Comics and graphic novels are a billion dollar industry in North America.
And Long Island’s comic book scene is solid, with dozens of local stores.
Yet less than half of the money generated from print media last year went to comic book stores. The vast majority, according to ICv2, went to traditional book chains, and 15% to digital and other channels.
While not all of Suffolk County’s comic book stores have survived the economic turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic and had to close permanently, the majority are alive and well.
Here, we’ve rounded up the top five Suffolk County comic book stores, talked with their owners, and learned what their stores have to offer and what makes them a little different from each other.
Android’s Amazing Comics (Sayville) – great for those new to comics
For anyone looking to step into the comic book world, Android’s Amazing Comics is the perfect place to start. The store, first opened in April 1984 as the Amazing Comics, is small enough not to intimidate unaffiliated people and stocked enough to satisfy any curiosity.
New and recent versions fill opposite walls, a generous amount of old issues fill the center of the store, and various figurines, collectibles, and gifts are strewn everywhere.
On any day, a customer can walk in for a chat with Anthony, the store owner, or one of the other friendly employees, likely wearing an X-Men or Power Rangers graphic t-shirt.
“We’re excited about the comics and the stories,” Anthony said. “We like to share what interests us and find out what might interest a client and introduce them to other stories based on their interests.
It’s still a lot of fun doing that and maybe showing a different kind of comic like an independent story because they’re only really exposed to the Marvel or DC hero comics. There are a lot more other comics for indie stories that they would likely be interested in, hopefully with help from us.
Anthony said seeing his uncle at his grandparents’ house as a child was his first foray into the graphic world. In 2014, he had the opportunity to take over Amazing Comics and forge his own path at the helm of Android’s Amazing Comics.
“I love this storytelling platform,” he said. “I’ve always had an interest in both sides, love to read comics and love to collect. “
While he said the pandemic was “scary”, Anthony said he considered himself “lucky enough”. “There are clients that I have lost, but I have also gained a lot of clients,” he said. “I probably have more repeat customers now than before. He said many of his new clients have moved to the area over the past year from the city and elsewhere on the island.
Some of the store workers also host the amazing Android podcast which has passed 100 episodes. “It gives us the opportunity to go into detail and have a longer discussion of the things that are exciting to us,” said Anthony. “And not just books, things that we like to talk about with customers when they walk into the store. We’re talking about movies, TV shows, books, and everything about comics. “