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Old 16-09-2009, 18:39
knowndeserter
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Going back to the early 80's I remember regularly visiting a shop called SlipStream which used to be down a back alley near the Central Station railways terminal.
The shops name was actually Timeslip, when it moved it became Son of Timeslip and was around the corner from the same record shop you describe, both being demolished to make way for the bus station.

About the same time as Timeslip there was a shop in Gateshead (south of the river) called Brainstorm, that I bought a load of Uk Marvels from @5p each. Happy days.
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Old 16-09-2009, 22:51
Otaku Joe
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TIMESLIP - THAT was it. Thanks. Dunno where Slipstream came from

The one you mention in Gateshead also rings a bell. I remember seeing an advert for it in the Starburst magazine. Not sure if this is the same one but it was way off the beaten track down an old back street and I remember apart from the comics in the back room were a load of old uk soft porn mags back issues.

Been to a couple of those comic marts held at Newcastle University but I was a bit disappointed as it was 99% american comic/tv/film stuff.
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Old 16-09-2009, 23:44
knowndeserter
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Don't remember the soft porn mags. Honest! But did manage to pick up large runs of Mighty World of Marvel, Spiderman and a complete run of Captain Britain weeklies. Remember then lugging them up the steep banks of Bensham to Gateshead Metro.

The comic fairs at the Uni are a complete shadow of their former selves. Seemingly half the size they were whilst still occupying the same room. Don't know if they ever stocked much in the way of Uk comics though. The best bet for that would've been Universal Exports, now also sadly gone.

I wouldn't say that F.P. has evolved into a manga/tv/film toy store, I would say devolved. It has to be one of the tattiest shops I've ever seen stocking new goods, even compaired to a pound store!
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Old 17-09-2009, 15:11
Otaku Joe
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Mighty World of Marvel, blimey, that does bring back memories. I much prefered the UK Marvel than the original USA versions to be honest

Been trying to think back on the places I used to get my comics from and I remember a big blue van that used to turn up at Blyth market which used to have one of it's side's open up where there would be a platform fixed where loads of periodicals, magazines and comics were on display. I was only little and I had to stand on an upturned milk crate to see over the top.

Think there was also a bookshop which sold old comics near the Spanish City in Whitley Bay.

More recently there was a small shop in the Newgate Centre in Newcastle which sold comics - mostly American - but there was also a number of those old A3 UK Marvel specials on a top shelf which the owner was selling for about 20 each. Wish I'd bought the Marvel Christmas Special and Savage Sword of Conan one's now as the shop is no longer there.

Too many comics not enough money.

Barter Books in Alnwick had a large selection of old UK annuals last time I was up there.

Btw, agree with you about FPlanet. Too much stuff not enough space.
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Old 17-09-2009, 19:20
knowndeserter
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The shop in Whitley Bay was called Off World comics (I think), very small but I liked buying from there as you could then have a pleasant walk along the coast to Tynemouth. Sadly it shut down a couple of years ago.

The other shop in the Newgate Centre was Universal Exports who moved there from the Green Market.

A place that does get some UK comics in is Keel Row bookshop in North Shields. I have seen annuals and boxes full of Commando/Battle/War Picture Library's. It is possibly the most untidy shop I have ever seen, but in a good way as it has loads of charm.
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Old 17-09-2009, 20:39
Gulftastic
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The 'old school' comic shop in Leeds was 'Skyrack' in the back of The Merrion shopping centre. Tiny corner unit, with loads of boxes of back issues. I loved it there, buying as many issues as my paper round money would stretch to.

After that came 'Oddysey', before it became FP. It used to be tucked away behind The Odeon cinema (now TK Max), and was smashing. Full of comics, comics and more comics.
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Old 17-09-2009, 20:40
Otaku Joe
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Haven't been there in over 30 years but it looks like a trip to North Shields is in order. Thanks for the info.
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Old 16-10-2009, 14:17
GreatCthulhu
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In Birmingham we have Nostalgia & Comics and a Forbidden Planet...so that pretty much covers your monthly releases in the Midlands. Plus there's a Forbidden Planet in Wolverhampton as well!!
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Old 16-10-2009, 17:15
Biffo the Bear
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Another mention for Page 45 in Nottingham; you lose track of time when you're browsing.
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Old 16-10-2009, 21:23
JAS84
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There's a comic shop in Hull (Anlaby Road to be exact) with a brilliant name - Amazing Fantasy. It is of course named after the comic of that title. I have to admit I've never been in though, so I'm not sure exactly what they sell.
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Old 18-10-2009, 17:24
Kablamo
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The three shops in Leeds have been mentioned but I'll probably stick to Ebay and such these days or 86th floor comics who run a mail order.

I just don't have the time to visit comic stores anymore and the internet really covers all grounds in terms of back issues.

I do visit the odd mart, convention and fair as well.
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Old 26-10-2009, 13:56
Jon T
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My local Forbidden Planet International branch in Hanley is much like all the other FPIs mentioned in this thread, now only carrying comics as an afterthought. The Hanley FPI used to be a much smaller store named Fantasy World/Another World, yet ironically carried far many more new and old comics before the move, when they were displaced for the usual array of action-figures and console games. They're also appalling at stocking some comics, the story being told that for some titles they only order in a handful of issues that get sold the same day. Common sense would suggest they simply order more issues in those cases, but if they operate the same way they handled my standing orders (i.e. they couldn't really care one way or the other), then I can see why they seriously downplay the comics side of the business.

Consequently, I hardly visit the Hanley store at all these days; which is probably just as well considering that FPI chain (rather than the confusingly-named Forbidden Planet) was recently hit by massive credit card fraud, mostly restricted to online transactions but also the occasional in-store hit as well. As I've come to expect from FPI, they barely acknowledged this massive fraud, and the only statements you'll find online come from Forbidden Planet (NOT International), who simply state it's not their chain of stores that are affected!

Anyway, not too far away from Hanley, there used to be a great second-hand bookstore simply called The Bookshop in Hartshill, Stoke, that used to carry hoards of old comics and books. Many's the time I spent in there getting some cheap silver and bronze age comics, Marvel and DC, UK and US! It wasn't to last however, as apparently a mega-collector eyed up the store's probably-underpiced stock and bought the lot, and with his store effectively gutted the owner closed up not too long afterwards, around 1995.

Slightly further afield, Manchester's got FPI (formerly Odyssey 7) and Travelling Man now, but they used to have a few other haunts that stocked old comics, most prominently the small chain of Empire Exchange stores, of which only one poorly-stocked store now remains. There used to be a small one of these on the corner from the BBC, but the story I heard was that the owner apparently closed up and sold all his back issues to the local FPI! Typically, FPI then allowed those issues to be sold, and then simply got rid of the back issue bins altogether; I think this must be a region-wide FPI thing, since my local branch doesn't carry back issues either. Manchester also has a Travelling Man there which is far more focussed on comics than FPI, and consequently much better stocked. In fact, back when the Manchester FPI was Odyssey 7, they actually had a second store located in the heart of the student campus on Oxford Road, but it closed up not long before I started studying there!

Actually, one Manchester shop in particular which has also long since closed down seemed to me more than a bit on the dodgy side. It was located behind the Arndale Centre and was in the basement of one of the buildings (they also had a prominent Batman picture on the side of the exterior wall). Every time I went in there they had a small guy standing somewhat nervously in the corner of the store. I never found out for sure, but I think he was the store's 'security'! The owner (who as I recall bore a passing resemblance to Corrie's Dennis Stringer!) could also occasionally be found making out with his girlfriend in the back of the store, which coincidentally or not, also housed a prolific collection of 'jazz mags'!

There also used to be bohemian shopping centre opposite called The Coliseum (not too dissimilar to the still-standing Affleck's Palace) that housed a couple of comic shops as well. One of them was called Moonwalk and it specialized in Star Wars memorabilia as well as comics, and the other one was mainly an action figure store with the occasional silver age comic to be found. In fact the guy who ran the action-figure store was one of the organizers of a local comics/science-fiction convention at one point as well. The Coliseum closed up in 2002, but both guys had moved out by then. The action-figure store moved to the Arndale Centre market, but he got rid of the comics, and the store closed up a couple of years ago. Moonwalk moved to Portland Street, not too far from FPI, but likewise closed up several years ago.

For the briefest of times there was also a place called The Last Picture Show in the Trafford Centre, but it was located in the market section which was gutted and replaced by a John Lewis store, because you can never have enough clothes shops in just the one shopping centre!

It's interesting, looking back on when there were more comic stores open, and when the existing stores actually focussed on comics; it really puts into perspective the boom and bust of the 80s/90s speculators' market.
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Old 27-10-2009, 13:07
StuB
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The Odyssey 7 stores in Manchester were the ones that started my collecting habit in earnest. I had always enjoyed comics as a kid, then at 16 I went to college and fell into a regular habit

It was always handy having the two stores to choose from, two options to look for any new releases or back issues, one at the Uni campus and the other at the Corn Exchange not far from the Arndale.

Then they opened the Odyssey "Superstore" (the site of the current FPI store) and closed the other two down.

Once work got me moving around the country I moved on to a place in Reading, which supplied issues in rubbish comic bags, then a place in the indoor market in Slough.

I then went mail order using ACE for a few years, and have now recently started using Proud Lion in Cheltenham. It's quite a small store, but fairly friendly and it feels good to back to doing things in person again.
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Old 27-10-2009, 13:20
manpen
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Typically, FPI then allowed those issues to be sold, and then simply got rid of the back issue bins altogether; I think this must be a region-wide FPI thing, since my local branch doesn't carry back issues either. Manchester also has a Travelling Man there which is far more focussed on comics than FPI, and consequently much better stocked.

Hi Jon T

normally I wouldn't comment as everyone has their own opinions and is entitled to them. But... I just wanted to say a few words in defense of FPI Manchester. The FPI stores do not have policy about back issues - some carry them - some do not. Dublin, Birmingham and Belfast have sections - some quite large. Many others don't - including currently Manchester. The basic reason for that is that back issues have largely been 'Ebayed' - sales are nothing like the volume they previously were through stores and therefore as we have quite large rents in our street positions in many cases they have given way to items that produce more revenue - not all toys - largely, in fact, Graphic Novels. Having said that - nothing is set in stone and you may even see them come back into some stores as other merchandise drops its production through these difficult financial times (many fewer people making toys now).

Regarding the stock mix between Travelling Man and FPI Manchester - I've got to say I completely disagree with you there. you may prefer TM for all sorts of reasons, and it's your right to do so but FPI in terms of Graphics and Manga (in that huge downstairs) has a multiplier wider stock range. Monthly Comics are pretty much a muchness - although TM do have a better small press section if you are a buyer of that material. I've nothing against TM - although I would correct the notion an earlier poster had that we opened in Derby to put them out of business. We took over an existing store - Another World in a package of stores - Derby being one of them. TM was never part of that thought process.

cheers for now

best
Kenny Penman
co-owner FPI
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Old 27-10-2009, 15:28
Jon T
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Thanks for your response manpen, it helped shed more light on things. I can't dispute that FPI carries a very wide range of manga and trade paperbacks, but (as you touched upon) my main concern was with regard the admittedly increasingly old-fashioned monthly comics, of which the Manchester TM, in my opinion, carried a better stock of.

I've no illusions that monthly comics of the type that most of these stores' business was originally founded upon are unquestionably only fractionally important these days compared to years past. With the comics publishers having effectively cut off entry level readership to the monthlies, I can only see the monthly comic market eventually getting even smaller given enough time, and that's something only they can deal with.

However, my expectations (rightly or wrongly) have been that any of the comparatively few shops still currently selling monthly US comics should be able to appropriately tailor store orders to customer demand, especially given the small readership that monthly comics command.

While I believed that the Manchester TM had a better selection of monthlies compared to the Manchester FPI, my immediate concern is with my local FPI branch (in Staffordshire) which consistently sells out of most comics I'm after. And given that standing orders aren't an option since I was repeatedly let down when I had one, and that extra copies of the appropriate titles obviously aren't ordered to meet demand, I hope you can understand why I might look towards alternate routes to actually getting the individual issues I want.

Then again, I don't actually work in the business and don't know how feasible it is to specifically order in extra copies of what seem to be popular titles, so I may very well be placing undue blame upon such stores.
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Old 27-10-2009, 15:47
manpen
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Hi Jon T

do you mean the Stoke on Trent shop? I don't have much experience with it but from memory the comics are upstairs to the right of the stairs. I agree, I don't think they are great at comics myself - but I'm not sure they were under Another World either - when the place was primarily a gaming store. If standing orders don't work howevr that is a sin - the idea of them is that people can get the comics they want without worrying. Can you give me your full experience and i can talk to them about it. It makes me fizz to think they can't do it well - they should be able to. Reordering comics is very hit and miss these days - it will be possible on some titles but others Diamond will almost certainly only bring in to order and not carry any reorder stock. A sign of everything tightening up. Or of course the staff could just be doing a very bad/lazy job. Let me know what responses you are getting and feel free to give me your complaints about staff and procedures - i can't promise change - but I will talk with those involved.

Still on Manchester I'm surprised you would think they have less 'pamphlet' stock than TM - maybe things have changed in the last 8 months since i was last there - they always had a lot more. All our stores have tightened up stock ordering though and so there will be fewer copies on the shelves for shorter periods. That's a factor of titles suffering the - "I'll wait for the GN" scenario which is becoming more and more prevalent, and rendering 'guessing' of initial quantities very unreliable. It's hard to know what the future holds for comic comics I agree - I for one would be very sad to see them go. Let's see what happens.

Is it really true that many fewer shops are carrying comic comics - I see our order numbers and whilst they are about 15% down on 2 years ago - they are still pretty big. Manchester shop still have a load of titles where they are taking 150+ - Birmingham (N&C), Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow bigger numbers than that. I've not been aware of many comics shops disappearing either - are you sure this isn't just a perception of expecting to see everything you want to - everytime you go to a store? I suspect most shops are still ordering most things - unless we are in the Fanta, D&Q territory and they were never heavily ordered anyhow. Could be wrong - but I still see a LOT of comics in stores - not just ours as I go around.

LMK if I can help with anything realistic - I can't promise magic though.

all the best
Kenny
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Old 28-10-2009, 15:51
hannahjay
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American Grafitti in Barnstaple. That's in Devon by the way Reall small place but crammed with comics, manga, graphic novels and merchandise. I bought a volume of Lupin III in there the other day for a pound
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Old 02-11-2009, 14:29
Phill_d
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I signed up specifically for this topic.

I tend to use the 2 shops easily found in Edinburgh.

I use Dead Head Comics for my main pull-list/standing order and then Forbidden Planet to pick up the other titles that are often overlooked in Dead Head.

Dead Head is just a small shop, but does the job for getting my weekly comics, it's also slightly cheaper than FPI.

Phill
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Old 06-11-2009, 16:28
rich van dam
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I get my comics from the back of an old Astra in a Lidl car park in Hull!

Its not as dodgy as it sounds, its just that after Terry had two different second hand book & comics shops compulsary-purchased from under him, he went into semi-retirement and now runs a comic business from home, with collection from said car park.
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Old 10-11-2009, 22:15
Dunce-2007
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Avalon comics, but I also go to FP and Gosh in central London.
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Old 24-11-2009, 10:17
welwynrose
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we've just started frequenting Ltd Edition Comix in Stevenage - nice guy runs it and carries decent stock
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Old 02-01-2010, 16:07
SXTony
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there was an article on digital spy a while back saying how the comic book shop from Spaced is being bought over- does anyone know when that is? 'cause I'm going up to London this weekend and would love to go there before it's changed (I know it's proabably changed already, Spaced is a nearly 10 years old, after all)
That was They Walk Among Us in Richmond. They moved shortly after that, I think, to another place in Richmond. The new place was in the recent Red Dwarf series. It's now changed to Ace Comics, but is very much the same with the same guys behind the till.
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Old 27-08-2011, 14:04
Cclay
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Remember then lugging them up the steep banks of Bensham to Gateshead Metro.
The shop / persons 'living room' was called Bensham Books and was a real hike (unless you lived in Bensham - the soft porn mags were definitely there.

I wouldn't say that F.P. has evolved into a manga/tv/film toy store, I would say devolved. It has to be one of the tattiest shops I've ever seen stocking new goods, even compaired to a pound store!
Been down hill almost from the point FP took it over - was a great little shop when it was in Pink Lane.

As I moved to Manchester 30 years ago I'd say the same about FP Manchester (all toy based stuff now). Was great when Odyssey 7 in the Precinct Center with Alan and (heaven forbid) Dale Coe working there.
There was also a comic shop in the market in the building over Bridge Street in Salford - very over priced British annuals (e.g. Dandy etc from 1950s). Also a small comic shop in Didsbury in the row of shops facing the church (which, if I remember correctly, was run by the same person later on).
Paramount books of course for one-armed overpriced oldies and the second-hand shop that's in what used to be Grass Roots (the alternative book shop).
Use Travelling Man now mainly - reminds me most of Gosh (my ideal for a comic shop)

Also remember Dark the Were and Golden Eyed in the alleyway in Soho - was staffed by hippies who seemed more interested in their SF book stock. This is where I first got turned on to Robert Crumb (so I thank them).
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Old 27-08-2011, 16:17
robo2
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we have a fair few in glasgow

forbidden planet on buchanan street

a1 comics in parnie street and another branch in braehead shopping centre

another shop in parnie street which sells back issues as well as football programs called city centre comics

around the corner from that plan b books

futureshock comics in woodlands road in the west end

and a red hot comics warehouse in an industrial estate
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Old 28-08-2011, 01:10
catswithoutaid
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The shop / persons 'living room' was called Bensham Books and was a real hike (unless you lived in Bensham - the soft porn mags were definitely there.



Been down hill almost from the point FP took it over - was a great little shop when it was in Pink Lane.

As I moved to Manchester 30 years ago I'd say the same about FP Manchester (all toy based stuff now). Was great when Odyssey 7 in the Precinct Center with Alan and (heaven forbid) Dale Coe working there.
There was also a comic shop in the market in the building over Bridge Street in Salford - very over priced British annuals (e.g. Dandy etc from 1950s). Also a small comic shop in Didsbury in the row of shops facing the church (which, if I remember correctly, was run by the same person later on).
Paramount books of course for one-armed overpriced oldies and the second-hand shop that's in what used to be Grass Roots (the alternative book shop).
Use Travelling Man now mainly - reminds me most of Gosh (my ideal for a comic shop)

Also remember Dark the Were and Golden Eyed in the alleyway in Soho - was staffed by hippies who seemed more interested in their SF book stock. This is where I first got turned on to Robert Crumb (so I thank them).
I thought the range of comics in FP Manchester was quite good, the whole bottom floor is dedicated to them.
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