Just curious

June 1, 2009

I was reading this item over at Robot 6, and my experience (limited as it is) tracks with James Sime’s… most comic shops I’ve frequented aren’t typically open on Mondays. I threw the question out on Twitter, and most people said their local shops did have Monday hours, but I still thought I’d up a quick poll.


Shop of dreams

June 1, 2009

This week’s Flipped started with a visit to one of those excellent comic shops that demonstrates a healthy appreciation for manga. It got me thinking about what qualities add up to making a comic shop great for manga fans. It’s fairly easy to find all of the shônen and shôjo one could want at a chain bookstore, so it always behooves a specialty store to go beyond that and offer something different.

Instead of looking at the underlying qualities and philosophies that make a comic shop a great manga shop, I decided to go the lazy route and come up with a frankly arbitrary checklist of specific comics and categories that add up to represent a generous and discerning view of this corner of the comics world. Feel free to add your own and mention shops you really like. (Mine include Alternate Reality Comics in Las Vegas, Midtown Comics in Manhattan, Laughing Ogre Comics in Columbus, OH, and Big Planet Comics in Georgetown, DC.)

Here’s my checklist:

  • Shelf copies of at least three volumes of Eden: It’s an Endless World and The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. Bonus points for shelf copies of either volume of Tanpenshu or Ohikkoshi.
  • Shelf copies of at least two books from Fanfare/Ponent Mon. Bonus points for shelf copies of each additional title.
  • Shelf copies of at least three volumes of Genshiken, Mushishi and Nodame Cantabile. Bonus points for shelf copies of any volume of Love Roma and/or Me and the Devil Blues.
  • Shelf copies of at least one Japanese comic published by Last Gasp. Bonus points for each additional shelved title.
  • Shelf copies of volumes of at least three series by Fumi Yoshinaga.
  • Shelf copies of volumes of at least four series by Osamu Tezuka. Bonus points for copies of the Black Jack hardcover.
  • Shelf copies of at least two volumes of Dragon Head, Planetes and Tramps Like Us.
  • Shelf copies of at least three volumes of Nana. Bonus points for shelf copies of any volume of Paradise Kiss.
  • Shelf copies of volumes of at least five series from Viz’s Signature line. Minimum requirements: two comics by Naoki Urasawa and Uzumaki. Bonus points for any volume of Oishinbo. Double bonus points for three or more volumes of The Drifting Classroom.
  • Shelf copies of at least two volumes each of Emma, Gon and Crayon Shinchan.
  • Shelf copies of at least one out-of-print title.
  • Rack copies of Yen Plus with the other monthlies.
  • A prominently displayed sign that says something like, “Don’t see what you’re looking for? Ask us, and we’ll try and order it for you!” Smiley-face optional.
  • And for extra credit:

  • Bonus points shelf copies of Sexy Voice and Robo.
  • Bonus points for a clearly identified section for yaoi and boys’ love titles.
  • Bonus points for Rica ‘tte Kanji.
  • Bonus points for shelf copies of two or more out-of-print titles.
  • Bonus points for a selection of ero-manga from Icarus Publishing.