Whether you're a fanboy/girl who can't get enough of superheroes in spandex, prefer grittier indie comic book fare, or want to check out Australia's own graphic novel publishing house Gestalt, we've got the skinny on Melbourne's best comic book stores.
For no longer is loving comic books the preserve of the seriously uncool; these days the geeks have inherited the earth, thanks to the insane popularity of movie franchises like Marvel's Iron Man and The Avengers or DC's Christopher Nolan-helmed Batman trilogy.
It's no longer social death to own up to collecting the Hulk or Aquaman, so, fly your geek flag and hotfoot it to our pick of comic book stores in Melbourne.
ALL STAR COMICS
It may be hidden away behind a seemingly innocuous glass-doored office foyer on Lonsdale Street, but whisk yourself up in the lift and you'll uncover one of the best comic book stores in town, with owners Mitch and Troy ridiculously friendly. Newbies looking to ease their way into the scene will be guided gently by the lad's abundant knowledge and good humour. Regulars tend to hang around and dissect the week's releases at length. They're big supporters of local comic book writer and artist talent too, and All Star is the favourite choice of Melbourne-based comic book podcast, NonCanonical.
All Star Comics | Ground Floor, 53 Queen Street in Melbourne
Minotaur is a stalwart on Melbourne's comic book scene, buried in a vast basement underneath Elizabeth Street near Flinders Station. If you're into obsessively collecting action figures from superhero books and action films, then this is the haunt for you. They have an enormous collection of memorabilia, magazines, movies and specialise in manga/anime, plus it seems to double as a hang out joint for emo kids too, particularly at the weekends.
Minotaur | 121 Elizabeth Street in Melbourne
Classic Comics may have a Bourke Street address, but it's really tucked away on one of Melbourne's trendy laneway spots, Liverpool Street. It's a dinky little joint specialising in standing orders, with a trusty copy of Diamond Comics distributor's Previews magazine always on hand, and a small action figure contingent. It's another super-friendly place with friendly service on tap and there's the added bonus that you can decamp across the street for cocktails at New Gold Mountain.
Classic Comics | Shop 7, 50 Bourke Street in Melbourne
COMICS 'R' US
Something of a mini empire, Comics 'R' Us has outposts in the CBD, Windsor for the southside troopers, and Ringwood for suburban comics lovers. With great service and plenty of time for dorky chatter, they'll also order in rare finds for you if you can't track down exactly what you're looking for. A fairly hefty back issue catalogue that harks back as far as the trippy '60s' brightly coloured offerings means there's gold to be found in them thar book buckets.
Comics 'R' Us | Various locations
EVIL EMPIRE COMICS
Speaking of empires, northsiders who baulk at heading into the city for their weekly fix can check out Sydney Road's Evil Empire Comics. With the requisite hipster record store vibe cool kids will feel at ease and they also offer a pretty decent back catalogue and superhero figure selection.
Evil Empire Comics | 36 Sydney Road in Coburg
If you want to keep your comic book buying a deep, dark, geek secret, Zombie Comics is an online-only store that offers a great selection of books and associated toys at fairly decent prices, which you can then get delivered on the sly direct to your Bat Cave while maintaining the cool façade of Bruce Wayne, with underpants thoroughly held in check under your pants.
Zombie Comics | Check out their eBay store here
TUL Note: A Scotsman by birth, this Urban Lister has made it his mission to seek out the best coffee and funkiest spots for a good feed in Melbourne. A geek at heart, he's something of a film buff, design fanatic and don't even get him started on comic books or natty new boutiques to boost his already stuffed wardrobe.
Image Credit: Manof2moro