Get Ready Comics UK
I have been on the search for a local comic shop for years and after years and years looking around my local town, and the surrounding towns, I’ve finally found one! Set in Rochester High Street, Get Ready Comics is a haven for all Kent-based comic fans. They stock new releases, bind ups, collectables, and so much more!
I had a chat with Paul, the owner, about their shop, their goals, and their favourite comics.
What got you into comics?
I was always bullied through school, I needed an escape and I found that in the stories and imagination play, heroes defeating villains, standing up to bullies & giving the world hope. In adult life, I picked back up again about 7 years ago when I recognised the opportunity to put smiles on peoples faces seeing them escape into that same world – my cosplay journey started before the shop did.
What inspired you to open the store?
The store opened 5 years ago. My friends opened it and I was close with them and doing everything I could to support them, events, costuming and of course, spending money. About 6-9 months ago the shop was struggling. All the hard work my friends had put into bringing this happy place to the local community was going to end. I couldn’t bear this thought and discussed taking over, about 3 months ago that became a terrifying reality! Since then, we’ve restocked, re-focused our efforts and are starting to create (I believe) something special. A place for everyone to visit and find something for themselves, or if not, put a smile on their face.
What kind of things do you stock?
Comics! New subscriptions, new on shelf, back issues, graphic novels (over 1000) Funko, Loungefly, Q-Fig figures, board games, art, Kotobuykia, Sideshow & items from various fandoms – Marvel, DC, Independents, Stranger things, Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars etc
Are you just in-store, or can you order online? If so, how far do you ship?
We have an eBay store now, just hit 195 transactions since 24th December which isn’t too bad! We also sell from our website, pre-order comics & pre-order items like pops/collectables. We’re evolving every day but currently only posting within the UK, the next stage is Europe (maybe…) We’ll see! ha ha
Do you do events in store? If so, what?
We do! We have free comic book day events (next one is May 2nd), where we order hundreds of comics to give away to customers as a way of marketing the industry. (supported worldwide in all stores) The date also happens to be a festival weekend in Rochester which is fantastic. During these days we have artists/writers signing, cosplayers outside having photos (this is how I would always previously support the store) & generally we fundraise for a charity as well – they are the best days to be part of.
Are you able to help new comic readers who don’t know where to start?
This is easily one of my favourite things about the shop, giving people (of all ages) a starting point. I’m a marvel fan and Michael, the store manager, is DC/Horror/Independent. So between us we can give quite a balanced view for people. With the movies & TV shows being so popular. It’s easier to get people started by connecting them to something they’ve seen (we have a TV/Movie section for this reason). So in answer to your question – yes!
Is there an author, or artist, you will read anything by?
I always read Rob Liefeld, Claremont, Starlin, Scott Snyder & I know Mike loves Steve Niles, Jeff Lemire & old Brian Wood stuff, but I’m often swayed by art! We have a local writer near us who attends events, Dan Abnett who has written Legion of superheroes, Guardians of the galaxy, 2000AD, Aquaman, Titans etc, His pull list is so varied I don’t know where he finds the time to be honest!
In the future, where would you like to see Get Ready Comics go?
I’ve had a couple of people ask me this, I want it to be a safe place for people to come & enjoy, a community shop that embraces everyone, welcomes everyone and makes people smile. We recently put a ramp in to enable power chair users to enter the store, and we’re about to be doing Autism-friendly browsing before we open. Beyond that, we’ll take each week as it comes and hope that we’re the reason people want to visit Rochester. My cheeky answer is – we are forbidden planet but, on a budget. (a much smaller budget!) but we have a huge heart, there’s something great about being the underdog scraping to survive. We embrace what we are and work with what we’ve got.
Thank you Get Ready Comics, we wish you all the best!
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