The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Places to Buy Comics

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Photo courtesy of Half Price Books on Facebook
5. Half Price Books

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.

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Photo courtesy of Bedrock City on Facebook
4. Bedrock City

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.

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Photo courtesy of Third-Planet.com.
2. Third Planet
2718 Southwest Fwy.

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.

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Photo courtesy of 8th Dimension on Facebook
1. 8th Dimension
8475 Highway 6 North

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.

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38 comments
bearwilder
bearwilder

Very informative and helpful! Thank you Mr. Sexy F!!! Long Live BME!!!

thirteenthcubed
thirteenthcubed

Thanks for sharing some places around the city to buy comics. Some of the stores I've visited before, others I may have to give a look. Like a few other readers, you missed my favorite place to pick up comics. In reading the comments, I definitely hope you take up Space Cadets Collection Collection on the offer of a store tour. For the welcoming atmosphere, interesting items, and a knowledgeable and helpful staff, I definitely love this Woodlands-based comics and more store. One of my favorite events is the monthly Graphic Novel Bookclub. It provides some interesting perspectives on themes/plots/characters from both classic comic collections as well as Indie releases.

brnbngls
brnbngls

While I'm sure it's difficult to include every shop in the Houston area, and everyone does have their opinion of who should have been included, I too must comment that Space Cadets in Oak Ridge should most definitely have been included.  And certainly before Half Price Books.  While yes, they do sometimes have a nice selection of comics, they are not a comic shop.  That's comparable to saying WalMart is one of the best bike stores because they happen to a small section of bikes.

In any case, there are many choices out there for shops, but if you want the best selection of new and old books, games, toys (both vintage and new) and just generally a great place to hang out, give Space Cadets a try and you just might find a new second home like I did.

luvsports247
luvsports247

Great top 10. But there is a new shop in Baytown called All-star Comics cards & games and it is awesome! They are in the San Jacinto Mall and it is about 3-4 months old and it has everything you could ask for in a shop. I have been to several on the top 10 and the customer service here is fantastic. From new comics to back stock. There is a 2 for $1 section that is just crazy. Thousands of book in there. And if you play Magic there is a ton of players there doing Friday night magic and Saturday draft. And cases full of single cards and packs. And I do believe they also play on Wednesday nights too. And if you do sports stuff and like the Texans they have a huge selection of sports items. Just wanted to let folks know that there is another location out there. Check them out!

Jacob Bocanegra
Jacob Bocanegra

ebay killed comic book values and put small comic book stores out of business. luckily my mom lives by a half price books and bedrock comics.

rradiogirl
rradiogirl

When you finally get up to the Spring/Woodlands/Oak Ridge area, you are going to kick yourself for not including SPACE CADETS COLLECTION COLLECTION on this list!
HUGE selection of comic books & memorabilia and always super fantastic activities for families to enjoy!

GO VISIT THEM!!!

bigbrowngas
bigbrowngas

The article is written for popularity.  The ideas are fictional like Bigfoot.  Can you truly rate a place that provides such enjoyment to socially awkward people?   

jkgrammer
jkgrammer

Hey you guys forgot all about MY favorite comic book store in Houston. It's called Space Cadets Collection Collection. They are the BEST comic book store in the Woodlands/Spring/Houston area!!! I LOVE THOSE GUYS!

Jenny Dubois Mitchell
Jenny Dubois Mitchell

Thanks for showing love to all these comic book shops but you forgot one of the most amazing shops! Do yourself and your readers a great service and visit Space Cadets on Robinson Road in Oak Ridge (The Woodlands, Conroe). This place has EVERYTHING! Comics (new, classic, rare), toys (new, classic, rare), Pokemon leagues, Heroclix leagues, shirts, posters, consignment items hand made by fellow geeks, lots of room to sit and play or read or draw or chat, snacks, drinks, and some of the most helpful and generous staff around. This place is a rare gem...Geek Moms can hang out with their mini-Geeks and have an awesome time!!!

Gorillaboss
Gorillaboss

Third Planet has never met an item they can't overprice.

And their "so large inventory" isn't always a plus.  The last time I was in, they still had VHS tapes--very used, former rental copies--for sale at full retail.  Many of the paperback books that are on the shelf are the same ones from the 1980s when the main store was on Bissonnet.  And so very, very many of the back issues will never sell, because they're ridiculously expensive for the grade.

ming4king
ming4king

How about some love for Space Cadets Collection Collection in Oak Ridge North near the Woodlands? If you haven't been yet, it is amazing!

David Rozycki
David Rozycki

Bring back Northside Book Emporium off of Tidwell.

paultvani
paultvani

Are you kidding? Do you buy comics? Are you a collector or do just like reading trade  paperbacks?

The condition of Nan's back issue stock is appalling and overpriced. Third Planet is ridiculously overpriced on their back issues as well and they place backing boards in the middle of the comics which allows scuffs on the backs.

Pop Culture and Bedrock City really are the only places in the city that price their books based on an accurate grading system and  both often have great sales (Nan's never does.)

As a matter of fact the line seems blurred these days as to whether these places are comics shops or gaming shops.

8th dimension does not have any more new issues than Pop Culture or Bedrock. From what I gather the writer of the article just likes the owner. This article was lazy and based on personal preferences and not any knowledge of the hobby. 

anthonymg
anthonymg

Its sad that in the heart of Houston no one mentions Asgard Games.  Sure its not a comic book shop, but it is the best MTG, Warhammer 40k, Warmachine, and other collectable card game/table top wargame/board game store inside the loop.  Just off of Shepard between West Alabama and Richmond.

brandius
brandius

Halfprice and Books a Million? Their primary focus isn't on comics, so I am in disagreement that they should outrank PopCulture. Speaking of which, Pop may not have the largest selection overall, but they have some killer deals 24/7 and price match with the other players. Im a subscriber at Bedrock, so it is my first choice and the easiest place non-comic nerds can go to get an idea of what is available to them. But if I don't care about cleanliness or natural light, I'm at Nan's. And 8th is REALLY nice, but small. Would love to see them really grow and expand. 

AwesomeMargie
AwesomeMargie

This reminds me that Free Comic Book Day is coming up.  Mark your calendars!  

massivelymax
massivelymax

Nan's and 3rd Dimension have no business on this list. They're dumps with poor customer service. It's all about Fat Ogre, Bedrock, and Swords & Superheroes for me!

joknee
joknee

Nan's is  the quintessential Houston Institution! Not only the very best selection but the most knowledgeable staff ! 

Kenyan12
Kenyan12

I have lived in Houston for the last 11 years and have never been to a  better place than Bedrock City. I have tried Nan's and 3rd Planet and if you like being ignored or treated poorly or the quaint stench of old musty books, then by all means check them out. Me personally, I like clean, friendly stores filled with easily accessible treasures not "hidden treasures" that are probably only still there because they didn't sell originally.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

My first comic shop visit was to Roy's Memory Shop and I followed him all over town. Old friends--Northside Book Emporium/Phoenix Comics--are gone and some old less than friends--Third Planet--are still in business. But Nan's has struck a balance between Roy's love of comics/customers and profitability.

texmex01
texmex01 topcommenter

Anyone remember when Nan's was on the first floor of the Galleria 1???

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@brnbngls I just want to point out I said "Buy Comics" not "Comic Shops" in the title. I had not heard of Space Cadets, and will give them a try!

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

I get you but a lot of those little shops also ripped off a lot of kids for a lot of years.

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@rradiogirl They emailed me and invited me for a tour. I think I'll take them up on that. 

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@bigbrowngas Not all of us that enjoy comics consider ourselves socially awkward. 

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@jkgrammer Noted. they invited me for a tour after this went live. I'm planning on taking them up on that. 

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@Jennifer Dubois Mitchell After seeing this comment so many times, I'll be heading up there for a tour soon. 

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@anthonymg I was really torn, honestly. I want to do something on gaming and LARP in the future. i'll keep it in mind. 

Gorillaboss
Gorillaboss

@Kenyan12 

I've been going to Nan's since I was 10 years old (I'm 40), and they still have some of the same merchandise now that they did back then.  The only thing that's changed is the discoloration of the shrinkwrap through the decades.

No, this is not a compliment.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

"The quaint stench of old musty books," really?  Someone needs to stay at home with their iPad/Kendall Fire, methinks.

Gorillaboss
Gorillaboss

@MadMac 
You're an old timer too, eh?  I loved Happy Trails and Northside.  Spent much of my allowance at both shops.

brnbngls
brnbngls

I apologize, I did catch that later.  I still applaud you for tackling, what is amongst us nerds, a touchy subject.

bigbrowngas
bigbrowngas

@JefWithOneF @bigbrowngasThe post in concept was to point out the fictional view of comic book purchasing.   When you want a specific comic the store does not matter.  You will drive to Bedrock, Nans, or Third Planet to claim that prize.   You can even order comics from the interwebs and have them shipped directly to  your home. Seems  silly to rate comics. When it really just rating the store.

anthonymg
anthonymg

@JefWithOneF @anthonymg 

Let me know if you need any input, I actively game and make it a point to go to different shops to help keep them alive.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

I'm so old my esteem for Nan's is based solely on longivity. After I read your comment above, though, I actually thought about it. Like Third Planet, I've only been to Nan's a couple of times in 30 years. You hit the nail squarely on the head. 

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@Gorillaboss @JefWithOneF @brnbngls See, I grew up buying comics in a flea market, so I guess to me that just feels more at home. That said, I still ranked Bedrock #4 and 8th Dimension is a very clean shop. 

Gorillaboss
Gorillaboss

@JefWithOneF @brnbngls

It's just that if you recommend one of the gouge-ier, clutterier, less friendly shops to "rookies" it may turn them off for life.  I speak from firsthand experience.

Hence me recommending Bedrock over Third Planet or Nan's each and every time.Edit (6minutes)

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@brnbngls I've got to admit, I'm a little bummed at all the venom in some of the comments. Maybe it's because the people I run into everyday that I suggest comics to have NO idea where any stores are. Those are primarily who I'm addressing. Hardcore comic fans already know where to go, I assume. Anyway, thanks for reading, and I'm glad you liked it!

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