4 suburban comic-book store gems

Captain Jack

Captain Jack

Many local fanboys and fangirls flock the Source to get their superhero fix — and for good reason. But for those who can't make it out to Roseville as often as they would like, there are other hidden gems around the Twin Cities area worth checking out as well. With Free Comic Book Day fast approaching (Saturday, May 7), now's a great time to give some other less-known comic book stores a chance. The following are a few shops that may be near you.

Hot Comics

6609 Nicollet Ave. S., Richfield; 612-798-3936/3532 Winnetka Ave., New Hope; 763-593-1223. A new store has also opened up in Jordan, MN.

“We try to get one of everything,” says sales clerk Josh Sappa. With a large selection of Marvel and DC, as well as popular independent titles like Dark Horse, Dynamite, Image, IDW, and Boom, there are hundreds of titles to choose from on the racks of Hot Comics. In addition to brand-new comics, there’s a large selection of back issues from the 1960s, '70s, '80s, '90s, and '00s, as well as totally awesome graphic novels. Beyond the endless array of comic books, fans can shop action figures, toys, T-shirts, and posters. There’s also a kid-friendly section of superhero comics for younger readers. Leading up to Free Comic Book Day, Hot Comics is promoting an art contest for kids.

Mind's Eye Comics

1565 Cliff Road (#2), Eagan; 651-683-0085

Hot Comics, Richfield

Hot Comics, Richfield

“It’s just a really friendly atmosphere,” says sales clerk Colin Pote. “There are a lot of familiar faces who come in each week. I know most of them by name.” Mind’s Eye carries popular DC and Marvel comics, as well as publications from smaller independent companies. “Ninety five percent of our stock is books, with a few little odds and ends.” All of that you'll find placed neatly on the shelves. As you wander throughout the spacious shop, check out all the cool posters and the hottest new collectibles. Fans can go crazy checking out all these items and more during Free Comic Book Day on May 7. “We’re going to kill it,” Pote predicts. “We always have a great turnout that day.”

Captain Jack's Comics

9060 Lyndale Ave. S., Bloomington; 952-456-6071

For comic book fans in the Bloomington area, Captain Jack’s Comics has all the newest releases from Marvel, DC, and more. “We get almost all the titles,” manager Kevin Timm says. A recent move a few blocks away to a larger location has allowed for bigger inventory. Besides the newer titles, there are also back issues for collectors and other items. “We get more walk-ins now than at our previous location,” Timm says. "I see a lot of parents coming in to buy comics for their kids.”

Dreamer's Vault Games

3015 Utah Ave. S., St. Louis Park; 952-938-8163/3124 Hwy. 13 W., Burnsville; 952- 895-1989/4701 Hiawatha Ave., Minneapolis; 612-724-4543

It might not have the largest selection of comic books around, but Dreamer’s Vault combines superheroes with fantasy and magic. “We’re not predominantly a comic book store,” says clerk Brianna Knight-Fischer. “One of the biggest parts [of our store] is trading cards, magic, and board games.” Even so, comic-book fans can still find popular titles from Marvel and DC, as well as selections from independents.