Address: Unit 17a WIN Business Park, Newry, Northern Ireland BT35 6PH
For some reason Buzzard Comics went under my radar for the longest time. I have no idea why I didn’t know about it before I did. My nose is forever in twitter and on facebook for all things comics but for some reason my brain had no idea it was hiding down there in Newry, just waiting to be discovered like a little nugget of gold in a deep dark shaft ( sorry Newry ).
Buzzard Comics is located in the WIN Industrial Estate, which despite being in the centre of Newry, right by the canal, we found it quite difficult to find. Once we did manage to find the industrial estate we drove round it for a bit unable to find the store itself until we gave up, parked, got out of the car and realised we had accidentally parked 15 ft away from it. All of these faults are ours not the stores. If you are a local, or familiar to Newry you could have found the store sooner than we did. Newry itself is well serviced by public transport as well as buses & trains that run regularly from Belfast for the adventurous among you that fancy a day trip.
Atmosphere and layout:
The store is quite small but they manage to fit quite a lot into it. Along one wall they have shelves with their most popular series, last weeks new releases and this weeks new releases. I noticed a large amount of local and small press books which is always great to see in any LCBS. Comic & pop culture posters decorate the place nicely. Lots of original art by I’m assuming local artists kicking around the place. Merchandise stands, tables and spinners as well as a new gaming area are all well laid out and appointed.
It felt like a comic shop. That’s a strange statement I realise, but some of the stores I’ve visited really don’t have that vibe. They are either dank, musty old dungeons or just like a gazillion other types of store you find on the high street with no discernible comic book store aesthetic. I felt comfortable there. I liked the place almost instantly.
As well as the area for new & recent release comics they manage to squeeze in an awful lot of back issues, both fairly recent and old. As the store had been originally destined to sell just posters before they decided to branch out with comics, they had a fantastic range of comic and pop culture posters and frames to match for sale. The usual range of pops, action figures and merchandise you find in these places. I was a little disappointed with the graphic novel section, I would have liked to have seen more as I was looking to buy some trades for a trip I was taking later in the week but couldn’t find anything that grabbed me from the small selection on offer.
Buzzard Comics have some great prices on books. Blank variants, sketch variants of recent books all at cover prices. Even Lenticular books from the Batman/ Flash Rebirth series The Button which I have seen going for crazy prices were only £6 which was an absolute steal. A friend of mine who was with me picked up 1st Gwenpool for only £3.
When we arrived we were the only people in the store. We got vague responses to our hellos from the staff behind the counter and that was pretty much it until we went to pay. It’s a small store and I kind of expected a little more interaction from the staff but sometimes it’s better if they just let you get your face stuck straight into some longboxes. They were in no way rude, if I had asked any stock specific questions I guarantee they would have vaulted the desk to help straight away. There was an incident that made me feel about three hundred years old though:
“Do you take Switch o.k. guys?”
“Ummm Switch…? We uhhh… take Paypal if that’s what you mean?…. YOU ANCIENT OLD FART” – ok, I made that last bit up but it was how I felt waving my ancient method of payment around like some dinosaur. Again that’s my fault not the store. Paypal in this day and age is a more than acceptable form of accepting payment.
For me by far the biggest Wow Factor of Buzzard Comics was the “50p” Longboxes. These were in publisher alphabetical order and had some great issues in great condition all priced at just fifty pence. I picked up a few back issues I was missing from my Uncanny X-Men run. The sort of long boxes are like drugs for comic collectors. The adrenaline fires up when you are going through them, because maybe, just maybe there’s a hidden gem in there. Maybe the one book you need to complete a run or a 1st appearance that’s low on the radar you can snare for a crazy price. Riffling through long boxes is my favourite part of collecting comics by far and Buzzard Comics is a great place to do it.
All in all I had a great visit to Buzzard Comics and one I’m eager to repeat soon. If like me you aren’t from the Newry area and this one has passed you by thus far it’s well worth the drive down to visit.