Travel

Kawai’s Guide to comics shopping in Berlin part two: everything else

In part one of this guide, I wrote a little about comics in Berlin and gave an in-depth review of Renate Comics. Part two basically covers the rest of the comics stores I checked out – practical details included in the Google map – and some Berlin travel tips I didn’t read in any travel guides.

Grober Unfug

Berlin-Grober-Ext

The larger location is on Torstraße

Grober is a more mainstream store with two locations (see map below). While it stocks your typical mainstream works and related merch, it stocks many European titles as well, and some indy Anglo N. American comics. It also carries comics from smaller publishers like Zwerchfell Verlag, Edition Moderne, etc. I think the closest analogous store we have in Toronto would be the Silver Snail.

Berlin-Grober-Signing

Wandered in to find a book signing going on.

When I visited, a book signing with local Berlin cartoonists was just wrapping up and it was great to see the support for smaller artists. However, if you are looking for very independent small press/zine type fare, you’re better off heading to Renate Comics.

In:surgo!

Berlin-Insurgo

Discovered while wandering around Rosenthaler Platz station

There are a lot of stores in Berlin that also feature studios/galleries. In:surgo! doesn’t specialize in comics as it is a silkscreen studio. It sells mainly zines, posters and some clothing. However, it does carry comics, including a French translation of a Yoshikazu Ebisu comic anthology that I picked up. Bonus for Canadians: the artists running the gallery are French (from Sweden) speakers.

Berlin-Insurgo-Books

Zines like manna from heaven

Berlin-Insurgo-Internal

Studio is in the back through the door

yoshikazu ebisu

Supalife Kiosk

Berlin-Supalife

Night shot; discovered while wandering Prenzlauer Berg

Unfortunately, the Supalife Kiosk was closed when I visited but this looked a lot like In:surgo! so I thought I’d include it. Prenzlauer Berg used to house more galleries, but since it’s become gentrified, the scene has been pushed south-east to Kreutzberg. I went to Kreutzberg mainly for the food and music, so I didn’t have much time to explore the neighbourhood by day but I’m betting there are many spaces like this there.

Neo Tokyo

Berlin-Neo-Tokyo

Apologies for the craptastic photo; my friend and I were in a rush!

I saw Neo Toyko on a cab ride home and got there 3 minutes after closing the next day. This store seems like a good place to buy anime and manga. You can check out this video review for interior shots and more products. By the by, it seems easier to source Japanese goods in Berlin than Toronto so you might want to bear this in mind. See additional Berlin tips…

Berlin-Flyer

Spotted by Potsdamer Platz

Random Berlin travel tips

  • EVERYTHING IS CLOSED ON SUNDAY. Actually, the guidebooks will tell you this but then you will forget. IT’S CLOSED I TELL YOU.
  • Don’t bother packing stilettos. Not only are they space inefficient, Berlin’s hobblestone paved sidewalks, while charming and all European, make a 4″ spike a silly choice for footwear save for the most dedicated fashionistas.
  • Apparently, tantric massage is popular here. I didn’t have time to check this out, but all I can say is that it’s not cheap to get your yoni or lingam rubbed by a tantric professional.
  • Looking for kink in Berlin? Try this handy map. There’s also an English language group on FL where you can gather more intel on various clubs and suchlike.
  • I managed to track down great sushi, matcha tea houses, good quality incense and a hardcore zen dojo. I had the feeling I was just scratching the surface of Japan in Germany.
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