Across town in Portland, Oregon from Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, on a busy street sits Cosmic Monkey Comics. The outside windows are painted in bright colors featuring neat caricatures of a monkey (obviously), an alien, a robot, and a dinosaur – all beneath exaltations of their wares promising comics, manga and more.
Once inside it becomes clear how large the store really is, including a lofted balcony area for kids and family friendly comics with space for the small ones to play. There’s a second kids section on the ground level too, confirming for those not sold by the adorable painted windows and balcony fun zone, yes this is a great place to take your family on the weekends.
On the main floor, the shelves are set up in an easily browsable configuration, allowing for wide aisles to reduce hazardous bottlenecks. The sections are well marked if you want to skip right to what you like. But they have a huge selection of comic books, graphic novels, trade paperbacks – plus shirts, toys, snacks, and beverages – that make browsing a joy. At any given time they have over 500 graphic novels on display and 300 manga titles available, it’s easy to lose most of an afternoon examining the selection.
Editorial Note: When I stopped in last year I found not one, but two different graphic cookbooks (or cookcomics?) a cross-section of two genres I hadn’t previously been aware existed. Since they combined two of my loves – actually one of them was about cooking Korean food which technically combines three of my loves – I got them both. – P.M.
There is a back room dedicated to back issues comics for those that miss the joy of flipping through long boxes looking for a rare find. They also advertise on their website that they’ll fill special orders for you and search out those issues “you need to fill those empty holes in your collection and your soul.”
The staff is great, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable, and they mention on their site that they are eager to track down special orders for those hard to find items. They offer discounts for customers who utilize the pull list/subscription option (and remember to pick up their titles once at least once a month).
Cosmic Monkey Comics is a CBLDF retail member, proudly supporting the fight for free expression in comics and beyond. Whether you’re in the Portland area or planning a trip there in the near future, make sure to stop in at Cosmic Monkey Comics! If you’re at ECCC this weekend you can find Cosmic Monkey Comics in Artist Alley at D-12! To figure out if they’ll be coming to a convention near you, make sure you like their page on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter!