Shopping for Comic Books in Paris: Une odyssée

I’m learning French, and I can read the basics now — my vocabulary is minuscule, so I’m still just reading French comics for children… but I’m visiting Paris, so I want to look at some comics! Comics! Comics! Yes! I crave comics shops! Cool comics shops, that have cool, French stuff — zines, screenprinted things, arty extravaganzas.

So I googled what the hipster comic book stores in Paris were, and Google said Pulp’s, Album and Aaapoum Bapoum. (Via discussions on Reddit.)

So I went to Pulp’s… Doesn’t look very promising, does it?

And inside weremostly just American comics, and American comics translated into French. *record scratch sound*

So onto Album…

Well, that’s not a horrible selection of comics, but they’re American ones, so I’ve already got the ones I’m interested in.

Some fun French editions of American comics, though, like this oversized Tradd Moore Doctor Strange edition. Looks even better at this size.

And just the general effluvium that’s somehow comics adjacent.

You have to give the French some credit — these are all French hardback editions of DC comics, and they sure look nice.

But does this mean that the Americans have conquered France and there’s no French comics left!?

OK, this at least has a more promising name — Aaapoum Bapoum.

Nice storefront.

This is more like it! Sort of! It’s very small, and it’s mostly used comics, but er I bought like five kilos of comics here in five minutes…

As someone who’s just learned (some) French, I want it all!!! HOW MUCH CAN I CARRY

But it’s not really a hipster comic book store, either? I mean, I’m looking for Bries, Le dernier cri, Fremok… you know. And this basically only has the old, familiar French comics from The Olden Times. I must be missing something?

It turns out that all of these stores have several locations, and I happened to drop in on the “comics” locations of Pulp’s and Album, and the smaller of the Aaaopum Boulangerie ones, so tomorrow’s a new expedition!

Next day I found Pulp DBs & Mangas…

… and as it says on the tin, it’s got lots of manga…

… and a goodly selection of French albums. But this isn’t really a very big store, either, and they have only very mainstream stuff.

I bought a few albums, but not a lot. (Oh, and there was a signing going on, and I avoided making eye contact while I scurried out.)

Album BD had moved to a new, temporary location around the corner.

The top floor has mostly extremely mainstream stuff…

… but the basement had a lot of somewhat more unusual books. I was informed that they had a lot more stuff in storage that they could root out if I were interested, but I’m just like browsing and stuff. I’d definitely go back to this one once it moves back to its original, larger location, and I bought a little stack of stuff.

In the same street as all these other stores, there’s also La BD2Collec, or whatever it’s called.

It’s a proper old-fashioned used bookstore (but for comics). It had some pamphlets…

… but it’s mostly old albums and figurines.

Many of these albums are semi rare, and I bought a handful of things I had no idea existed. Very nice. But still not what I’m looking for…

Day Three: Aaapoum Bapoum.

Now, this is more like it — it’s huge, and it crammed to the rafters with stuff.

And I love that they have recommendations from the staff, with a few sentences on the front saying why the book rules.

And there’s a small press/fanzine section, but it’s very small. Or perhaps I just missed a larger section somewhere in this large, fun shop.

They’ve got all the classics, of course…

… but also a ton of stuff I’ve never heard of before. I bought like fifteen books, and I could easily have bought ten times as much in just fifteen minutes — there was that much that seemed appealing. But there’s my weight allowance on the plane to take into consideration.

Virtually all the comics here are wrapped in plastic. (French nerds have to fussier than nerds absolutely anywhere else, I guess.) But! But this store usually had one copy that could be read — either the copy was in a resealable bag, or they’d only put plastic around the covers.

They must have a lot of people employed to plasticise the books.

And there’s also a room with comics in the glorious original English language.

Oh yeah, in this store, too, there was a whole bunch of books translated from English. I was a bit surprised, because I’d assume that the French had enough comics on their own…

Anyway — still no Dernier cri that I could see. So while Aaapoum Bapoum was very nice indeed, what is the hipster comic book store in Paris?

And now you’re asking — “but what did you buy!!!” Yes, it’s time for the money shots.

Here’s the stack — it’s about 18kg (that’s 39 pounds or something).

Oooh! Yes! It folds out!

A collection of old shorts, I think.

Another collection of old shorts.

I haven’t seen any of these before. New Tardi! I mean old! Really old!

And so on and so on…

I guess I gotta go back soon.

4 thoughts on “Shopping for Comic Books in Paris: Une odyssée”

    1. Thanks. I had a look at the pics from the shops in Google Maps though, and it seems like it’s pretty mainstream oriented (i.e., French mainstream comics, not “art comics”).

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