Melbourne has an abundance of quality brick-and-mortar comic book shops run by a wonderful and weird collection of chatty, knowledgeable pop-culture enthusiasts. As well as your monthly Batman and LumberJanes comics, the shops in this list present a range of merchandise options; from TV and movies to toys, figurines and pop-culture nostalgia.
After picking up the Eisner award for world's best comic store in 2014, All Star Comics continues to lead the way locally. They offer a kids section, secondhand racks and single issues downstairs, and a massive trade section upstairs with toys and figurines from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Owners Troy and Mitch have built a real community at All Star, hosting regular comic-related events that feature Cos-play and local and international writers and artists. The store is welcoming and inclusive, with an emphasis on customer service.
53 Queen Street, Melbourne
The goofy Minotaur statue greeting visitors as they descend downstairs has long introduced pop-culture fans to this granddaddy of Melbourne comic shops. The basement-level store packs in sci-fi and fantasy novels, movie, TV and Rock and Roll books, figurines and DVDs and a wide range of Manga, European and American-style comic books and trades. Minotaur tends to be more expensive than its rivals and has more of a supermarket than a local store vibe, but the chances are if you are looking for something specific, this is where you will find it.
121 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
With two locations and an extensive back catalogue of all things comic related, Comics 'R' Us is the ultimate in neighbourhood comic book store. Hidden away up above the traffic on Bourke street (Where Minotaur comic shop once lived), the city branch has a New York feel to it, with walls of figures and deep racks of back issue comics. In Windsor, the Chapel Street store is an old-school walk up with standing orders, bargain bin and wall-to-wall comic goodness.
220 Bourke Street, Melbourne and 114 Chapel Street, Windsor
Melbourne's off-the-radar comic shop gem. This cave-like Sydney Road outlet is jam-packed to the roof with affordable back issue comics from every era of the collecting spectrum. Bronze, silver and modern age, Disney, old Australian, European and British comics in layered long-boxes and toppling piles make up just the start of this intimidating collection. Figures, cards, games and t-shirts fill every inch of space here so that simply being inside Evil Empire is quite an experience. Located a fair way from the city with irregular opening hours, Evil Empire can turn into quite a frustrating pilgrimage. But if you love a search through piles of old comics looking for treasure, your patience will be rewarded here.
36 Sydney Road, Coburg
This much-loved store holds the fort for comic book fans in the outer north and west of Melbourne. With a wide range of comics and comic-related merchandise and a ton of knowledge, Collectors Edge caters for all kinds of comic fans, hardcore through to no clue at all. If they do not have it in store they will order it in or let you know where you can get it. Run by comic fans always up for a chat.
14 Everage Street, Moonee Ponds