Comic books and graphic novels are a billion dollar industry in North America.
And Long Island’s comic book scene is robust, with dozens of locally owned shops.
Yet less than half the money the printed mediums generated last year went to comic book stores. The hefty majority, according to ICv2, went to traditional book channels, and another 15% to digital and other channels.
While not all of the comic book stores in Suffolk County survived the economic turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic and had to close for good, the majority are alive and well.
Here, we’ve rounded up the top five comic book shops in Suffolk County, spoke with their owners and learned what their shops have to offer, and what makes each one a little different from the other.
Android’s Amazing Comics (Sayville) – best for comic newcomers
For anyone looking to enter the comic book world, Android’s Amazing Comics is the perfect place to get started. The shop, first opened in April 1984 under the name Amazing Comics, is small enough to not intimidate the unaffiliated and jam packed enough to satisfy any curiosity.
New and recent releases fill opposite walls, a generous amount of back issues fill the center of the store, and various figures, collectables and giftable goodies are littered throughout.
On any given day, a customer can walk in for a conversation with Anthony, the shops owner, or one of the other friendly employees, likely sporting an X-Men or Power Rangers graphic tee.
“We get excited about comic books and stories,” Anthony said. “We like sharing what we are interested in and finding out what a customer ight be interested in and introduce them into other stories based on their interests.
That’s always a lot of fun, doing that and maybe showing a different kind of comic book, like an independent story because their only really exposed to Marvel or DC hero comics. There’s a lot more other comics out there for independent stories that they’d probably get interested in, hopefully with the help of us.”
Anthony said seeing his uncle at his grandparents house as a child were his first foray into the graphic medium. 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 just love this platform of storytelling,” he said. “I’ve just always had an interest in both sides, I love reading comics and I like collecting.”
While he said the pandemic was “nerve-wracking,” Anthony said he considers himself “pretty lucky.” “There are some customers I lost, but I gained a lot of customers too,” he said. “I probably have more regular customers now than I did even before.” He said many of his new clients moved into the area over the past year from the city and elsewhere on the island.
Some of the employees the shop also host the Android’s Amazing Podcast which has surpassed 100 episodes. “It gives us the opportunity to go into more detail and have a longer discussion about things that we’re excited about,” Anthony said. “And not just books, things that we like to talk about with customers when they come into the store. We talk about the movies and TV shows and books and everything else that’s related to comic books.”