Deep in the recesses of London’s fast paced, chaotic throw of human ants; running around seemingly always on the brink of the ‘running out of time’, worry there is a little known hole in the wall, a place where time almost seems to pause as soon as you enter the glass doors, a place called …*drum-roll* ‘Forbidden Planet.’
Forbidden Planet, for those of you who haven’t heard about it is a shop completely dedicated to all things Comic Book. There is literally every comic book you can possibly think of; those that are barely in public circulation, as well as little known titles from all over the world and modern, highly popular titles such as ‘Bleach,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’ and almost anything from the ‘Marvel’ franchise that you can think of… and so much more.
Not only does ‘Forbidden Planet’ specialise in the supply of comic books but they also have a section of the shop on the first floor which is completely dedicated to works of Fiction, which includes a lot of ‘Horror’ and ‘Sci-Fi’ genre novels. There is also a range of nostalgic inducing and infamous DVD’s available to buy – particularly from the ‘Hammer Horror’ Production company. While there I picked up legendary horror movie buff film ‘Nosferatu,’ a very gothic depiction of the first fictional ‘Vampyre’ brought to life on camera by Director F.W.Murnau.
‘Forbidden Planet,’ also have amazing Photography books under a whole slew of content from the works of Terry Richardson on sale down to old collector’s items of 60’s ‘Pin-Up’ women featured in a variety of photographer’s books. Along with very intricate and very pricey pieces of movie memorabilia such as Batman figurines and toys available for purchase on the first floor.
One thing that struck me while gazing along the endless rows of comics and every now and then thinking “It’s been a while…I wonder if my friend got sucked into a vortex,” was that there were people from all walks of life within the walls of that 2nd floor basement – where I spent about 3 hours. There were men in suits so engrossed in whatever they had picked up off the shelf that they would have barely noticed if the shop assistants had turned off the lights, closed up and left them there for the night. There were the ‘typical’ looking comic geeks, that headed straight towards the Anime section and remained there until closing time. There were small boys there with their parents, throwing tantrums when they couldn’t get their way. There were lots of girls – many alone and some in groups who confidently strode around with piles of games, DVD’s and comics in their hands, under a vice grip. Then there was me – the newbie! Before my little invite to ‘Forbidden Planet,’ I’d never even picked up a comic book before, I had no idea where to start, what to buy or that comics could be so damn expensive (some I saw were around the £21!). But as a book lover, it opened me up to a whole new world – a sub-genre of reading and something completely new to explore and discover incrementally.
So if you haven’t been, you love this kind of thing or are looking to try something new – especially with the summer coming up for a lot of us and the time off to go and explore different parts of our cities and country then here are the details for ‘Forbidden Planet’:
There are four branches located in:
179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR
11am – 7pm
Units 4 & 5 Clifton Heights
10am – 5pm
38 Priory Queensway
10am – 5pm
*There are also stores located in; Coventry, Cambridge, Newcastle, Southampton and Liverpool!*