Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Perth Comic Shops!

I'm back! And even though I was all the way over there in Perth, these eyes were still always looking out for a comics shop...and after nasty weather hindered our efforts to play the role of tourists on Monday, our fourth and penultimate day in WA, I grabbed the Yellow/White pages from our studio apartment and tracked down a couple of comic shops located in the CBD area.

I only found one White Pages listing that began with "Comics", and that was Quality Comics, located at 872 Hay Street. Checked the Yellow Pages under the listing of "Bookshops" but that was the only name that seemed to indicate it was a shop selling comics. So when the rain eased off, I dragged Aeris and Francis along with me and we proceeded to search for the place.

While walking down Hay Street, we occasionally stopped into souvenir shops so that Francis could buy some Australian souvenirs for his nephews. At one such stop, we discovered another comics shop that wasn't listed in either the Yellow or White Pages: The Comic Zone, located at 572 Hay Street. I couldn't fi
nd a website for this shop, but while Google-ing the shop name, I found this blog entry about it: ComicZone in Perth

Seems like that blog was created and owned by one Ben Templesmith, the Australian artist best known for his association with IDW and art on 30 Days of Night and Fell. I've added his blog address in the links column.

Anyway, I was chatting with the clerk at The Comic Zone and he said the shop had only been open for about three months, which would explain why they weren't in the Yellow/White Pages listing. I didn't spend too much ti
me in there, because we were really supposed to be looking for Quality Comics, so I quickly browsed through the single issues on the racks...they were definitely much cheaper than Comics R Us and Minotaur back in Melbourne!

Picked up single issues of Black Panther #30, Onslaught: Reborn #4 and Mighty Avengers #4. The TPBs and HCs seemed fairly cheap (perhaps not as cheap as Minotaur), but like I said, didn't have much time to browse.

Just as I was about to head to the counter to pay for
my haul, I noticed this little beauty hanging on one of the T-shirt racks:


Omigod! The cover art of Marvel Zombies #3! In all its beautiful glory! And it was nicely priced at $35...yes, expensive for a T-shirt, but it was an authentic American shirt produced by Marvel! I took it off the rack, knowing that I was going to buy it, and then I found this directly behind it:



Homina homina homina. That was only the shirt I'd been looking for in AGES! This shirt sold at K-Mart quite a long time back and I'd always wanted to get it but never did. Then when I finally decided to get it, K-Mart wasn't selling them anymore. I've been searching for this T-shirt in Australia for so long, even going to the really expensive shop that specialises in selling authentic Marvel/DC T-shirts at Little Malop Street which didn't have any available.

Needless to say, I put back the Marvel Zombies T-shirt and purchased the Captain America tee instead.

When Captain America throws his mighty shiiiiiiiiieeeeeeellllllllllldddddd..........

They also had DC Comics buttons/badges that were free at the counter, so I picked up two for myself and one to give to Theo.

We then hurried off to find Quality Comics. After walking Hay Street for another 10 to 15 minutes, occasionally stopping to go into some other shops, we finally found Quality Comics. The single issues there priced a bit more than those at The Comic Zone, but there was a HUGE price difference in TPBs and HCs. Quality Comics priced their TPBs and HCs more than twice the US price while The Comic Zone sold them about 1.7 times the US price. But Quality Comics was a MUCH bigger shop and, of course, it would have much more stock for single and back issues, being the bigger shop.

Picked up Black Panther #29, Avengers: The Initiative #4, Captain America #25 Director's Cut and Army of Darkness #13 (the precursor issue to Ash "jumping" into the Marvel Zombieverse!). Picked up a whole stack of free CSNs (Comic Shop News), something that don't seem to be available in Victoria at all! That used to be the main way I kept up to date with what was going to be released in upcoming weeks and months when back in Singapore...I only get to rely on Wizard (and occasionally surfing the net) nowadays.

Oh yeah,
on the way to Quality Comics, we passed by this place called Empire Toys. I really wanted to go in, but we didn't know how much time I'd be spending in Quality Comics, so I decided not to. And I had forgotten about Empire Toys when we passed it on the way back to the CBD. Found out from Theo later during dinner that Empire Toys also sold comics and manga! D'oh!

We did more shopping in the CBD then found that we still had some time before meeting up with Theo and Serene, so we proceeded back to The Comic Zone where I could now thoroughly check out all the stuff that was on the racks. Purchased TPBs of The Boys, Alan Moore's Another Suburban Romance and once again, something else that I don't remember. I also wanted to get the Ultimate Fantastic Four HC which reprinted issues #21-32...which included the TWO story arcs involving the Marvel Zombies!

As you all know by now, I'm a HUGE Marvel Zombies fan and I'm trying to compile all the appearances of the Marvel Zombies in comics, be it single issues, TPBs or HCs, and that was absolutely perfect to get. Aeris knew how much I wanted it, so she got it for me as a birthday present. Thanks dear. *muaks*

There was this really huge hardcover slipcased box of ALL the Sin City comics which really interested me too, but it was $250. $250!!! I think it was the combination of Frank Miller's Sin City Library I and Sin City Library II HCs.

Aeris asked me if it was worth getting and I couldn't really answer that. On the one hand, it probably would have been worth every penny, since it'd be one of those limited edition things that would be a lot cheaper than if you bought it off Amazon.com. But on the other hand, $250 is a lot of money...and of course, lugging it back with us to Victoria (and maybe Singapore!) would be kind of pointless. Ah well...perhaps if I see it again in the future.


Edit on 3 August @ 0855: The Alan Moore graphic novel I purchased from The Comic Zone was actually "Another Suburban Romance". Have changed it above to reflect the mistake!

31 comments:

Templesmith said...

Comiczone can't be beat! They actually know comics and make sure they have a diverse range...the competition is kinda more "by the numbers" and not really supportive of the locals as much if you know what I mean. They've been the only store in town for a long time so the competition from the new Comiczone is hopefully a good thing.

Linda Foote said...

I only found out about Comiczone recently, and I was pretty chuffed to find a new comic store. There are a few places that sell comics around Perth - Quality Comics, Comiczone, Empire Toys, Gothic Empire, Borders, and Elizabeth Secondhand BookShops...that I know of.

I realise you might not be back in Perth for a while so this information isn't all that useful. But bookshops can be a good place to look for comics. Borders has a big range...at pretty darn expensive, while Elizabeth Secondhand is probably the cheapest for chance finds. I mostly check there for used Archie comics and cheap Ranma 1/2 when they got 'em. I was so pleased when Dymocks and Angus and Robertson in Freo introduced graphic novel sections. Well...DYMOCKS introduced a graphic novel section...Angus and Robertson just stuck all the comic books in the humour section.

Alan Moore's 'From Hell'. IN THE HUMOUR SECTION.

Terrifying.

Albert Terrago said...

Hey, just wanted to clarify a point in your (otherwise enjoyable) blog entry.

You stated that Quality Comics is more expensive than Comic Zone, and while this may seem to be the case to the casual observer, things aren't always what they seem.

Quality Comics has a "membership card" which entitles members to a 15% discount on all purchases, as well as a copy of Diamond Previews each and every month (if you don't come in at the last minute), so, for example, a standard Marvel/Dc comic at Comiczone is $4.95, but to Quality Comics members it is $4.50. Membership is $22 per 6 months, so it is really only for 'serious' comic fans. Comic Zone is possibly cheaper for those that buy 1 comic per month, or so.

Plus Quality Comics have staff that can converse about a huge range of comics, Maus to Watchmen,
Sonic to Zenith, whilst Comic Zone
seems more tailor made to Bogans that enjoy Darkness and Spawn (not that there is anything wrong with that!

And when Templesmith says that Quality Comics have not been suportive of the locals, he is really referring to himself, and no one else, as no one else of any
note resides in Perth.

Thanks

Shane McCarthy said...

I concur completely...with Ben. Comiczone definitely can't be beat. Their customer service is the best in town, as is their knowledge of ALL comics across the board. My reading list is very diverse and I'm always asking for Owen's advice on 'what's good' which, so far, hasn't included either Spawn or Darkness...not that there's anything wrong with that!

Comiczone has shown nothing but great support for local artists and writers, whilst the 'competition' has shown none.

And, Albert, if you shopped somewhere that actually supported local talent you might know that there's plenty of local talent to be supported.

Visit Comiczone, they'll tell you all about it.

Anonymous said...

I'm a pom who has lived in Perth for about 2 years.I can honestly say that Quality comics cheered me up immensely when I found it by chance..Having been spoilt for choice in UK to having a comic shop drought when I first got here I was deeply depressed.So thank you Quality comics..Now comiczone too...both great shops and I'm reguarly in them..

Albert Terrago said...

Shane,

As always, you start out as if you are going to make a valid, educated point, then rely on sophomoric smoke and mirrors to disguise the fact that you aren't really doing any more than feebly protecting your 'contacts'.

As you are the architect of Comic Zones MySpace 'Who We Are'spiel (yes I can identify your 'style, and it is as factually incorrect there as it is here), perhaps you are slightly biased.

And, strangely, as a longtime customer of Quality Comics, I had several conversations with Owen Roberts when he was working there about you and Templedick, always heavily concentrating on what a tryhard you were, and how Ben Smith always avoided him. I concluded that he despised you both, and wouldn't even wipe his arse with your combined output (However, he seems to genuinely like Chris and his work).

So, if Owen now has his own store, and in some sad attempt to get some
'street cred' by associating himself with Templesmith, is this actually being supportive, or hypocritical? I know what I think.

And is a comic 'celebrity' associating themselves with one shop when there are four or five good for the comics community as a whole? Or does it smack of elitism?

Shane, your hyperbolic adspeak does not convince me. Does Owen's knowledge of all comics extend to, say Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics? Or even Will Eisner? I don't think so. He may know that he needs to have such books in stock, but that is not the same thing at all. I like to think that I read a wide range of comics, and every time I ever had a conversation with Owen, it was always about Superman, Spider Man and the Savage Dragon. All (at times)good comics, but somewhat limited in their appeal to anyone other than permanently arrested 40+ year old teenagers. And Mikey sure as hell does not read anything with words in it.

They are both really nice guys, though. But this isn't about that.
Templesmith implies that OTHER comic shops don't know comics, and comic zone does. Does this mean that Owen didn't know comics when he was the manager of Quality Comics, but now does because he has his own shop? Or is he really just good at kissing ass? If so, then he shares that in common with a lot of members of the Perth comic community.

mushroomboy said...

I completely agree...with Albert!

the comic zone is co-owned by 2 of Perths biggest comic shop dinosaurs (ie Andrew, the founding owner of QC, and Owen, who worked at qc for about 10 years prior to quitting and starting this so-called "fresh saving grace" of the local comic scene...where as qc has owners that are new and staff that are much younger...and don't just read comics from the 70's.

Personally I think it's shameful for either Templesmith or Mccrappy to be commenting on such a subject in such a biased way, as both shops support you by selling your crappy products.

Wooller said...

Interesting that Albert and Mushroomboy break out the insults pretty much straight away. It's almost as though they can't think of any REAL arguments against Ben and Shane's comments. The insults - "Templedick", "crappy products" and the like - just make your comments moot: why are you all so worked up that Ben and Shane are supporting one store over the other if you so obviously DON'T CARE FOR THEIR WORK?

It's a fact that Owen has actively supported Ben and Shane's work. Just as Ben and Shane have supported Owen by signing comics for the shop. It's a mutually beneficial relationship. Apart from what Albert "knows what he thinks" I don't see the problem.

As to why Quality Comics haven't had any signings by local talent, well, maybe Albert and Mushroomboy should take that question to the shop in question.

Anonymous said...

I think it's great the comiczone would support local talent, but as someone who just wants to buy a ton of comics every month, I really don't care too much about it. Quality Comics have a huge range, great staff that can always help you find what you're looking for and with their membership are way cheaper. For the posts that praise comiczone but don't openly declare they have a financial interest in doing so, that's a pretty low act and makes me view comiczone with a jaded eye. I'm sure I'll be going there soon, but I think less of them for being associated with the authors of those posts.

Carrissa Little said...

So to recap: ComicZone= supportive of smaller books, good customer service and active in the comics community with promotional events and Quality Comics= a generic corporate store where you are forced to sign up as a "member" to get a discount instead of just having a simple price on the comics. No support of smaller books and apparently very little in the way of relationship, indeed alienation of local ( now international ) comicbook industry.

It's pretty clear agents for Quality Comics appear to be a little annoyed they're losing business to someone who simply does it better. Insulting people who do comics isn't very bright. What are you, the comic book guys from the Simpsons?

I shop at both but find Comiczone much better and assist me in titles I actually want to get ordered in. QC is a constant battle so I gave up.

Frank Bacon said...

This thread seems pretty petty right now, I've just heard that Owen Roberts is not well, possibly dying?

This may be untrue, but I've heard it from a few sources. I hope its not real, but if it is, good vibes to you and your shop Oz.

Oh, and I love Quality Comics, too.

P.s. Rereading these posts just then, it becomes pretty obvious that 'interested parties' from BOTH
sides have been a bit naughty. Can't we all just get along?

P.P.s. Ben Templesmith I have heard of, I think he directed The Fog? But who is Shane McCartney? A local artist, or musician or something?

Godfrey Hilbers said...

Hmmmm, Carissa seems to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket in her interpretation of the comment thread. I.E. Missing lots of points.

You little interested party you.

Sam Poselthwaite said...

As a customer, I have always believed in choice. Sure people will prefer certain stores over others, but you should be thankful that there are other options out there.

I'll admit I'm a regular at Quality, but I also frequent Empire and even Borders occasionally if what I'm looking for isn't at one of the others.

I've only been into Zone a couple of times, but it was the guys at Quality who first told me about them.

So be thankful you don't have to buy all your comics from a newsagent and pay $10 plus for a single issue.

Perth needs more of these shops. Not less.

Templesmith said...

Ok well this argument clearly started sensibly until Shane Mc came along. He is clearly stuck in the local scene destined never to spring out of it like I did. Incey wincey spider climbed up the water spout. Are you all wet Shane? Wet wet wet. I am a writer as well as an artist. I am an autre. I am a tour de force. Don't mess with me and don't mess with Comiczone or Obama or I shan't base my character quirks on you silly jerks.

Sing it loud. Sing it loud and clear. Shaney wanes, is it I you fear?

rorschach said...

HOLY SMOKES!

Templesmith said...

You'll notice that's not me as I'm actually properly registered at blogger. Besides, I don't usually type like I'm a 50 yr old geriatric anti-social thespian who's life goal is to perform in The Pirates of Penzance just so he can wear the pirate costume.

Templesmith said...

Me:

Poor wand'ring one!
Though thou hast surely strayed,
Take heart of grace,
Thy steps retrace,
Poor wand'ring one!

Poor wand'ring one!
If such poor love as mine
Can help thee find
True peace of mind-
Why, take it, it is thine!

GIRLS:
Take heart, no danger low'rs;
Take any heart but ours!

Me:
Take heart, fair days will shine;
Take any heart -- take mine!

GIRLS:
Take heart; no danger low'rs;
Take any heart -- but ours!

Me:
Take heart, fair days will shine;
Take any heart -- take mine!
Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!
Poor wand'ring one!
Though thou hast surely strayed,
Take heart of grace,
Thy steps retrace,

ENSEMBLE
Me and the GIRLS:
Poor wand'ring
one! Poor wand'ring one!
Ah, ah! Ah, ah,
ah! Poor wandr'ing one!
Ah, ah! Ah, ah, ah!
Fair days will shine, Take heart,
Take heart, Take heart,
Take mine! Take any heart
Take heart! but ours!
Take heart!
Take heart!
Take
mine! Take heart, no danger lowr's;
Take any heart but ours!
Ah, ah! Take heart, take heart,
Ah! Take any heart but ours,
Take heart! Take heart!

Jason the Gog said...

Dude this is going to make your blog famous!

Anonymous said...

This is a joke right?

Are there really shops that sell comic books and nothing else? That's hilarious!

Linda said...

And T-Shirts. And sometimes toys. Posters. Occasionally a shop will sell comics only. I'm still trying to decipher whether that was sarcasm in the last comment

Anonymous said...

Well, My great Uncle Lance Doowickle who was always reading them there funnybooks out on the crapper (which was really just a rusty tin shack 200ms to the left of the gnarly stump) did used to reckon there would one day come a time when funnybook stores'd rule the earth...but my cousins Cletis, Ethan (Beet) Root and myself, Arnold T Cayhorn Max Bartholemew Zing a ding dong Doowickle the 32nd would just about lawth straight in his face like a pack of hyene-a's what forgot to take its Ritlan...

Guess we was the A-grade A-hollies, not he!

Live an' learn, as my paw used to say!

Anonymous said...

I dont understand this. I went to quality comics for years, and every tiem i rang or went in, i'd get nothing but the best service from Owen, and one day i went there and he wasn't there anymore! i figured he'd been sacked or something. Suddenly everything just went down the crapper for quality comics. The punks who worked in there were completely rude and ignorant (richard - i dont mind naming names), and never gave me the impression that they cared about comics in the first place. Andrew who started quality all those years ago, told me that the reason that he started quality was because he was annoyed at the service that the current comic store at the time was delivering. So he went and did it again, with Owen. If that doesnt show care to the comics and to the customers that buy the comics, then i don't know what does.

I completely withdrew from quality, because there was now a place that i could go in, and talk about one of my favorite things comfortably, without having to feel like a moron. Owen and Michael may have been in the game for a long time, but wouldnt you normally think that they might have just a tad more experience under their belt?

As far as Shane and Ben go, they are great, you couldn't meet more cool and good willed guys. Kudos to you guys keep up the radical work. it seems to me that there is just a tonne of resentment in this post.
Generally, people don't get upset about this kind of thing, unless they are encountering a hardship related to the issue. in other words, it seems as if quality are bitter that they lost a couple of customers to comic zone.

All that needs to be said here is grow up and star acting you age. you have businesses to run, so run them like businessmen, not like children.

Quality Customer said...

Dear Anonymous,

I think that you have come into this thread a bit late. Many of your points are now null and void. People who don't like comics should not own comic shops, I think that is an important point. I don't know about the 'punks' to who you refer, I never had a problem with any of the staff, even Richard. He didn't know anything about comics, but I think if you wanted to get all snobby you could go up to Owen, and look him in the eye and ask him if he's read Watchmen, and see what he answers. Does this mean he doesn't read other comics? No. Richard did read comics, he was a huge Garth Ennis fan. He just may not have liked the same comics you did, but perhaps his way of telling you was off putting. I know he did have his fans, though.

Richard was ill suited for work in a comic shop(or any shop I would think), and no longer does work there. Its important to remember that it was your beloved Andrew who hired him in the first place, though.

However, Quality comics is now once again owned by someone who loves comics, and seems to be trying hard to provide an alternative for people who don't just read the core Marvel and Dc titles every month.

'Quality' Keith also appears to support local talent, and sells a large range of Gestalt Comics and other locally produced efforts (I saw 'em yesterday). He appeared to have quite a few Templesmith books on display, and I actually overheard him telling someone about All Hail Megatron, which is by Shaun Mcarthy, I believe. (I know he personally doesn't read either of their works himself, but it doesn't stop him stocking their work)

Go and check out the new Quality Comics, and make up your own mind. Don't judge it by its old owners and employees, because that is 8 months or so in the past. The only thing that is the same about it is the name (and at the moment, the slightly old shop fittings).
If you like a larger selection of comics and graphic novels than ANY other store in town, you just might like it. If you just want Marvel and Dc, stay where you are. If you prefer Comiczone, thats cool. Its a democracy. However, when responding to dead threads on blogs, its probably a good idea to have a little current knowledge to back up your arguments, instead of engaging in the same libellous language you accuse others of.

Peace. Two comic shops can co-exist peacefully, especially if they have vastly different qualities. Let go of your hatred.

Anonymous said...

im a regular at comiczone love buying from there and the people who work there are cool. I also like quality comics i remember one of the staff was trying to reach a comic from where all the rare stuff is displayed since hes not that tall he got the stairs climbed up but on the way down he slipped and fell on his butt right on the shelf lol poor fella. I hope both stores do well coz without them this place would be f?cking boring without comics.

Anonymous said...

HAHAH That reminds me of the time that I went into ComicZone and the tall guy, Bowen i think his name is... he looked as though the world was spinning around him. His face was alabaster and he looked like Edward from Twilight. But in a BAD way. Hahaha. The comic book celebrities are so funny.

IN terms of this argument, I like both shops, but slant towards Quality. Do Comic Zone sell anything other than Superman and Savage Dragon? I think not darlings. I've got a mate who always pranks them anyway so whatevers hey.

Anonymous said...

lol ive heard about those prank calls i heard it was goin on for about a year or somthing. Sounds like a battle goin on hehe. lol there are times when i went into quality comics and a staff guy singing or humming in strange tune somewhere in the back of the store haha

Jermayn said...

I too was disappointed with QC but totally agree with "Quality Customer" in saying that Keith and the new guys are much better and very knowledgeable.

They also stock my Phantom issues and their customer service is better. I went into ComicZone and asked them to get back to me in regards to some Phantom comics, they never returned my calls. So even with Quality being further away from work. Im a Quality man...

Anonymous said...

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Webmaster of http://loveepicentre.com and http://movieszone.eu
Best regards

Anonymous said...

i buy comics, i read them, i draw.
Who cares about silly childish s*#% like this. if they support local talent, good. If they dont,so be it (stupid, but its their grave their digging). pull fingers out your asses and support the industry, and give good service is all we want and need....

Anonymous said...

I AM JOB!

Anonymous said...

My great uncle lance harry hooley dooley doowickle owns doowickle comics store in fremantle.