Frequent mallgoers can be easily overwhelmed by colorful fancy window displays and screaming announcements of discounts and price slashes from various brands of apparel, footwear and gadgets that a modest bona fide comic book store can be easy to miss. Tucked in the expansion area of Robinson’s Galleria, I was recently introduced to Comic Odyssey by none other than my frustrated comic book collector husband.
While our trips to the mall maybe few and far between, comic book stands were SOP. I would gladly be dragged into them only to proceed directly to the magazine section where back issues of both local and international publications were shelved. There was no such area in Comic Odyssey. Something that would otherwise have led me outside and into the neighboring Solingen kiosk. But there was a feeling of “sacred” inside this store that kept me in. Like it was a sanctuary for hard core comics enthusiasts. I dare not critique any of Turo’s comic book choices for fear of the rest of the shoppers ganging up on me. I willingly encouraged him to buy a missing issue from his Wildcats collection (that’s me the doting wife LOL).
Rows and rows of colorful graphics from comic book covers filled the shop walls. Some of the shelves were devoted to trade paperbacks which contained several issues together in one cover. The middle rack was filled with an extensive collection of back issues with some of the titles dating back to several decades ago. Action figures and character statues also found themselves pompously posing inside glass cases.
When we got home, I looked up the Comic Odyssey website and was not at all surprised at all the extra services they provide their loyal customers. They can make re-orders of missed issues upon request and offer a subscription service with a minimum of 10 titles per month. An email list of new titles weekly is circulated to clients upon request while those living outside Metro Manila can have their orders shipped to any part of the country.
Comic Odyssey truly must have a cult following, what with events of the local comic scene being held in some of their branches every so often. It is also one of the comic specialty stores carrying both local and foreign independent press titles, which I think is their testament to the artistry in comic books that often go unnoticed. I maybe no comic book enthusiast but I like to believe I am now part of this following.
On that visit to Comic Odyssey, Turo walked out of the store happy with a new addition to his collection. But I felt surreal walking out of a store that sought to serve the unique needs of its well-defined market niche in a very honest-to-goodness fashion. This truly is business with a passion.
Comic Odyssey is located in Level III Expansion Mall of Robinsons Galleria. They also have branches in Robinsons Place Ermita, Trinoma and Eastwood.