours thumbing through back issues and inhaling the scent of musty pages. Mmmm.

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Cosmic Monkey Comics

Vibrant colors and open spaces make this one of Portland's most inviting comic book shops.

5335 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 517-9050 

Looove the new location. I’d stopped by a few times when they had the Gateway shop and it was cramped, but the staff was friendly. I think they’re doing better business with more space for customers to roam. This place has the casual cool ambiance of a typical Portland location as well.

I stopped by to pick up a book they didn’t have (The Guild)…but ended up going home with several other comics anyway. The dude behind the counter left folks free to search at their leisure but answered questions with ease and a general knowledge of good customer service.

Liked how the books were arranged – alphabetical with several months worth of back issues still on the shelves, and not sleeved so I was free to pick them up and leaf through them. 

Ended up buying more books because of the freedom to browse. It really does make a difference in the buying experience. Why would someone buy a car without test-driving it first? And as the price of an issue increases, people are getting pickier about what books they purchase. Hence – browsing.

Also like that it’s the closest comic shop to Outer SE, and I’m probably going to become a regular here because it’s a simple jog off the freeway from my regular commute. Plus the hours are reasonable. Guapo Comics and Books – I’m looking at you!

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Floating World Comics

Snazzy blue shelves bursting with books.

20 NW 5TH Ave
Ste 101
Portland, OR 97255
(503) 241-0227 

First time I dropped by this shop was to attend an Oni Press event featuring the talents of Matt Wagner and Joelle Jones. Got to meet Jaime S. Rich and have a book signed by them.

AND picked up a few books for reviewing as well. 

The dude behind the counter was extremely helpful, and the atmosphere was great (no sleeves so you can browse) but is a bit on the small side. 

The location isn’t entirely beneficial to me either. I don’t work downtown or spend much time in this area of Portland, so I’d probably only show-up for specific events. 

And of course buy some books while I was there. How else am I gonna support these venues and the art-form? 

I’d probably be a regular if it were closer-in. But I’m sure this services the downtown area quite nicely.

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I do realize how wonderful it is to live in a city where you can encounter three different AWESOME comic book shops – and still not exhaust all Portland has to offer. That means more shop visits and reviews in the future!

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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

4 responses to “A Tale of Three Comic Book Shops”

  1. Peter says :

    Remeber Pegasus Comics on Sandy? That was my jam back in the day, when I used to “read” Gen13.

    • tinyheroes says :

      Actually I never went to there – did most of my early comic book shop nerding out in Clackamas, and then a bit at a shop on 122nd and Division. Both of them are looooong gone now. *tear*

      It seems like people are all “comic books are dying off,” but there are at least ten places in the Portland metro area dedicated to comic books. So – it’s thriving here. Elsewhere – perhaps – not so much.

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