The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Places to Buy Comics
Your Guide to Real Life Superhero Equipment
5. Half Price Books
Photo courtesy of Half Price Books on Facebook
Three Half Price locations in particular in Houston offer some really great comic sections at super affordable prices. There's a heavy turnover rate at the Montrose store, but with luck you can snag gems like a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier complete with 3D glasses still in the wrapper. Plenty of the more obscure stuff ends up in their stock. The Rice Village store had a huge stack of Doctor Who audio books the last time I browsed, and their trade selection is equally great. Up in the Champion Forest area, they actually take all their geek stock to Comicpalooza as a vendor. That's how into the comic scene they are. If you don't mind used and a little hunting, Half Price is awesome.
4. Bedrock City
Photo courtesy of Bedrock City on Facebook
Bedrock City is something like the Hot Topic of Houston comic stores, with a fairly standardized stock, usually no game rooms and a slick, clean appearance. Nonetheless, with multiple locations in almost all parts of the city, they're easy to love for comic fans because of the sheer access. You won't find many hidden gems there, but for T-shirts, mainstream comics, figures and basic gaming, they're a wonderful place to stop in. Fun fact: My wife has received at least one gift from a Bedrock location every year we've been together for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You can count on Bedrock for an appropriately solid comic experience.
3. Nan's Comics and Games
2011 Southwest Fwy.
By way of stark contrast to Bedrock is Nan's, which is a geek version of the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. You can find amazing stuff buried all over the store, with my personal favorite being a miniature Red Dwarf! Obscure action figures and even more obscure board games can be found, and while Nan's is one of the pricier places to shop comics in the city, it's also the only place you will find much of what they have. With all the lovely flea-market stalls that got a lot of us into comics in the first place gone, Nan's is basically the last holdout of an old-school style of shopping.
Not only is Houston home to one of the oldest still-running comic shops in America, we also have the largest: Third Planet, down the road from Nan's, in 8,000 square feet of, well, everything. Anime, gaming, figures, T-shirts, books, comics, movies and more are housed there. Their inventory is so large that if you call the store, you have to go through an automated department menu...a menu that is hilarious, by the way. Want superhero drinking glasses and a nice collection of vintage pulp paperbacks by H.G. Wells? They can do that and a whole lot more.
There's a reason we let Jeremy Bulloch of 8th Dimension pick out the comics for our monthly round-up. There's simply no better person in Houston for guiding you to the perfect book for you. His store is bursting with one of the best new-issue sections in the city, a healthy back catalog, an impressive figure wall and perhaps the most enthusiastic game room in all of Houston. There are plenty of nights the store never seems to close as gamers file in to play, and a local pizzeria will deliver right to the table if you join in. If the true purpose of a comic shop is to help you discover new and exciting things you didn't know about before, then 8th Dimension does it best, and if nothing else, Bulloch's running blog on the latest releases is indispensible as a guide.
We're not the only fans of Jeremy Bulloch's. The Scarlet Spider actually had a cameo of Bulloch inspired by Christopher Yost and Ryan Stegman's in-store appearance and the warm welcome they received in Houston. You could also check out the 4 Best Vintage Comic Book Video Games.
Jef With One F is a recovering rock star taking it one day at a time. You can read about his adventures in The Bible Spelled Backwards, or tell him he don't know nothing about comics in the comments below.