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Favorites of Walt: The Comic Shops #11 – Kenmore Komics & Games


Though Collector’s Palace was a shop I passed every single day on my way to and from work; once I started my current job, I opted back in December ’07 to see if there were any comic shops near work, as work was a good distance away from my then-current apartment, and would be enough excuse to visit the surrounding area outside my home area.

Using the Comic Shop Locator service, I found Kenmore Komics & Games, and stopped by the store one day after work. I liked the selection of new issues, back issues, their large collected edition stock, and their gaming and miniatures selection. Before long, I’d started a habit of hitting Kenmore for my new comics, which pretty much phased Collector’s Palace out of the picture. When I moved to my current apartment in 2008, Kenmore became my primary comic shop.

This past summer I finally decided to throw in with them, and opened a pull list at Kenmore, making it my first true ‘comic shop home’ since Capp’s.

Kenmore has of course become my favorite comic shop. Though occasionally they’ll sell out of something before I even get there on Wednesday, the pull list has alleviated that, and they usually restock such issues within a week. I’ve also learned that I can shoot them an email, and they’ll add such requests to my pull bag.

They have a great selection of back issues, and I do occasionally poke through ‘em when I think of some random back issue I’m particularly interested in; mostly when they’re having a sale.

They usually have a couple months’ worth of recent issues on the shelves, grouped by DC, Marvel, Other, and Vertigo/mature audience books. They also have a kids’ section right when you walk into the store, which holds primarily Archie books as well as Boom/Disney comics and collected editions, as well as the Marvel all ages books and the Johnny DC/DC Kids books.

Their collected edition stock is pretty impressive, and often I at least check them out to see what an edition looks like, even if I can’t afford to buy it at full retail price and order from Amazon or such.

Kenmore also has a bargain table, with many of the greatest bargains I’ve found. A couple years ago, I picked up several runs–X-Force, JLA, The Ray, and others when they’d acquired a collection and were just selling the runs as sets. They also maintain several longboxes as a bargain bin section. About half of one box is dollar comics; the rest are all 25-cents. Most of the time, the bargain bins are fairly random, though occasionally there are some real treasures and runs to be found. Last year, I scored a couple copies of Spawn #1, Superman #75, and most of a 100-issue run of Wolverine as well as most of the Young Justice run. They also routinely have random collected editions on the table for bargain prices. I picked up a large run of a manga series for 25 cents/book, and a couple months ago there were hundreds of old Archie Digests where I wish I’d had the money to buy ‘em all. As it was, I bought about $5 worth, randomly grabbing mostly double-digests.

They also have an annual sale around Black Friday/early December where the bargain table becomes a clearance table, and the 25-cent bins become 10-cent bins, and plenty of stock is added to the tables beyond usual fare.

The store owner particularly endeared the place to me when the Batman and Son TPB came out back in ’08 or so. I’d been interested in the story, but was waiting for the paperback release, not wanting to pay the hardback price. When I went to check out, he asked me if I’d be interested in the hardback–he’d sell it to me for the price of the paperback. Once assured he wasn’t pulling my leg, I took him up on that.

The owner is one of the most friendly/personable people I’ve found running a comic shop, and he’s great at working with his customers to make ‘em happy–not because they demand it or ask it, but he seems to know simply how to do it (as with my example above about the Batman book).

I’ve also bought several boxes here, as they’ll occasionally sell "used" boxes for $1.50.

Most recently (as of this writing)–the last week of January 2011–they had a random sale of Marvel hardcovers (not the oversized hardcovers, but the "regular sized" ones–"Premiere Edition" and "Premiere Classic" volumes mostly). Flat $10/book…which sucked me in more than I’d’ve preferred…but to get $25-$30 hardcovers for $10 each was a steal on the whole.

All in all…I’d be hard-pressed to find another shop quite like this one…and any other shop that might down the line ever become a "home" for me will have a LOT to live up to.

NEXT WEEK: JC Comics and Cards.

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