Pulpy Passions: WBcomics is the Best Beijing Graphic Novel Store You've Never Heard Of
Comic book stores are often associated with the cult characters that line the pulpy pages of the books within. Fans visit such havens not just to get lost in the stories of bad versus evil or more ordinary true-to-life tales, but to marvel (ahem) at the paraphernalia and make purchases as a tribute to their favorite characters.
What?WBcomics?快3开奖结果查询lacks in design and figurines, it more than makes up for in breadth of content.?Best?described as a graphic novel store, it is located less than a kilometer from the northeast corner of the Forbidden City, and their approach is all books and no flair. Indeed, much of the stock here eschews?superheroes in favor of more works more grounded in (admittedly American white male) reality (think Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and Craig Thompson).
What you will find packed into the store’s few square meters of space is a truly global collection of original stories poured onto the page with colorful ink. Most of the books can be purchased online via the store's WeChat account (follow the store at WeChat ID: wbcomics), but why order online, when it's infinitely?more fun to spending a lazy afternoon browsing the books yourself?
Upon entering, customers are greeted by a small section of books in Chinese, both translated or originals, and a?sizable number of original manga (in Japanese). The remainder of the shelves mostly contain books in English, with a few other European languages scattered about?(the French – with their bande dessinée?– are a dominant force in graphic novels and well-represented here.)?For those who wish to impart their love or obsession of comic books?onto their offspring, there are also a number of artful children's books on offer. Childless English speakers, meanwhile, will find everything they need in the adjacent room.
This room can be broken down into varying levels of corporatism and independence. Books on one wall stand neatly and uniformly under the headings of major American publishing houses, while on the opposite side is a jumble of European titles. Unlike on the WeChat store, none of the prices on these books are marked in RMB, though they can be estimated based on the price in USD or EUR (with prices usually translating to about RMB 80-200)?– a beautiful thing given the usual practice of drastically inflating prices on hard-to-come-by?imports.
The rear wall holds the most independent books of all: zines. Be careful when buying, though, because these small, all-paper booklets are priced by the authors with a range of about RMB 15-300, which to our experience?may or may not reflect quality.
快3开奖结果查询Regardless, with its diverse collection, WBcomics may just be the city’s?number one spot to satisfy seekers of strange stories and supporters of independent comic artists, even though you might not know it from its humble exterior. In fact, there's so much intriguing material inside that even if you're new to comics?you may find it?impossible to leave empty-handed.
97-2, Beiheyan Building, Dongcheng District
Images: Dianping, Joey Knotts