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Dublin: 11°C Thursday 29 July 2021

Independent Irish comic book store named among top 5 in the world

Big Bang Comics, Dundrum, have been shortlisted for an Eisner Award for the second time.

bigbangcomics2 Source: Big Bang Comics

THE COMIC BOOK store Big Bang Comics, was among five comic book retailers in the world shortlisted for an award at the San Diego Comic Con.

It’s the second time the store has been nominated for an Eisner Award (explained as the top award in the comic book industry). It’s also the only Irish store to reach this stage of the competition.

The independent store, which is located in Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin, has been selling comic books, graphic novels, and merchandise since December 2011.

Co-owner Bruno Batista told TheJournal.ie that he and his friends first set up the store because they were all big comic book fans who wanted a shop that they would like to go to themselves.

We didn’t want a comic book shop, we wanted a book store that sells comics, somewhere that makes people feel welcome to ask for help.
There’s such a stigma of ‘The Comic Book Guy’ from The Simpsons, but we’re getting new customers every day that are asking for help and interested to try out new stuff.

He said that customers demographics range from 4-70 years old, and that at least 40% of their customers are female.

bigbangcomics3 Source: Big Bang Comics

Although they flew over to attend the awards last year, they’re “incredibly busy” and stayed put this year. The winners were announced last night – Norma Comics in Spain won their category, which is well established 35-year-old store and “a juggernaut of the industry”.

Batista said what sets them apart from other book stores is their customer service and doing things “beyond retailing”. They host a lot of events and signings, they do things with schools and charities and “champion Irish comic creators as much as possible”.

You end up developing friendships with customers – there are some people who have been coming in every week since 2011.

bigbangcomics4 Source: Big Bang Comics

“That’s one of the bigger things we try to do. Also, we have a very beautiful store.”

To enter in the Eisner Awards, they had to put together a package including a video of the store, and testimonials from customers to present to the comic book community.

Batista said that around 3,000 stores are eligible to enter, so to make it to the final five is “a validation and reward for all the hard work we do, it’s just really cool”.

“We’ve only been around for seven years and we’re already top five in the world twice, which is such an award in itself.

We hope to be able to bring this award to Ireland one day and on the meantime we’ll do our best to continue to honour our customers and our reputation as a Ireland’s best comic book store.

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