Address: Big Bang Comics, Sandyford Road, Dublin, Ireland.
Tel : +353 1 216 5093
Big Bang Comics is located on the Sandyford Road In Dublin, just on the outside of the Dundrum Town Centre shopping complex. It’s been open since August 2011 and has recently just moved to larger premises, mostly due to the previous location being unable to contain the awesome. Regularly voted as the best Comic Book Store in Ireland, I’m going to take a look at some of the reasons why.
Big Bang Comics first came onto my radar a few years ago because it was running DICE (Dublin International Comic Expo) I live 128.9 miles away in Northern Ireland so this was a bit of a trek for me, but DICE had a fantastic range of guests so me making the trip was worth it.
DICE was located on an upper floor of the mall at the time and I arrived before opening because there a few books I needed to pick up . Big Bang Comics also had some exclusives only available from the store on the day. I made my way down to the store and joined the queue. The old store was compact to say the least and the place was packed. The reason I’m telling you all this is because despite the rancid numbers of humans in the store that morning I still received amazing customer service. The member of staff on that morning ( JP ) was super friendly, went out of his way to help me get not only the exclusives I was after but made a couple of recommendations that were bang on the money.
This is what exemplifies Big Bang Comics for me. Amazing customer service from people who know what they are talking about. This was a new experience for me. Up until this point comic book stores I’d been into I’d been grunted at, ignored or spoken down to like I was a child.
After that I made a point of trying to get to Big Bang as often as I could. Eventually after a few trips down and my old horrible comic shop depressing the shit out of me to the point I cancelled my pull list, I decided to make Big Bang Comics my “Local” comic book store. Remember I live 128.9 miles away so local maybe a strange term but it’s how it feels. The staff all know my name, they know the sort of books I like. That’s the definition of what a Local Comic Book Store should be.
And the signings… holy good god the signings. But more about those shortly. First I’m gonna take a look at the few of the aspects of what makes a good comic book store and how Big Bang Comics Measures up to them.
As mentioned above Big Bang Comics is smack in the middle of a massive retail area just on the outskirts of Dublin, so if shopping is your thing you can happily spend a day here, tons of places to eat too.
It’s easily accessible from the town centre by the Luas tram lines. Also it’s just off junction 13 of the M50 motorway and the shopping centre has a gazillion parking spaces which is only 2 Euro for 3 hours.
Big Bang Comics deploy the same price in Euro as in Dollar technique. This might sound simple enough but the amount of heartache I’ve had in my life trying to work out what the hell the prices of books are in some stores is nothing normal. One in Belfast just randomly decides on that day what to charge. Books aren’t marked. You have no clue and it dements me because I like to have a budget so I know how much more I have that I can spend. No problem with this in Big Bang Comics you know exactly how much you are spending.
Also as I live in the UK , I automatically convert what I’m buying from Euro into Pounds and as the Euro is pretty weak against the pound at the minute, the price per item is generally cheaper for me.
They also have regular sales based around themes like “Batman Day” or seasonal events so discount items are always around. That store in Belfast has never discounted an item ever.
Atmosphere & Layout:
Some comic book stores seem as if they are almost designed to depress you the second you go through the door. Some are so full of shit you are afraid to move in case you accidentally cause a landslide that kills 6 people under a ton of musty old issues.
Big Bang Comics is more like an art gallery, a museum and a comic shop had a three way and the store is the beautiful offspring of the union. I LOVE going in the store. It’s an event for me. Something to look forward to. Beautiful book cases filled with Graphic novels, shelving displaying recent issues in an order that makes it easy for you to find what you are after.
The art on the walls is truly something to behold though. Pieces from local artists, and some of the biggest names in comics full stop. The best thing in store though? The space. Freedom of movement without fearing you are about to dislodge a £500 quid stature from its precarious spot atop a pile of unorganised art books.
Big Bang has an amazing stock of graphic novels. It prides itself on being a comic BOOK store and rightly so. I literally could spend hours browsing them. It’s also a hidden treasure trove. Those Graphic Novels? So many are sitting there right on the shelf signed by the creators. Not secured behind an adamantium screen less you damage the signature with your gaze. You pick one up and there it is signed on the title page. The mark up for a signed copy? Zero. Nothing. Not a cent more.
Single issues are all there from the big producers and the smaller ones, if it’s a recent release you can bet it’s on that shelf and again they might very well be signed.
Their back issue availability is limited in store, if you want a three month old single issue chances are you are out of luck. Also they do not carry classic comics, or high end collectors issues at all.
Good range of statues, action figures, vinyls etc are all available.
They post WORLDWIDE. Doesn’t matter where you live you can buy from Big Bang Comics. They even keep a regular pull list for me that gets shipped out to me every two weeks.
As I already mentioned in the introduction to this love letter that no one asked for: Amazing customer service is what exemplifies Big Bang Comics. Every single staff member John , Bruno, Tara and JP has gone out of their way to help me when I’m in store. They really couldn’t do more, They make me feel that my custom is valued and that is something that is worth it’s weight in gold.
They are friendly, but equally importantly they all know their stuff. I asked Bruno the other day if he could help me with a recommendation for a friend and I gave him this ridiculous list of criteria and he walked out from behind the desk, straight over to the shelves and picked up exactly what I was looking for.
They are all active on twitter, and I’ve found that an invaluable source of information on comics, pop culture and in JP’s case Cardigans.
Big Bang Comics has the best signings you’ll ever see from a comic store. I mean it. Mark Millar, Sean Gordon Murphy, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Warren Ellis, Becky Cloonan, Gerry Duggan, Jason Latour, Chip Zdarsky, Cameron Stewart, Warren Declan Shalvey, Kieron Gillen, Will Sliney, Nick Roche, John Mccrea, PJ Holden, some of THE biggest names in comics have all had signings recently in store. Does your local comic book store do that? No. They do Not.
In short The Big Bang is everything every comic book store should be trying to be. Spend money here. I Don’t care if you live two minutes away or live in LA. Big Bang Comics is the greatest comic store I’ve encountered anywhere in the world.