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.
Excalibur Books and Comics
2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
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.
5335 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97213
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!
20 NW 5TH Ave
Portland, OR 97255
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.
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!