I’m not even going to try to pretend to have an unbiased opinion of Emerald City Comics, because it is, hands down, my favorite comic book shop in Tampa Bay. Their new location opened way back in September 2013 off of 49th St in Clearwater. It’s a nice big warehouse with plenty of room for cool shit. They pretty much have everything you could want here: back issues, new comics, trade paperbacks, toys, statues, table top games, card games, some manga… the works!
Whenever I think about going, I immediately think about their back issues because they have a really nice set up for browsing through long boxes. There are four spacious rows to browse leisurely and comfortably. You could spend hours there and never have to crouch uncomfortably. They sell bundled comics of collected story arcs, which is really convenient. Their wall comics are displayed on the right of the store. A good collection of them. Two walls full. The new comics take up the back wall and are what you’d expect, except that they have a little section of that wall dedicated to Local Comics, which is awesome. And there’s a lovely Barnes & Nobelesque area just for selected trade paperbacks and hardback collections. There are also trade paperbacks on shelves above the back issues and in some other areas of the shop.
But who wants to talk about boring ol’ comics when we can talk about toys. They have toys from all the geekiest shows and movies. Action figures galore. Legos. Everything. And the statues! Piled high to the ceiling! Well, mostly just high on top of the shelves, but beautiful, expensive statues from all your favorite comics and movies and shows and stuff. So many fun things to buy.
If you’re a normal, decent human being who enjoys games of the table top variety: they have a big game section. Lots of boxes with fun board games inside or card games. Lots of books, figures and dice sets for your roleplaying games. Even paint for your figures.
There’s a children’s section with comics and games suited for mini geeks and a small section for manga. There are t-shirts. There’s art. There’s a Gauntlet arcade machine! That’s pretty cool. They have a lot of regular events like Pokemon tournaments, Pathfinder & D&D nights, Heroclix events, board game nights, costume contests, all sorts of things. They have a rewards program… which a lot of places have… but that’s good. Rewards are good. I’m overwhelmed just trying to explain why it’s a cool place. It’s a little wonderland of geekdom. A comic nerd paradise. I’ve got zero complaints about it. 10/10 forever. The best.