Robot 6

Comics and coffee, great tastes that go great together

Gotham CityIt’s an idea so logical, you wonder why more shops don’t do this: Gotham City Comics and Coffee, in Mesa, Arizona, is just what the name says, a comic shop that also has some pretty good coffee. This is a place where you can linger, as local reporter Amy Young found when she paid the shop a visit recently:

Beyond the door lies a long row of comfy looking recliners, complete with built-in cup holders, each across from an individual screen for video game playing. Drinks like the aptly named Thor’s Hammer offer caffeine potency that surely will sustain hours of thumb driven gaming. This tall, icy bad boy is four, yes, four, espresso shots mixed with a milk of choice, caramel syrup and some irresistible whipped cream.

(Emphasis in the original.) Manager Jaime Ruiz brews coffee from a local roaster and has a lineup of superhero-themed coffees, including a Spider-Man (white mocha with raspberry) and Dark Knight (dark chocolate); a regular coffee is a Superman. Some people visit the store just for the coffee, and Ruiz is proud of his barista skills.

Coffee and comics is such a logical pairing that I had to wonder if there are other shops that combine the two. A quick Google search turned up Legend Comics & Coffee in Omaha, Nebraska, an Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award winner that offers not only coffee but local baked goods and free WiFi — and even a drive-through. It looks pretty nice, and co-owner David DeMarco gets it: “You want to sit and read something? What better thing than to read a comic book with a cup of coffee?” Nonetheless, DeMarco guesses that there are fewer than 10 comics/coffee shops in the country, and that sounds about right. The only other one I could find was San Francisco’s Caffeinated Comics Company, which calls itself “San Francisco’s First Green Comic Book Store/Cafe.” Like Gotham City, it brews a locally roasted coffee, Four Barrel, and its espresso drinks have won kudos from the local press.

Adding any sort of food service brings a whole new layer of complication to running a store, but it does seem like one possible way to build a destination shop where people come for the coffee and discover the comics — or vice versa.

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6 Comments

I’ve never been, but Toronto has one as well…

http://www.blogto.com/cafes/the-black-canary-espresso-bar-yonge-toronto

(For me, comics has always been an iced tea medium.)

Please someone find a place like this in New York!

Let me give a shout out to Legends Comics and Coffee. One of the BEST comics shop I’ve ever been to. Great service, great coffee and a huge selection. Great employees who go out of their way to help you. I’ve made special trips to Omaha just to visit.

Shout out to my friend Amy Young! Not only does she write, she’s also a well regarded Art Promoter/Gallerist, and plays drums in some kickass punk bands–currently French Girls (see the link attached to my name).

Also, I was at GCC&C when they first opened. Pretty good selection of cheap books. Running a coffee biz in Mesa isn’t easy, but making it part of a larger service is pretty bright.

this is a destination spot for all things pop culture. GC3 caters to a variety of geek cultures from comics to Dr Who. there are in a great location in downtown mesa amongst other locally owned shops. I recommend the iced Super soldier serum (dark chocolate and hazelnut)

tell them The Sway sent you

Legends is not “nice”… it is GORGEOUS!

The building is landmarked.
It was, until a few years ago, a grocery. (It moved to a new development about a mile west, near the university.)

The wood floors are original.
Those metal cases with wood trim? Filing cabinets for back issues.
A huge cellar (not a basement… a cellar).
This is what Rocketship used to be.

If you can, eat at J. Coco’s, which shares a third of the building. Great food, in a city known for eating!

(Check out the other comics shops in town as well… quite a selection. Krypton and Dragon’s Lair for starters.)

There was a comics bar in Benson, but that closed many years ago.
I believe Des Moines had a comics cafe as well.

As for New York?
Try:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/manga-cafe-atom-new-york

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