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London’s best comic book shops

Geek out with our selection of the top comic book stores in London

By Catherine O'Dolan and Things To Do Editors
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Whether your lounge looks like a shrine to Stan Lee or you’re dipping your toes into comic book stores and graphic geekery for the first time, go boldly with our pick of the finest shops for new and vintage comics, games, graphic novels, art and memorabilia. And, if you need more inspiration, check out our list of the 50 best comic book movies of all time. 

The best comic book shops in London

Book & Comic Exchange

Shopping Bookshops Notting Hill

Devoured your collection and crave something new? The Book & Comic Exchange will buy your old comics – and tempt you with others. Swap for cash or vouchers to use on future purchases, the joy is in rifling through the diverse rolling stock of new and vintage wares to find your next conquest.

What to buy? ‘Our stock ranges from sought-after comics like "New Mutants #98" (the first appearance of Deadpool) and out-of-print Moebius comics to our extensive selection of 50p back issues and bargain “surprise” bags of 10 comics for £1.’ Luke Skinner, Book & Comic Exchange

Forbidden Planet

Shopping Bookshops Shaftesbury Avenue

This is a bit like putting ‘Rolling Stones Greatest Hits’ in a best albums list, but FP is a great place to buy new releases. And posters. And… well, everything. Even if your only experience with comics is a stray copy of Viz you once read while on the loo, you can find solace in the sizeable film section, especially if you’re very into Studio Ghibli.

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Gosh! Comics

Shopping Bookshops Soho

The staff at Gosh! are full of knowledge but never make you feel stupid. Graphic novels are the speciality here , but it’s also well stocked with Marvel and DC omnibus hardbacks, prints, rare bookplated editions and a healthy supply of manga in the basement. Gosh! is known for its events too: regular ‘drink and draw’ sessions; and author signings (Alice Oseman, creator of queer graphic novel ‘Heartstopper’, will be in store on March 14). It’s right in the middle of high-footfall Soho but makes a real effort to support small-press and self-published comics by giving them decent shelf space alongside more commercially friendly titles. Get digging – you might find the next ‘Ghost World’ or ‘Scott Pilgrim’ among those stapled pages.

Mega City Comics

Shopping Bookshops Camden Town

Mega has been going strong in Camden Town since 1987, and has customers who have been visiting since they were buying Hulk comics with crumpled pocket money. Its shelves are lined with graphic novels, indie comics, vinyl toys and T-shirts, but keep an eye on the employee’s picks: the team of four know their stuff. It’s well-known in comics circles – even Alan Moore has made an appearance here. Mega loves a movie tie-in, so if you’re keen to deep-dive into the world of Harley Quinn after watching ‘Birds of Prey’, the staff will have piles of DC back issues to guide you on your blood-splattered journey.

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Orbital Comics

Shopping Bookshops Covent Garden

It’s nothing short of a miracle that this bright yellow ‘neighbourhood’ comic shop is still standing in Covent Garden. Like Gosh!, it makes space for small press. It is the place to go for rare back issues (claiming to have the best selection of vintage comics in London). Last year Jake Gyllenhaal paid a visit to promote ‘Spider-Man Far from Home’. Ask nicely and the Orbital staff might tell you which comics were touched by Mr Mysterio.

30th Century Comics, Flickr 2016
30th Century Comics, Flickr 2016
© Bob Walker

30th Century Comics

Shopping Bookshops Putney

The name’s futuristic but the inside is pure nostalgia. Here you’ll find boxes and boxes of vintage comics going all the way back to the 1900s. Flick through the yellowing pages of Doctor Strange and retro Bunty annuals. It also has a great collection of outmoded pulp novels with titles like ‘Two Smart Dames’. 

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The Cartoon Museum

Museums Art and design Fitzrovia

As well as reflecting the museum’s exhibitions, the shop stocks hot new products, as well as how-to books to inspire kids to read, draw and engage with cartoons and comics. There are gifts, posters and cards at pocket-money prices too.

What to buy? ‘As a nation with an unwavering love of “Doctor Who”, anything Doctor-related goes down well. Another perennial favourite is “How to Draw the Marvel Way”, which is as popular as it was when it was first published in the late ’70s. The cute, funny "Simon’s Cat" books and soft toys are proving popular too.’ Alison Brown, The Cartoon Museum

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