So, yesterday I went for a drive around San Diego County, partially inspired by Michael Hamersky's FCBD trip, to hit as many comic shops as I could with my wife in a day. The challenge for us was that we went on a Sunday. Some stores are closed on Sundays and many don't open until 12pm. Wish I had done research a little more before heading out the door! Several of the stores I've been to before and were really cool, but I felt like such a complete idiot when I got to Southern California comics in San Diego (address below). They've been in the same location for like 11 years and I LIVED RIGHT BY THERE FOR FIVE YEARS! I never knew the place was there when I lived in the area, which is ridicuous! When I went in there, my first thought was, "this is a comic shop!" No offense to any other store in the county because they are all charming in their own way, but I compare every store I've ever walked into to Infinity Comics, the first real comic store I went to when I lived in Manassas, VA in the mid-80's. I walk in this place and I'm assaulted by sequential artwork on the walls, blown up comic book posters, walls of new comics, old comics, etc, trades for days, just about anything you could imagine that's related to comics, basically. What really got me, though, is that they have the largest in store collection of gold and silver age books. How often do you get to look at GS X-Men 1, X-Men 1, Amazing Fantasy 15, Spider Man 1, FF 1, Avengers 1, Silver Surfer 1, and dozens of others all beneath the same glass case. I had to close my mouth... And the people who worked there were really cool and knew their stuff. I ended up buying the Helm TPB by Jim Hardison and Bart Sears and a couple other things while I was there. Seems like I had a 2 hour conversation with one of the guys, discussing comics, Las Vegas, and whatever else popped up, which was cool.
Bottom line, even if you don't live in the area and you have a comic shop you frequent and love, go check this place out, seriously... Head there once per month, once every couple of months, or whatever, just go there. My weekly stuff is usually done either through G-Mart or a store close to home (Oceanside is about an hour from Southern California Comics), so I don't see myself going there weekly, but they pretty much guaranteed I'll be back...
Enough rambling for now!
Southern California Comics
8280 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92111