Yesterday, I cycled into London for big meetings – taken on the opened up dining areas of Old Compton Street. I also popped into Orbital Comics, now opened after shutdown, to find a very different beast indeed. Not only has it changed inside, but outside as well.
This is SPACE – or Orbital SPACE – the old logo preceding SPACE, to be pronounced "Orbital" and playing the role of Prince's Squiggle. Inside, there is gallery space, a coffee barista, a new gallery and more.
Orbital Comics is the most central comic shop in London, which went Diamond-free last year well before the lockdown imposed that on everyone for a few months. While it has another direct market element within it, as a pop-up version of the online comic store, it has been transforming itself into a pop culture store, heavy on back issues, collections and graphic novels, but also a place for selling artwork and prints, a home for Anthony West, the cafe owner and barista who was behind the critically acclaimed coffee spot, The Black Chapel in Wandsworth now bringing Black Box as a coffee-and-cake spot that hits you when you walk in the shop.
The current store also has a David Bowie Exhibition, including at least one print from myself, but also work from far better and actually noteworthy creators. Social distancing and sanitation measures are in fore, everyone wears masks, there is hand sanitiser at the till, and frankly it is all rather pleasant and civilised. I took the cameraphone on a little walk around so as to give you the lay of the land. And as the flyers informed us, they will be hosting a tribute event in memory of Chadwick Boseman, Wakanda Forever, next month on October 3rd.