Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

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DavidKW
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Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by DavidKW »

I'm planning a day jolly to Birmingham (including a pub crawl) and just wondered if there are any decent comic shops there - I know one exists but is it any good?

Am planning to go when antiques fair is in Bird's Custard factory in Digbeth (Blue Anchor pub is in area)

Lew Stringer
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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by Lew Stringer »

DavidKW wrote:I'm planning a day jolly to Birmingham (including a pub crawl) and just wondered if there are any decent comic shops there - I know one exists but is it any good?

Am planning to go when antiques fair is in Bird's Custard factory in Digbeth (Blue Anchor pub is in area)

I presume you mean for American comics? Nostalgia & Comics (14 - 16 Smallbrook Queensway, just a short walk from New Street station) was not only one of the first comic shops in the UK but is one of the best too.
https://plus.google.com/101304680357020 ... l=uk&hl=en

There's also a Forbidden Planet, but Nostalgia & Comics is far better.

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philcom55
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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by philcom55 »

Lew Stringer wrote:There's also a Forbidden Planet, but Nostalgia & Comics is far better.
Unfortunately Nostalgia has also been owned by one of the FP chains since they bought out Phil Clarke (having first helped to put him out of business); they just kept the old name to retain the shop's customer profile.

There's also a second-hand book & comic shop round Digbeth way, but it's gone very badly downhill in recent years and the comic room isn't always open.

- Phil R.

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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by Lew Stringer »

philcom55 wrote:
Lew Stringer wrote:There's also a Forbidden Planet, but Nostalgia & Comics is far better.
Unfortunately Nostalgia has also been owned by one of the FP chains since they bought out Phil Clarke (having first helped to put him out of business); they just kept the old name to retain the shop's customer profile.
Nostalgia & Comics is owned by Forbidden Planet International, which isn't part of Nick Landau's Forbidden Planet (the chain with the rocket logo). N&C is still one of the best comic shops in the UK, and it's still managed by the people who were managers there before it was sold to FPI.
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philcom55
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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by philcom55 »

No argument there Lew. I was in Nostalgia yesterday and it's still my favourite shop in the region (though I do miss some of the weird and wonderful stuff that Phil used to carry). :)

- Phil R.

DavidKW
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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by DavidKW »

Thanks for the info.

I presume you mean for American comics?
Not American! I only collect British (hence Comics UK)! I just cannot get into Americian comics & for that matter I hardly watch US Tv shows (are only a few in my DVD collection) & there are few and far between US films in my Top 100 list.

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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by DavidKW »

So it sounds like Nostalgia is not what it was & may be worth a miss for Uk comic collections (annuals too?).

Is the said shop in Digbeth called Readers World?

If it is I'll give them a ring to see when & if comic room is open & what's in stock.

big bad bri
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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by big bad bri »

Its not in brum but the only shop i know that specialises in uk comics is 30th century in london & now orbital does a few bits & pieces,does anyone else know of any other uk shops that sells british comics ? As i may take a trip on the train one day if there are any.

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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by Phoenix »

big bad bri wrote:does anyone else know of any other uk shops that sells british comics ? As i may take a trip on the train one day if there are any.
Border Bookshop, Halifax Road, Todmorden, Lancashire is excellent. However, if you want anything after the seventies I would ring up before you travel. The owner, Victor Collinge, sells by post too, and there is a catalogue on the web, if you can figure out how best to use it. They are open on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For comics from the seventies onwards your best bet is 30th Century Comics in Putney. They are open more often and their online catalogue is easier to negotiate. I visit, and buy from, both shops on a regular basis, and I have no complaints about either.

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philcom55
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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by philcom55 »

I think the Digbeth shop is called Reader's World. A word of warning though - the guy that runs it has a reputation for being 'difficult', and the comics share space with stacks of sleazy pornography! To be honest I rarely bother going there anymore.

You're right that Nostalgia deals mostly in US comics and toys, though they do still have British stuff on occasion - for example I bought a couple of 1950s Marvelman comics and a World Distributors Yogi Bear Annual from them last year.

- Phil R.

DavidKW
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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by DavidKW »

Thanks for the info - think I'll be giving Brum a miss altogether (besides last time I was there I had frustrating time finding any locally brewed beers - Brum has had no breweries in its city walls since Beowulf left Yardley for Staffordshire; black country nearby does have a few but little available in Brum itself).

I don't collect anything that is of American origins - and that applies to Mighty World of Marvels too (I did used to have some in late 70s featuring the Hulk (I was into the Tv series - but the comic book version couldn't fire my interests in US comics).Alas this idiot writing here threw them out some 30 years ago!)

Your description of Readers World reminds me a lot of the very rude little man running The Old Pier Books & comics in Morecambe.

The shop is a death trap & you'll need to wash yourself in dettol afterwards - some things are inaccessible due to a rotting floor - and I nearly walked on it. Poorly cordened off by dangerously high stacked books & was no signposted. He angrily refused to go across floor even though he knew the danger spots to get anything. And if a child walked across...

When he rudely told me he has nothing I'm looking for & that a lady regulary comes & buys them anyway (after he just assumed I collected the Beano) & said he never reserves anything for people - I could tell in his body language he does. Perhaps she's from health & safety...

Won't go there again even if he has everything i want there. Might catch something.

DavidKW
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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by DavidKW »

On the subject of comic shops:

Another good one is Tilleys in Sheffield, close to Sheffield United's ground. Are currently improving their website, but shop is good & owners are nice people - I always have a good chat. They specialize in magazines, football progs & sell lots of comics & annuals.

They close at luchtimes on Saturdays (not sure of other opening hours).

I have been to Borders a few times - they have a comic room that's closed to the public (due to thefts), so you'll need to ring up for an appointment and leave your bags by the counter. I'm on the list of regulars but I still make of point of ringing before I visit. The Collinges are a nice couple too. Todmorden is good too.

That's what I like in visiting comic shops - as well as buying them it's the conversation with people and a trip to the pubs for afters (Bricklayers Arms is great near 30th Century for example). You don't get that on the net!

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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by Phoenix »

I've been to that Pier bookshop quite often in the last few years. I invariably go along the prom afterwards to Bruccianis for an ice cream. The layout is certainly idiosyncratic, narrow aisles making the best use of limited space, and small enclaves, some of which do have piles of books here and there, but it certainly isn't the worst one I've been to. That honour belongs to one in the Kelvingrove district of Glasgow, where books were stacked several feet high, two and three deep in front of the lowest four shelves, and clearly preventing access to the upper shelves. The proprietor just sat there on a high stool, reading. I'm always prepared to give secondhand bookshops every chance, but I just had to walk out of that one. To be fair to Morecambe's Pier bookshop, despite the stuffing of its shelves, sagging or otherwise, there is a fair degree of order there. The vast quantity of children's books and comic related material can be found on the shelves to the left, just after you've entered the shop, roughly opposite the owner's cubicle. You could need steps if you want to access the top few shelves. I've never had any trouble with the owner, and I can get quite confrontational when the mood takes me. I think you are over-reacting somewhat about the Dettol, David, but he was quite right about a lady who buys regularly from him. She lives in the Bare district of the town, and sells her purchases on eBay.

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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by Phoenix »

DavidKW wrote:Another good one is Tilleys in Sheffield, close to Sheffield United's ground. Are currently improving their website, but shop is good & owners are nice people - I always have a good chat. They specialize in magazines, football progs & sell lots of comics & annuals.
I agree with you about the Tilleys. I've known them since the mid-eighties because they used to stand regularly at the book and comic fairs in Pudsey Civic Hall, and occasionally at the monthly ones in the basement of the Piccadilly Plaza hotel in Manchester. I haven't been in contact with them for a while now, and although I have been a couple of times to their Sheffield premises, I am still under the impression that their main shop is in Chesterfield. Is that still the case?

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philcom55
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Re: Any Good Comic shops in Brum?

Post by philcom55 »

Though it doesn't mention comics Arnold Bennett's 1923 novel Riceyman Steps (based on a particularly chaotic shop he'd once stumbled across in Southampton) displays rare insight into the art of the second-hand book dealer.

When his new wife attempts to 'surprise' him by tidying up some of the mountainous piles of dusty books which occupy every square inch of his dingy London bookshop the appalled hero, Mr. Earlforward, instantly accuses her of trying to 'ruin' him. He then goes on to outline the key element of psychology upon which his whole business relies:
"You don't understand how much of it depends on me having lots of books lying about as if they weren't anything at all. That's just what book collectors like. If everything was ship-shape they wouldn't look twice at the place. Whenever they see a pile of books in the dark they think there must be bargains."

He did not say he was sure she meant for the best, nor praise her enterprise and energy. He merely stated baldly, simply, quietly, impartially, dispassionately a psychological fact.
...He was certainly no fool, our Arnold! :)

- Phil Rushton

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