Los Angeles Back Issue Porn

So I spent last week at a conference in L.A., and while I was there I did a little digging through the back issue bins.

I’ve never been to California before, so I had no frame of reference for California comic stores. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, I found Yelp.com to be really useful. Not only can you read lots of customer reviews, but you can also see pictures of the shops, which is super helpful for getting a sense of a store’s back issue stock. That is, you can get a sense of the size of their stock. You obviously can’t tell if they’ve got a Bronze Age stuff, or Superman comics or whatever.

Now, I had my wife and my one-year-old with me, plus I was in L.A. for work, so I didn’t have hours upon hours to dedicate to comic stores. However, the time I did have to spend on comics, I owe to my saintly wife,  who selflessly sat with my sleeping son in a parked car while I got my hands dirty flipping through the stacks.

Anyway, I was able to fit in two comic shops on my trip: Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, CA and Hi De Ho Comics in Santa Monica, CA. I had great experiences at both shops. If you’re in the L.A. area I can recommend both highly. Really good stock in both places, very friendly and helpful staff.

Comic Bug is a clean and well-organized shop with lots of new stock on the wall and a respectable number of back issues. As I said, I didn’t have time for an exhaustive look through the stacks, but I was able to snag some old Spider-Man and X-Men comics. I’ve got a decent run of ASM in my collection, almost every issue from 200-300 and a smattering of others here and there.

The three I picked up at Comic Bug, I picked up basically because I couldn’t resist the covers.

jameson-asm52

I snagged a copy of ASM 52 for $5.00 – pretty low grade, there’s a significant tear on the bottom right of the cover. Still, I wanted that classic cover in my collection.

47_7906_0_TheAmazingSpiderManVol168Crisi

158

That second cover is fantastic, isn’t it? The ghost of Hammerhead?! I mean, c’mon!

I decided last summer that I wanted to increase my X-Men holdings. I really like the X-Men, but I had virtually nothing. To start I’m targeting issues of Uncanny between about 143 and 300. Eventually I’d like to collect Claremont’s run, but that’ll be pricey. I’ll have to pick my moment. Right now those bronze age Uncanny X-Men issues are relatively affordable. I plugged a few holes at Comic Bug and also picked up quite a few issues at Hi De Ho.

Hi De Ho was really the store with the better stock, thousands of issues packed into wooden short boxes. Lots of Bronze and Copper Age stuff. The stock isn’t well organized though – issues out of order, all bagged, but not all boarded. Books are sorted alphabetically, but there are two separate collections, so that all Flash comics, for example, are in two separate locations.

Still, there’s lots of great stuff here. For example…

Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_1_150

#150, a milestone issue…

Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_1_157

#157, great Dark Phoenix cover,

Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_1_171

#171, in which Rogue joins the team. I also picked up this bad boy:

X-Men_Vol_2_53

Regular readers know why.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s