Archive for the 'Newsstands/Comic Book Stands' Category

Douglas Adams and Nick Landau in Forbidden Planet Bookshop, 1979

Forbidden Planet 1979

Douglas Adams (holding The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy double LP) is on the left; Nick Landau (co-founder of the original Forbidden Planet and Titan Books, holding the just published Hitchhiker’s novel) is right. All comics 12p!

Forbidden Planet was one of London’s first comic book specialty shops, after Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed and Weird Fantasy.

I found the photo at the Collectors Society forums. It was taken by Colin Davey.

Wuxtry Records and Comics, Circa 1975

Buck Wuxtry 1975

The original Wuxtry Records is in Athens, Georgia, and still sells comics. Yes, that’s Peter Buck of R.E.M. before R.EM. formed. Buck and Michael Stipe met at this very store in 1980.

(Photo via Cable and Tweed)

Queen City Book Store, 1977 – 1980

Queen City 1977-4

Queen City 1977-3

Queen City 1977-2

Queen City 1978-2

Queen City 1978

Queen City 1979

Queen City 1979-2

Queen City Late 1970s

Queen City Early 1980s

Emil J. Novak, Sr. opened Buffalo, New York’s Queen City Bookstore in 1969. He and his family still own and run the place. I found all of the remarkable photos on the website’s history gallery. Some of the gems I spotted are posted below.

What can I say that I haven’t said before? We need more stores like this. Kids need more awesome stuff like this. They deserve the chance to roam around in places that exist with them in mind (I’m talking about libraries too), flip open a random book, and have their minds blown forever. What we now dismiss as “obsolete physical media” once propped up local communities and ignited the imagination of generations. It’s not just books that influenced and inspired me, but the places I found them in.

You can see more book stores and comic book stores here.

Alien Trading Cards 1979

LOTR Fotonovel 1979

Star Trek Catalog 1979

Star Wars Special Edition 1977

Space Wars 1979

A&M Comics and Books, 1978

A&M 1978

A&M 1978-2

A&M 1978-3

Among the many ruined institutions of post-internet life lies the pulp book shop, where deviant human beings of all ages, nauseated by the mundane modern world and its small-minded minions, once went to find comfort and adventure. My dream is to open one and slowly go broke as three or four or five of us roam the aisles, sifting through and savoring all the accumulating treasure.

A&M stands for owners Arnold and Maxine Square. Pat at Destination Nightmare worked there in the late ’70s and tells the story here.

Comic Book Stand, 1975

Comic Book Rack, 1975

Photo via Detective21

Oh, how they gleam with fresh-off-the-press-ness. I can smell them from here.

Horror titles (comics and magazines) were immensely popular at the time, and comic back issues will cost you a grip today, even in poor condition. The genre saw a huge resurgence in the ’70s for a number of reasons, all of them mutually reinforcing: the commercial success of 1968’s Night of the Living Dead and especially Rosemary’s Baby; changes in the Comics Code (1971) that permitted the depiction of “vampires, ghouls and werewolves”; the proliferation of syndicated horror showcases across the nation: Fright Night (1970), Creature Double Feature (circa 1972), Chiller Thriller (circa 1974), etc. (I’ll post some of the intros later on Facebook.)

As much as I love The Tomb of Dracula and all of Marvel’s monster titles, DC really set the comics standard with The Unexpected, House of Mystery, House of Secrets, The Witching Hour, and Ghosts. Weird War (not pictured here) was a brilliant combination of the horror and war genres. If I had a choice of a full run, that’s the one I’d want.

Above the comics you’ll see some magazines, including Monsters Unleashed, Vampirella, and Famous Monsters of Filmland. The pile of Mad magazines on the bottom right is #174. Cheap!

Mad #174


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