Comic shops are not stuffy “in and out” kinds of places. They are designed to be places to unwind and enjoy being surrounded by amazing art and storytelling while making friends and enjoying conversation. It’s the feeling you get in a comic shop that keeps customers coming back, bringing friends and talking about their experiences. But each shop should have its own unique flare. Here are five awesome comic shops that successfully think outside the box.

My Parents’ Basement – Georgia

Can you imagine a comic shop that is also a gastropub and restaurant? These folks in Avondale Estates, Georgia did and it’s paying off big time! They wanted to give their community something truly special. Serving delicious food and a full bar, My Parents’ Basement gives people a place to hang out and enjoy their passions. Comics, beer and food – what else do you need? Google Local Guide Dana Gunter wrote in her review: “A bar and restaurant you can bring the entire family to. Free arcade games, $1 pinball machines (eight or nine total). Huge craft beer selection. Menu items also cater to vegans. Patio is dog-friendly.

Tales of Tomorrow – New Mexico

Part of what makes a shop unique is the atmosphere. Tales of Tomorrow in Farmington, New Mexico has planned its color scheme brilliantly. The walls are dark allowing the bright colors of the comics to really stand out. The store has the perfect blend of interesting collectibles and new issue comics. They go the extra mile to make connections with their customers by even offering cosplay consultation services. Rory James wrote his Google review saying: “Friendly staff, the cafe they added is awesome where you can enjoy some coffee and read your comics. Awesome atmosphere, highly recommended.

Off the Wagon Shop – Ohio

Reaven Veaceslav reviewed this Kent, Ohio shop saying: “This shop offers a continually rotating and interesting selection of items that you couldn’t predict would be there, and probably wouldn’t know you wanted until you saw it.”Off the Wagon isn’t just about comics, but rather about unique and funny items in general. But those interested in comics will be glad to know that comics are still a major staple in the store. Come for the funny and stay for the comics.

JHU Comics – New York

With two locations in Manhattan and Staten Island, New York is JHU Comics. Formerly known as Jim Hanley’s Universe, this shop is one of the oldest comic stores in business. They are always well-stocked and have a reputation for customer service. Part of what makes them uniquely different is their history and certainly their extensive inventory. If it exists in the comic world, it’s probably at JHU Comics. Local Google Guide Daniel Costello reviewed them saying: “With the dwindling number of comic shops around, I feel blessed to have one so close and of such quality. The staff there are always super friendly and quick to help you find something you’ll enjoy reading. They also have a game space in the back for those who wish to get some card or D&D play in. It’s worth the visit!

The One Stop Shop – Massachusetts

In Clinton, Massachusetts is The One Stop Shop where you can find both comics and video games. They offer enough inventory to keep customers coming back. They have combined comic and video games, offering a great variety of both to their customers. Reviewer Jim Curran said in his review of the store: “Tim has taken this shop to the next level. Everyday is always something new and fresh in the shop. And the prices are always fair!” Keeping in touch with customers and meeting their needs by offering cross-promotional products is how The One Stop Shop is keeping it fresh.

These five stores have one thing in common – they all use Manage Comics! One thing your comic shop can do to stand out is to have a fully online comics subscription management tool. Manage Comics not only makes it easier for customers to manage their subscriptions, but also makes it easier for you to handle your orders. Get the Manage Comics Guide to making more money through comics subscriptions today.