Tomorrow, English Comic Shops Open For The First Time In 3 1/2 Months

Comic book shops are, sadly, defined as non-essential retail outlets. As a result, in England, they have all been closed to the public for over three months, since the 28th of December 2020, and more as part of the current lockdown rules. Tomorrow, the British government has stated that non-essential outlets in England can reopen in a measured factor. And that included comic book shops though those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still locked down for another period. I plan to take a trip out around a number of them tomorrow and report live from Central London, but here are what a few are saying right now.

English Comic Shops Open Up Tomorrow - After Three Months

Forbidden Planet tells Bleeding Cool;

Just a note to confirm that the Forbidden Planet chain will be opening again on the morning of Monday 12th April. The safety of our customers and staff remains paramount, with social distancing, face coverings and other measures in place but we look forward to welcoming our customers back.

The only store that will not be open on 12th April is Forbidden Planet in Coventry – during the closure period, we have had builders in to fit a new frontage to the store, which will expand the retail floor space.

Here's a list of their comic stores. Forbidden Planet International's own chain went with their traffic light appeal, noting the Dublin store remained closed.

Open Up Tomorrow - After Three Months
Forbidden Planet

We wish to welcome you back into our English and Welsh stores from Monday April 12th! Safeguards will still be in place as required to ensure both customers and staff alike will be fully protected! Please Note: Dublin is still Delivery Only until further notice!

Gosh Comics of London has issued the following missive;

Yes indeed, this Monday, April 12th, we'll be opening our doors to the public once again! As before we'll be open 7 days a week, 10.30am – 6pm, with the now-standard COVID risk reduction measures in place:

  • Unless you are clinically exempt, you must wear a mask when entering the store. Please note that even if you've been vaccinated, you may still be able to transmit the virus, so must still wear a mask.
  • When coming to the store, please wait at the door until a member of staff indicates that you can enter.
  • No more than 13 people will be allowed into the store at any time. You may be expected to queue before entry, and we would ask that you do so while observing social distancing guidelines. Please be considerate of others by only shopping individually whenever possible.
  • On entering the store we would ask that you sanitise your hands using the dispenser that is by the centre table. It is foot-operated, so no contact is required. If you have your own preferred hand santiser then you may use this instead. If you have sensitive skin, then please wear gloves and sanitise those instead.
  • When in the store, please observe social distancing guidelines whenever possible.
  • We can take cash, but wherever possible would ask that you pay by card.
  • When queuing for the till, there are marked queue points on the floor that we would ask you to observe. If the queue points are all taken, please browse until one is free.
  • And lastly, please be patient and kind with both our staff and each other. We're doing our best to provide you with comics in a manner which is safe and responsible, and we're all in the same boat with this situation. We're also probably going to be a bit rusty with various systems around the shop, so do bear with us!

Basically the same as prior to this lockdown, and the same as other retailers, so I'm sure you get the drift.

Orbital Space Comics of London posted on Instagram,

Hello everyone, long time no see!
Orbital Space London is going to be opened on Monday, 12th of April!
We will be open as regular from 12pm to 6pm daily!
Looking forward to seeing you guys soon!
Thank you for your understanding and support during this difficult period!

While the Missed Deadline Gallery in Orbital Space added this message;

Open Up Tomorrow - After Three Months
Forbidden Planet

Sound & Vision Unlocks for the second time on Monday at 12 noon.

Page 45 comic shop of Nottingham declared,

English Comic Shops Open Up Tomorrow - After Three Months

Hello you lovely people! On Monday April 12th we will finally be able to open our doors and welcome you back inside. Masks will be required for entry into the shop, folks. For those who are exempt, we will happily serve you at the door, just give us a wave! A maximum of 4 customers will be allowed in the shop at any one time, so please wait patiently at the door until invited in.

Opening times as usual! Mon – Sat: 9 – 6 Sun: 11 – 4

Mail order will still be in full swing, and for the in-store customers who made the switch to mail during the lockdown, they will continue to receive their comics in the post until we're told otherwise. We can't wait to see you all again. We adore our customers and have missed you all dearly

OK Comics of Leeds reported;

English Comic Shops Open Up Tomorrow - After Three Months

OK Comics will reopen at 11am tomorrow. Our mail order service will continue. If you have been receiving regular deliveries of your comic subscription and now wish to switch back to 'in store pick up' please email shop@okcomics.co.uk and LET US KNOW NOW! Thanks.

CGC Emporium of Chichester is running a special deal,

English Comic Shops Open Up Tomorrow - After Three Months

Buy something at CGC from 12th April – 31st May and you could win £1000 cash, a £50 store credit voucher or a selection of games as part of #loveyourgamestore from @Asmodeeuk! Ask in store for more details or go here http://loveyourgamestore.co.uk

Last week Kapow Comics of Huddersfield wanted more people to know.

English Comic Shops Open Up Tomorrow - After Three Months

In just one short week, this store will be open again! Wouldn't it be great if loads and loads of people knew about it…

They previously posted;

Well, it's been a hell of a year folks.
You don't need me to tell you what we've all been through that's been bad, but what's been good is all of y'all supporting us.
Because you've all stepped up and stood by us, were going to come out of this lockdown with our bills paid and comic books still coming in!
I have a hell of a lot to be happy about. This store is my dream job, and I get to keep doing it! So thanks to each and every one of you!
On top of all that, I've also read some killer comic books, and I hope you have too…

Travelling Man put the word out about their own chain of stores.

English Comic Shops Open Up Tomorrow - After Three Months

Holy roadmap Batman! You heard that right… Travelling Man will be reopening all their stores from April 12th! You can now visit your favourite friendly local comics and games shop in Leeds, York, Newcastle or Manchester at their pre-pandemic opening hours

Wakefield Comics 616 of Wakefield, is very much in the mood.

English Comic Shops Open Up Tomorrow - After Three Months English Comic Shops Open Up Tomorrow - After Three Months

And gave a sneaky Most Haunted-style look at the store in the wee hours before opening.

And Dave's Comics in Brighton had their own missive.

So just in time for the last days of the Easter break, we'll be fully open again as of Monday 12th April. Opening hours are:

Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 11am-5pm

If you follow us on Instagram, you'll know about some of the glorious new books that been released over the last four months and rest-assured they're all here waiting for you.

Thank you for your continuing support, whether it be checking in on our social media, click & collect purchases, or if you simply have plans to come visit post-lockdown – it keeps us all positive, in business and it really is a greyer place without our interaction with you all.

Finally, we'll be endeavouring to keep the in-store experience as safe as possible so please bring your masks with you and prepare for limitations to the amount of people we can allow into the shop at any one time.

Thanks again.

The Dave's Team

 

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.