Best Comic Book Store

Comic Relief

Despite the Clinton-era economic boom, the comic book industry has been taking a beating like a superhero's archnemesis. You'd never guess it, though, after dropping in at Berkeley's stupendous Comic Relief: Row upon row of immaculately kept reprints, graphic novels, back issues, and new stuff greet you, as well as one of the Bay Area's best selections of zines and pop culture journals. Although the employees typically have some raunchy punk-rock guilty pleasure booming out of the stereo, they make a strong effort to appeal to family audiences -- the dirty "adult" books are tucked away in the back, and there are plenty of Archie and funny animal comics to keep smaller customers happy while the big kids check out the latest installment of the Acme Novelty Library or Eightball.

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