Sunday, 8 April 2007

From the 50p bins of Orbital comics

This is Orbital comics, a basement comic shop on Charing Cross Road.

Orbital have recently opened a Manga shop, which means that the dingy cellar is now devoted entirely to American comics. While you can get your weekly dose of new comics and graphic novels there, Orbital's focus is very much on back issues. That bucks the growing trend amongst comic shops to move away from old comics.

To be fair, its understandable that Forbidden Planet and Gosh have slashed their back issue collections. Very few people want to buy expensive old originals anymore when Marvel and DC have put huge swathes of their back catalogue into affordable trade format.

E-Bay has also nabbed a huge slice of the pie - it's difficult to justify spending £30 or £40 on a comic at the best of times, but when you can get it for a tenner online then comic shops charging Overstreet price guide prices are clearly going to lose out.

There is still a a market for back issues though and Orbital serves it well. While the silver age comics lining the walls are out of my price range there are plenty of affordable gems to be found in the cardboard boxes which line the floors.

Best of all is their 50p section. If you're of a mind you can piece together some pretty good runs from those boxes. There's a lot of half decent Marvel Bronze age stuff lurking in there (I picked up four or five issues of The Invaders for a couple of quid the other week and also nabbed a couple of early ROM issues), even the crap is worth a spin for 50p. On my last visit I picked up these battered old beauts purely for their pretty covers.


Ben said...

shit, ive walked past that a hundred times and never had the bollocks to go in.. i will investigate next time im on charingcross road.. its a very special corner of london, home to original forbidden planet, whatever that comic shop was called round the corner and the boozy nightmare that was milch, also its where the plauge started hurrah!

daniel muggleton said...

its moved to a better location
i love this shop. the main reason i comute to london