Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: The Old London Comic Shops  (Read 7600 times)

Skullmo

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2776
    • View Profile
    • Comic Art
The Old London Comic Shops
« on: 13 March, 2015, 11:57:47 AM »
I was thinking about the comic shops that I used to go to in London when I was a kid. Here are some of my memories - anyone got any? It's going to be a bit of a ramble so hold on!

Forbidden Planet in Denmark street was great, it had a really exciting vibe to it and a big 2000ad presence. When they moved to the bigger shop it changed the atmosphere. I still went there but the staff just seemed less friendly and it was not as exciting. I remember them having loads of 2000ad art for sale including the massive Bisley ABC Warriors pages that just blew me away.

Fantasy Inn on Charing Cross Road was one of my favourites. It had a lot of independent US comics there was also where I found boxes of the Ninja Turtles series 2 cards which I bought, got my collection and then re sealed the packets and sold them in school for £2 a packet! It was '6 feet under the Book Inn' which had a selection of amazing masks above the main counter including the Predator. The guy who worked there was really nice, he always used to eat chicken mayonnaise kebabs from the kebab shop next door.


Paradise Alley was great for British comics. i used to go there and buy stacks of 1970s Beanos when I was about 10, and then later 2000ad and Scream (I bought all the Screams and specials for about £10). Everything was second hand so you could get Titan books for about £4. The guy who ran the shop was pretty scary and his general response to questions was 'No' or 'We don't have that'. He has slicked back hair and a leather Jacket. Upstairs was a record shop and it was even more creepy. I don't think they liked kids (or anyone) in the shop.

Comic Showcase Neal Street was the place to find something odd or bizarre. The staff were always really helpful there. I remember the downstairs having a stack of original art that was on sale - £40 for McMahon Sky chariots.

Fantastic Store in Portabello Road were also really friendly. I used to go there when I was into US comics and they had a great selection. I cant remember much about this place.

Gosh was, and is, great.

Mega City comics in Camden - I don't know why I used to go here, they were always really horrible. Last time I went I bought some Preacher back issues and they had hidden the newsstand price stickers under a mega city sticker. I took them back and they accused me of sticking the stickers on there. Grrrr.

Well  ... I have run out of steam! I'm sure I will think of some more things soon.





 






It's a joke. I was joking.

Mangamax

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2353
    • View Profile
    • "Aieeee!"
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #1 on: 13 March, 2015, 01:42:11 PM »
Ah, parallel lives and all that  :)
Yep, Forbidden Planets first shop was terrific, remember seeing Banarama there quite a bit as they lived in a flat above. And remember the thrill od seeing the place in Captain Britain.
And i'll ditto you with Comic Showcase and Fantasy Inn.
But, before they opened, the shop for me was Dark They Were And Goldend Eyed, a brilliant place manned by a bunch of hippys, with the walk to it always an "interesting" trip, being before they cleaned up Soho.
The perspective on that chairs all wrong

SuperSurfer

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 3259
    • View Profile
    • Blog of the Surfer
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #2 on: 13 March, 2015, 02:02:38 PM »
Original Forbidden Planet was great. Had a real buzz. Was it FP or Comics Showcase that had classic 2000AD art going for £50 a page? As a student that was big bucks for me. I have a good few 2k annuals signed from those days. And a tatty Bolland illustrated paper bag somewhere.

And what about Dark they were and golden eyed? First comic shop I visited. That's one for the eldsters to remember.

Dandontdare

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 10828
    • View Profile
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #3 on: 13 March, 2015, 02:08:50 PM »
....And a tatty Bolland illustrated paper bag somewhere.

I've still got one of those - I posted pics ages ago on  here somewhere but I can't find them. I'll stick 'em up again when I get home as those bags were truly a thing of beauty.

Dunk!

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2859
    • View Profile
    • My original art gallery
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #4 on: 13 March, 2015, 02:16:52 PM »
Always thought the vibe of Forbidden Planet Denmark St. moved to Comics Showcase + they were in similar, if not the same, design of building. Gawd, that original art rack and what I could've brought haunts my art dreams now.

Not living in London me and my brother would Capital Card it up to London to blitz FB (in both old locations) then Gosh, then the huge Virgin Record store (when such a thing was a novelty) and then the Vintage Magazine store in Soho (which went from scary, to clean & nice and back to scary in the time I used to go)

Loved the old Gosh, but the new one has to grow on me.

Dunk!
"Trust we"

Mangamax

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2353
    • View Profile
    • "Aieeee!"
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #5 on: 13 March, 2015, 04:04:31 PM »
Yep, collected the Bolland bags, t-shirts too.
And, yep, it was FP that had all those original pages up on the walls.
Think Comic Showcase had them too, but more tucked away
The perspective on that chairs all wrong

Mangamax

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2353
    • View Profile
    • "Aieeee!"
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #6 on: 13 March, 2015, 04:13:56 PM »
And, at the same time as being wowed by Brian Bolland in the Cursed Earth, i was also being wowed by his ads and can remember being dead impressed by his Batman and SO wished he could have a turn on the fella



The perspective on that chairs all wrong

Skullmo

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2776
    • View Profile
    • Comic Art
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #7 on: 13 March, 2015, 08:40:40 PM »
Those Bolland ads are gorgeous!

Dark They Were And Goldend Eyed is a brilliant name for a shop!

 Some others I remember going to were - They Walk Among Us in Richmond. They got me into underground comics. Avalon Comics in Lavender Hill (really nice guys and they always had a good 2000ad selection) and 30th Century Comics in the Putney Exchange.

Did anyone take any photos of these places? I didn't :'(

I'd totally forgotten that there was a new Gosh!!
It's a joke. I was joking.

Mangamax

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2353
    • View Profile
    • "Aieeee!"
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #8 on: 13 March, 2015, 09:08:33 PM »
A stroll down memory lane (as opposed to down vomit/wee/questionable stained lanes back in the day) to Dark They Were here. Still got a couple of those massive badges!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/50887727@N06/with/4713539585/
The perspective on that chairs all wrong

Dandontdare

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 10828
    • View Profile
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #9 on: 13 March, 2015, 09:25:28 PM »




SuperSurfer

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 3259
    • View Profile
    • Blog of the Surfer
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #10 on: 13 March, 2015, 11:51:59 PM »
That's the one DDD. Mine is tattier. Came across it at my mother's house a couple of weeks ago (where I still have most of my comics – must sort that out).

I also have some fliers for 80s Forbidden Planet 2000AD signings. At one of those I asked John Wagner if he is TB Grover (or John Howard?) and when replied yes, Alan Grant, who overheard, shouted something along the lines of "It's so he doesn't pay so much tax!".

Didn't see you'd already mentioned Dark They Were and Golden Eyed, Mangamax. Think I went there a couple of times.

Skullmo

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2776
    • View Profile
    • Comic Art
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #11 on: 14 March, 2015, 12:34:27 AM »
Can we see the other fliers?
It's a joke. I was joking.

SmallBlueThing

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6003
  • Wants to eat you.
    • View Profile
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #12 on: 14 March, 2015, 01:20:48 PM »
I grew up in these places.  They were my temples.
Every two months I'd get the train up to Victoria with my mate,  and we'd go to the Comic Mart at Central Hall in Westminster, then on to Forbidden Planet one and two,  Paradise Alley,  Fantasy Inn,  Comic Showcase,  and occasionally off to one in Chelsea or one at Elephant & Castle- the names of which escape me. 

There was certainly an atmosphere in them back in those days.  Whether good (Alan Jones behind the counter in FP2, /while he wrote for Starburst,  discussing films with us in the height of the Nasties paranoia and being obviously unnerved by two 12/13 year old kids asking about stuff way beyond legal!) or bad (the snob we encountered in Comics Showcase who took it upon himself to patronise us through puffy,  spittle spraying lip's and from behind bottle thick glasses).

I didn't get to They Walk Among Us until years later,  and Dark They Were And Golden Eyed's name and adverts alone uses to worry the hell out of me,  so I never went.

SBT
.

Mangamax

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2353
    • View Profile
    • "Aieeee!"
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #13 on: 14 March, 2015, 03:24:39 PM »
Ah, Alan Jones in FP2 - used to bung me loads of press screening tickets. Can't think why...
What was the name of the shop in New Cross? Used to go there too, and got in a discussion with someone working there once about, i think, Warrior magazine.
Can't remember who he was, but he was either artist or writer.
The perspective on that chairs all wrong

sheridan

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6364
    • View Profile
    • Wilde Wood
Re: The Old London Comic Shops
« Reply #14 on: 15 March, 2015, 03:02:28 PM »
I only got to spend an hour or two at a time in London when I was a kid, so only had fleeting experiences of 1980s comic shops.  I got to go to Forbidden Planet on New Oxford Street (not surprisingly), Top 10 Soho in St Anne's Court, Comicana (did not like - old American children's superhero comics and not much else), Comics Showcase when it was on Charing Cross Road and Gosh! on Great Russell Street. Plus Mega-City Comics which is now my local (walking distance and friendly staff).