While the market continues to expand under heavy influence of Japanese and Western imports, there are still relatively few specialty shops throughout the Kingdom, with enthusiasts often relying on small sections of chain bookstores or online shopping to get their fix. But hardline fans are in luck in the City of Light, as more and more comic culture-focused shops are popping up across Bangkok. Get ready for this summer’s Comic Con by checking out these seven awesome comic book stores.
Thai comic book culture has developed steadily over the past few decades, fueled in no small part by the mega-success of the country’s annual Comic Con. The three-day event first launched in 2014, attracting 300,000 attendees in spite of the widespread political unrest at the time. Today attendance has swelled to over 100,000 and is now boasted as the largest pop culture event in Southeast Asia.
Operated by Japan Manga Alliance, Co., this shop opened in 2016 to lines of hundreds within its MBK venue. The incredibly popular Japanese brand, which aims to promote Japanese anime culture and mitigate comic piracy, offers nearly 30,000 items in its flagship Bangkok store, including Japanese comic books translated into Thai, model figurines, and posters.
Boasting two local shops with plans for expansion, BA KA TOON is a must-visit for comic book lovers. Its website keeps an up-to-date list of new arrivals for browsing ease. The brand also has a popular Youtube channel used to share reviews and discussions about various comics the staff and customers are interested in, with occasional special guests.
Offering an alternative to the manga craze that’s swept the city, this shop specializes in – you guessed it – classic DC and Marvel comics. From Superman to X-men, there’s something here to satisfy anyone longing for traditional Western comic books, authenticity guaranteed, and all at good prices.
Ohyao, with its monkier “Say hello to Japan,” specializes in the celebration of all things manga and anime. From books to toys to every accessory in between, this small shop near Rod Fai Park is like walking into another corner of the Asian continent. Check their Facebook page for new arrivals and information on their current stock.
Another MBK shop, Bee Comics is a go-to for many local comic book hunters as it gets new orders in for its collection on a very regular basis. While offering a modest layout at first glance, browsers could spend hours hunting through the reasonably priced products, from labels like Otaku Comics to Bongkoch, Siam Inter Comic and MK Comic.
Bookstore, Park, Store
This Japanese-owned book chain is famous for being the largest bookstore in Thailand, and most locals either love it or hate it. While lacking the charm of independently owned shops, its mega-success as a regional chain means it always has a substantial variety of books in many languages, and also has one of the largest selections of manga comic books in the country, ranging from English, Thai, and Japanese – and all come with a 100 percent guarantee of authenticity. If you’re after a specific title, it’s best to check their website to see what’s available at your nearest local branch. They also offer online delivery options.
While not strictly a comic book store, Asia’s largest collection of superhero and anime memorabilia is a stop no comic book enthusiast should miss. Visitors could spend hours browsing through the rooms packed with 50,000 toys, magazines, games, costumes, and more – all dating back to since 1960. The museum has rooms dedicated to memorabilia of heroes famous the world over, as well as others full of new generation computer graphic characters, and of course, its legendary Batman collection. The museum’s gift shop itself is a must-visit as well, with tons of stuff for sale for every level of comic aficionado.