LCSs worth visiting on my California Road Trip?
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This August, I'm taking the family to Anaheim (3 nights), Ventura Beach (3 nights), and SF (4 nights).  Is there any must see comic shops that I should visit?

Cheers,

John

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There aren't really any vintage comic shops in San Francisco anymore that I know of, but there are two great shops in the South Bay (about 45-60 minutes south of SF) that are owned by the same guys (Alan and Phil):

While searching for their websites, I came across this cool journal entry from @dover that pretty much sums them up:

Hope you have a great trip!

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On 5/20/2022 at 3:12 PM, silverseeker said:

There aren't really any vintage comic shops in San Francisco anymore that I know of, but there are two great shops in the South Bay (about 45-60 minutes south of SF) that are owned by the same guys (Alan and Phil):

While searching for their websites, I came across this cool journal entry from @dover that pretty much sums them up:

Hope you have a great trip!

Thank you sir!  I also happily take restaurant or other touristy suggestions.

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On 5/20/2022 at 2:18 PM, piper said:

Thank you sir!  I also happily take restaurant or other touristy suggestions.

SF sites: Lands End, Palace of Fine Arts, LucasArts/Yoda statue in the Presidio (if you're a Star Wars fan), the Ferry Building (if you're there on a Saturday when the farmers market is going, look for Roli Roti and get a porchetta sandwich), Fort Point, Sausalito/Marin Headlands, Twin Peaks, Yountville/Napa.  Of course there's also the touristy stuff that locals never do like Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39, Alcatraz, etc.

Avoid at all costs: the Tenderloin.

Also, if you're spending 3 days in Anaheim, I can only assume one of those days is Disneyland.  If you need advice on that, I know the park better than I know my home town and can give you any and all advice you'll ever need.

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On 5/20/2022 at 3:49 PM, HouseofComics.Com said:

The Berkeley Comic Show, giant room of only back issue comics, is Saturday, August 6.

It was August that you visited the Bay Area all those years ago, wasn't it?

The pizza place we went to in Berkeley was amazing!

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On 5/20/2022 at 4:11 PM, ExNihilo said:

SF sites: Lands End, Palace of Fine Arts, LucasArts/Yoda statue in the Presidio (if you're a Star Wars fan), the Ferry Building (if you're there on a Saturday when the farmers market is going, look for Roli Roti and get a porchetta sandwich), Fort Point, Sausalito/Marin Headlands, Twin Peaks, Yountville/Napa.  Of course there's also the touristy stuff that locals never do like Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39, Alcatraz, etc.

Avoid at all costs: the Tenderloin.

Also, if you're spending 3 days in Anaheim, I can only assume one of those days is Disneyland.  If you need advice on that, I know the park better than I know my home town and can give you any and all advice you'll ever need.

I’m a sadist. We are doing two days at Disney. I want to see the new Star Wars Theme Park.

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On 5/20/2022 at 2:12 PM, silverseeker said:

There aren't really any vintage comic shops in San Francisco anymore that I know of, but there are two great shops in the South Bay (about 45-60 minutes south of SF) that are owned by the same guys (Alan and Phil):

While searching for their websites, I came across this cool journal entry from @dover that pretty much sums them up:

Hope you have a great trip!

i second this! phil and alan are the best. nothing that special down south unfortunately. used to be a nice shop in north hollywood but it closed. 

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On 5/20/2022 at 5:26 PM, piper said:

The pizza place we went to in Berkeley was amazing!

Cheeseboard is fantastic freshly made pizza.

On 5/20/2022 at 6:24 PM, Jesse-Lee said:

My wife and I went to SF 10 years ago (I had a work conference) and we had one full Saturday to spend walking/taking transit everywhere - we put on like 14 miles of walking - and we had a great time at a couple of really cool dive bars in the Tenderloin. Granted, it was daytime and it was 10 years ago; I understand things have changed quite a bit. Is the Tenderloin now even worse off than it used to be? Even then I wouldn't have taken the kids with us of course, but it would have been a completely different trip with the kids with us either way.

We saw some great live music in the Haight, and we met some people who invited us to a Louisiana/Bayou style bar elsewhere - can't remember where that was - but the music and food were incredible. Also had the best Chinese food I've ever had in Chinatown. That was an awesome trip.

The worst of it is the section nearest Market street.  You get a lot of degenerates out during the day.  I took a wrong turn down a street and it was just one giant encampment.  As you go north of Market into the Nob Hill Area, things (including dining) improves.  Then again, they don't call it Snob Hill for nothing.

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On 5/20/2022 at 9:50 PM, ExNihilo said:

Cheeseboard is fantastic freshly made pizza.

The worst of it is the section nearest Market street.  You get a lot of degenerates out during the day.  I took a wrong turn down a street and it was just one giant encampment.  As you go north of Market into the Nob Hill Area, things (including dining) improves.  Then again, they don't call it Snob Hill for nothing.

The best I can remember of that day, we made our way through Golden Gate park into the Haight, then went through Lower Haight into the Tenderloin. Then we reversed our course and went back to Haight-Ashbury maybe? We were in the Castro at some point too. And the Louisiana Bar we ended the night at was maybe somewhere near Pacific Heights, but that part is a little fuzzy... xD Our hotel was in the financial district.

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On 5/20/2022 at 5:30 PM, piper said:

I’m a sadist. We are doing two days at Disney. I want to see the new Star Wars Theme Park.

To start, just want to make sure you're aware that Disneyland is operating on a Reservation system so make sure you purchase your tickets and secure reservation dates in advance.  If capacity is reached, you're at the whim of people canceling, which happens a lot, but it also means you have to keep refreshing the page every day until you get one.

Speaking of reservations, as a Star Wars fan, I recommend you check out Oga's Cantina.  It's one of three spots in Disneyland that sells alcohol (the other two being the OG Club 33 and Blue Bayou).  I think reservations open 60 days in advance and they fill up quickly, but you can also go the day you're in the park and ask for a walk-up reservation.

Be sure to download the official Disneyland app which allows you to store your ticket information, mobile order food, see ride wait times, etc.  Unfortunately, it's a big part of getting through the day efficiently which means you'll be draining your cell phone battery.  Bring a portable charger.

Genie+ replaces the old FastPass/MaxPass system and now effectively put those line cutting services behind a paywall.  Genie+ is $20 and can be purchased at the time of ticket purchase or any time you enter the park.  Genie+ allows you to get "Lightning Lanes" to bypass the standby line.  You can get one (1) Lightning Lane per attraction per day so it's best to not burn them too early in the morning, but also not wait until the very end of the evening.  The most optimal times are between 10am and 7pm.  There are also "Individual Lightning Lanes" for Rise of the Resistance (RotR), Radiator Springs Racers (RSR), and WEB Slingers.  These are independent of Genie+ (ie you do not need to buy Genie+ to get Individual Lightning Lanes), but will cost anywhere from $7-$20 depending on anticipated crowd sizes.

Depending on how aggressive you want your day to be, you can "rope drop".  During the summer, Disney parks open at 8am.  They allow guests to stream in beginning at 7:30am and wait at the end of Main Street where a rope holds guests back.  At 8am those ropes "drop" and guests rush towards key attractions to try to knock out as many big rides as they can before the park fills up and wait times balloon.  If you are getting Genie+, I recommend taking a chance and rope dropping RotR, but only if you're like within the first 4 rows of the rope and closest to the land entrance.  I say "take a chance" because from my observations there's a 50/50 chance that RotR is open in the morning as they sometimes keep it closed in the morning to finish maintenance (the ride needs A LOT of maintenance).  Having Genie+ gives you something to fall back on so you can still be assured of getting on all the big attractions, even if you've wasted time walking to RotR only to find out it's currently closed.  My ideal morning ride order is RotR, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Splash, Pooh.  If all goes well, you shouldn't wait more than 5 minutes for each of those.

Popular foods include churros (located in carts throughout the park), turkey legs (located in two stands: one by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (BTMRR) and one by Matterhorn), beignets (in The French Market/New Orleans Square), Dole Whip (outside the Tiki Room), hand dipped corn dogs (Red Wagon on Main Street), the Fried Chicken (at Plaza Inn), and Pork Belly Skewers (at Bengal BBQ).  Some locations offer Mobile Order which I highly recommend because it saves you from waiting in line for food.  If you know what you want for lunch, just go in the app, select your pick-up time and place your order.  I recommend ordering at least one hour before your pick-up time because if you wait to the last minute, pick-up times will all be taken.  Not all locations offer Mobile Order.

Stay hydrated.  You can bring your own water bottle and use refilling stations located throughout the park.  The best water is in quick service locations like Pizza Planet and Plaza Inn where you get water directly from the refrigerated soda fountains.

When you ride BTMRR, request one of the last 3 rows as the last car has the advantage of getting pulled and whipped around the most.  (Conversely, if you want a calm experience, request one of the first 3 rows.)  After cresting over the second lift hill there will be a goat with a stick of dynamite in his mouth.  As the train pulls a 180, keep your eyes/head affixed on the goat all the way through the turn.  By some black magic (ie physics) it makes the turn feel more intense.  This is affectionately referred to as "the goat trick".

Main Street remains open an hour after park close.  If you're interested in shopping, save it for the end of the day so you don't have to carry merchandise around and (more importantly) you have more time for rides.

If you want a fun afternoon break from the parks, head through Downtown Disney to the Disneyland Hotel where you'll find Trader Sam's/Tangaroa Terrace.  Grab a seat on the terrace, enjoy a calm afternoon under the sun, and get yourself a few cocktails.  Some of my favorites include "The Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum" and "Temple of the Forbidden Rye".  If you're seated at the bar, ask the bartender what off the menu drinks they might have.

Fun facts:

- Rancho del Zocolo is where Doritos were invented.

- The jeep in front of Indiana Jones was used during filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

- The treasure chest in Pirates of the Caribbean was featured in the film of its namesake.

If you've got questions, feel free to DM me.  I've got a plethora of information and park strategies in my head.  :manhero:

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On 5/20/2022 at 4:51 PM, ExNihilo said:

Heroes is my go-to when I've saved enough money for keys.  They're the only store in the area that just has a wall of the hot/in demand books.  Their back issue is lacking and if you're looking for older golden/silver age books, I don't think they have much.

Comics Conspiracy is close to there.  They mainly cater to subscribers and newer back issues.  The back issues tend to be on the expensive side for my tastes, but the shop owner is about as friendly as they come.  Clean store and I stop by to get any new books I happen to be missing.

Last year when I was in Anaheim, I visited a few stores and stumbled across McFly's Comics.  They have virtually zero online presence and they hardly have any Google/Yelp reviews to the point where I wondered if they were even still open.  Even the photo used in Google looked questionable.  It's a bit of an odd shop in a somewhat run down strip mall.  I think several of the adjacent units are unused or empty since covid so you really approach the shop and ask yourself if you're in the right place.  The shop layout is unlike any I've come across.  It's almost more of a con experience in a brick and mortar location.  There are zero new weekly books, everything is boxes and boxes of "organized chaos" from purchased collections so it's ALL back issues.  One wall is bagged/sorted books.  The opposite wall are collections waiting to be organized.  To top it off, the books aren't priced.  You pull the books you want and the owner checks against the Overstreet Guide and gives some discount off the Guide price.  I know how that sounds to many people who hate when shops look up eBay prices, but all in all, the prices seemed fair.  Not to mention the volume of books and ability to fill holes in collections in one fell swoop was appealing.  I now take a list of books I'm looking for and go back each time I'm in Anaheim (most recently last weekend).  The owner's lease is up, so they may be moving locations soon so you might want to double check that before arriving.

Avoid the Torpedo Comics near Orange County.  Massively overpriced books everywhere I looked without the same "museum" of books that the Las Vegas location has.

Cal is a stand up dude! I used to frequent his shop when I still lived in Seal Beach. He has picked up some insane collections over the years. 

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On 5/20/2022 at 9:24 PM, ExNihilo said:

To start, just want to make sure you're aware that Disneyland is operating on a Reservation system so make sure you purchase your tickets and secure reservation dates in advance.  If capacity is reached, you're at the whim of people canceling, which happens a lot, but it also means you have to keep refreshing the page every day until you get one.

Speaking of reservations, as a Star Wars fan, I recommend you check out Oga's Cantina.  It's one of three spots in Disneyland that sells alcohol (the other two being the OG Club 33 and Blue Bayou).  I think reservations open 60 days in advance and they fill up quickly, but you can also go the day you're in the park and ask for a walk-up reservation.

Be sure to download the official Disneyland app which allows you to store your ticket information, mobile order food, see ride wait times, etc.  Unfortunately, it's a big part of getting through the day efficiently which means you'll be draining your cell phone battery.  Bring a portable charger.

Genie+ replaces the old FastPass/MaxPass system and now effectively put those line cutting services behind a paywall.  Genie+ is $20 and can be purchased at the time of ticket purchase or any time you enter the park.  Genie+ allows you to get "Lightning Lanes" to bypass the standby line.  You can get one (1) Lightning Lane per attraction per day so it's best to not burn them too early in the morning, but also not wait until the very end of the evening.  The most optimal times are between 10am and 7pm.  There are also "Individual Lightning Lanes" for Rise of the Resistance (RotR), Radiator Springs Racers (RSR), and WEB Slingers.  These are independent of Genie+ (ie you do not need to buy Genie+ to get Individual Lightning Lanes), but will cost anywhere from $7-$20 depending on anticipated crowd sizes.

Depending on how aggressive you want your day to be, you can "rope drop".  During the summer, Disney parks open at 8am.  They allow guests to stream in beginning at 7:30am and wait at the end of Main Street where a rope holds guests back.  At 8am those ropes "drop" and guests rush towards key attractions to try to knock out as many big rides as they can before the park fills up and wait times balloon.  If you are getting Genie+, I recommend taking a chance and rope dropping RotR, but only if you're like within the first 4 rows of the rope and closest to the land entrance.  I say "take a chance" because from my observations there's a 50/50 chance that RotR is open in the morning as they sometimes keep it closed in the morning to finish maintenance (the ride needs A LOT of maintenance).  Having Genie+ gives you something to fall back on so you can still be assured of getting on all the big attractions, even if you've wasted time walking to RotR only to find out it's currently closed.  My ideal morning ride order is RotR, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Splash, Pooh.  If all goes well, you shouldn't wait more than 5 minutes for each of those.

Popular foods include churros (located in carts throughout the park), turkey legs (located in two stands: one by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (BTMRR) and one by Matterhorn), beignets (in The French Market/New Orleans Square), Dole Whip (outside the Tiki Room), hand dipped corn dogs (Red Wagon on Main Street), the Fried Chicken (at Plaza Inn), and Pork Belly Skewers (at Bengal BBQ).  Some locations offer Mobile Order which I highly recommend because it saves you from waiting in line for food.  If you know what you want for lunch, just go in the app, select your pick-up time and place your order.  I recommend ordering at least one hour before your pick-up time because if you wait to the last minute, pick-up times will all be taken.  Not all locations offer Mobile Order.

Stay hydrated.  You can bring your own water bottle and use refilling stations located throughout the park.  The best water is in quick service locations like Pizza Planet and Plaza Inn where you get water directly from the refrigerated soda fountains.

When you ride BTMRR, request one of the last 3 rows as the last car has the advantage of getting pulled and whipped around the most.  (Conversely, if you want a calm experience, request one of the first 3 rows.)  After cresting over the second lift hill there will be a goat with a stick of dynamite in his mouth.  As the train pulls a 180, keep your eyes/head affixed on the goat all the way through the turn.  By some black magic (ie physics) it makes the turn feel more intense.  This is affectionately referred to as "the goat trick".

Main Street remains open an hour after park close.  If you're interested in shopping, save it for the end of the day so you don't have to carry merchandise around and (more importantly) you have more time for rides.

If you want a fun afternoon break from the parks, head through Downtown Disney to the Disneyland Hotel where you'll find Trader Sam's/Tangaroa Terrace.  Grab a seat on the terrace, enjoy a calm afternoon under the sun, and get yourself a few cocktails.  Some of my favorites include "The Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum" and "Temple of the Forbidden Rye".  If you're seated at the bar, ask the bartender what off the menu drinks they might have.

Fun facts:

- Rancho del Zocolo is where Doritos were invented.

- The jeep in front of Indiana Jones was used during filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

- The treasure chest in Pirates of the Caribbean was featured in the film of its namesake.

If you've got questions, feel free to DM me.  I've got a plethora of information and park strategies in my head.  :manhero:

(worship)

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J N J Comics in Fountain Valley was my go to place for Golden/Silver Age pre-pandemic.  They have about 30-40 boxes of "wall" stuff comics hidden in long boxes on one side of the store, and a few hundred boxes of run type books in his bins.  The prices are pretty reasonable and the owner has worked with me on pricing on most of the stuff I bought from him.  Kind of old school feel to the shop and it does have that old comic book store smell to it...when it doesn't smell like weed.  

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I was a student in Northridge (San Fernando Valley - just north of LA area) many years ago.  I am sure Golden Apple Comic book store is still existed.  Visit the website: https://goldenapplecomics.com/

Also, I was a regular customer at Lee's Comics.  Check it out at this website: http://lcomics.com/

If you are willing to drive to Sacramento area and visit A-1 Comics, you can contact him here @A-1 Comics, INC or visit his store at this website: https://a-1comics.com/

Maybe you can try with Bunky Brothers: http://bunkybrothers.com/

Those areas may be out of your ranges.  Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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On 5/21/2022 at 7:50 AM, JollyComics said:

I was a student in Northridge (San Fernando Valley - just north of LA area) many years ago.  I am sure Golden Apple Comic book store is still existed.  Visit the website: https://goldenapplecomics.com/

Also, I was a regular customer at Lee's Comics.  Check it out at this website: http://lcomics.com/

If you are willing to drive to Sacramento area and visit A-1 Comics, you can contact him here @A-1 Comics, INC or visit his store at this website: https://a-1comics.com/

Maybe you can try with Bunky Brothers: http://bunkybrothers.com/

Those areas may be out of your ranges.  Good luck and enjoy your trip!

The Golden Apple in L.A. is a must-visit, but that’s an hour drive from Anaheim, even on a weekend. But if the OP has a full day to spare, I really recommend a day trip into a L.A. — the Farmer’s Market, the Fairfax District, Melrose, Golden Apple…absolutely worth the drive. (I live in OC, not far from Disneyland, and spend quite a bit of time in L.A.) 

A1 is a great suggestion too, but it’s about two to three hours from SF. 

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Can't add much to the excellent/expert advice above.  I was just at Disneyland with my daughter on Super Bowl Sunday weekend which turned out to be precisely the opposite, attendance-wise, as we hoped.  My daughter is still craving the breakfast burrito we had in SW Land the first morning.  RotR was down frequently during our two days there.  It's a great ride.  Note that "Lightning Lane" does not always mean "zero wait" or even "short line."

What kind of shape are you in?  I walked 12.5 MILES the first day and my feet were hamburger.  I met my Move and Exercise goals on the Apple Watch in like the first two hours.

Have the Dole Whip Pineapple soft serve at the Tiki Juice Bar outside the Enchanted Tiki Room.  We had it the first evening when we were overheating and it is really, really good.  Note you have to order "in app" as they don't take walk-ups.  

If you plan on buying any "stuff" get a locker when you arrive in the morning on Main Street.

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