Bleeding Cool has been reporting on the changes that Orbital Comics of London, one of the three central comic book stores in London, has been going through since the end of last year, dropping Diamond Comic Distributors long before it was fashionable and changing the kind of shop it is. They have introduced a pop-up shop courtesy of online store Comic Toolbox to address the weekly Wednesday Warriors of comic book buyers, while moving to an art gallery, original art, graphic novels and coffee shop model. They shut down for refurbishment before the pandemic, and have stayed closed since – through recently having what they call a soft open. So while the store is not yet opening up its grand remodelling reopening, with more changes to come, it has some immediate changes on display. Oh, and a massive 50% sale to entice people back into the store at this time.
That also includes a new coffee shop, set up with Anthony West, who formerly ran the famous Black Chapel coffee shop in Wandsworth, and who has now opened Black Box at the entrance to Orbital Comics, alongside the new art gallery.
Including original artwork from Bill Ward and Gilbert Shelton.
Or this Savage Pencil action painting created within the shop back in 2014 and now on display in the cafe.
And a little bit of social distancing to fit the mood – and a new insult to boot.
You can't go today though. Orbital Comics is currently opened from Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 6pm.
Anything you fancy? Pop down (from Wednesday) to see what's up. 34 Great Newport Street, next to Leicester Square tube station, and see how another comic book store is reinventing itself for the new normal. Masks on, obviously.