No fanboy or girl should ever bemoan calling Los Angeles home. Save the fact that Comic Con is in San Diego, and there it shall likely stay forever and ever, pretty much everything else you need/want/must have can be grasped, as if in a super-powered death grip, right here in our megalopolis.
While we have several favorite spots for snooping out the newest "Avengers" or reissues of "The Hulk" or what have you, Golden Apple Comics on Melrose remains high in the hero-packed pages pantheon, as does Meltdown Comics & Collectibles on Sunset.
We like the new, or new-ish, La Brea-close location of Golden Apple -- when they were further west on Melrose, it was all a bit cramped -- and the most excellent selection of both fresh titles and classics from the vaults. And, big props to the big events GA regularly hosts with well-known artists, authors, and attractive, people sporting red tights or killer cleavage. If you've ever driven down Melrose and seen a giant line of patient fans sprawled out on the sidewalk, bet that Wonder Woman is bewitching somebody, at that moment, inside the store.
Meltdown has a massive collection of strange toys -- hence the "Collectibles" in its name -- plus a nice section for both kids and the girlfriends of the fanboys who haven't quite found their entry in yet (we recommend "Meatcake" by Dame Darcy, which is deliciously camp and gothic). And the people that work there? Friendly and smart.
Both stores boast pleasurable escapism, knowledgeable, un-high-hat-ish, de-snobbed staffs, and a fine selection of comic goodness. If you haven't read "Watchmen" yet, and you wanted to do it in advance of the movie, tick tick tick tick...
Golden Apple, 7018 Melrose Avenue, 323-658-6047
Meltdown Comics & Collectibles, 7522 Sunset Boulevard, 323-851-7223