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Comic relief: 10 of our favourite cartoon bookstores in Brussels
With more than 7,000 new comic books published every year in Belgium, keeping up with what's available can be confusing. Luckily, downtown Brussels, and more specifically Boulevard Anspach, Place Fontainas and Boulevard Lemonnier, and the parallel rue du Midi, all part of the pedestrian zone, are studded with shops selling both new and used comic books/graphic novels. Here's a selection of 10 of the best.
As its name suggests, everything manga
Boulevard Anspach 94
With 25 years of history, this is one of the oldest stores, with friendly staff. It has a very extensive collection of new and past editions - and if they don’t have something, they can get it. They also have an area of figurines and a separate Harry Potter section.
Boulevard Anspach 96-100
This store is enormous with a wide variety of books, manga, posters and figurines.
Boulevard Anspach 124-128
Nuit de Chine
This is a second-hand erotic books and art store with a collection of erotic comic books. The owner is a class act and the store is the opposite of sleazy.
Place Fontainas 4
This store specialises in second-hand comic books and old toys. This is not a place for neat freaks. When you walk in you are confronted with piles of comic books everywhere. Happy hunting!
Boulevard Lemmonier 25
This is the king of second-hand stores. They don't specialise in comics but they have a large selection. And in regular books they have an English section. They buy and sell - and this is the kind of store you can spend hours in.
Boulevard Lemmonier 55-59 (also stores in Uccle and Waterloo)
A small scruffy storefront hides a multitude of products: collectibles, figurines, comic books including DC and Marvel, Star Wars memorabilia and vintage stuff.
Rue du Midi 39
Housed in a handsome 19th-century building, this store exudes class and has prices to match on first editions and other comic book rarities. Also sells CDs, LPs, DVDs and art books.
Rue du Midi 67
This is a slightly upmarket version of Pêle-Mêle. Prices are slightly higher but things are easier to find and the personnel is a little more caring. Additionally in non-comic books it has an excellent English section and a great selection of art books. Everything is second-hand.
Rue du Midi 89
Second-hand and new at reduced prices. This is the classic Belgian comic book store, bursting at the seams with every manner of comic books with the lone proprietor knowing where everything is and whether he has what you ask for or not - all in his head. Probably the oldest comics store of the neighbourhood at 35 years old.
Rue du Midi 110
Photo: Visit Brussels/Eric Danhier