497 Pape Ave
Located a short walk from Pape Station, Atomic Age is a small store. We initially thought it shared space with a pet groomer–the signage is confusing. There is a single small step, up into the building, and the aisles are painfully narrow. But the store’s natural light, excellent organization and merchandising somewhat make up for this awkwardness.
Atomic Age is focused on comics and manga. Their selection of toys and merchandise is extremely limited, though they do have some anime titles on hand. They are primarily a superhero, Vertigo (and similar), and webcomics store, with a much smaller selection of indie and literary comics. A sign on the manga shelf invites customers to ask the staff if they can’t find what they’re looking for. A bright spot is that they have plenty of titles aimed at kids, teen girls and women. Almost complete runs of Wonder Woman, Buffy, Ms. Marvel, Supergirl, and trades featuring a variety of Batgirls made us smile (in triumph, mua ha ha… ha… yeah).
Most impressive–compared to a lot of comics stores–is the organization of their trades: they are neatly ordered, both alphabetically and chronologically. An exception being the possibly misfiled Cartoon Guide to Sex which we spotted on the kids shelf. Back issues, and sometimes long or complete runs, are bagged and collected in order, with elastics keeping them together.
Atomic Age has a loyalty program offering a discounted or free trade, after nine purchases. The program is entirely computerized, meaning that customers don’t have to carry store cards. Check out their website for more details.
Atomic Age seems to be fully integrated into the neighborhood, with a corner store kind of feel. That said, it’s also a modern store, with up to date stock and (miracle of miracles) they actually use their computer. Staff was friendly and helpful, and the store was evidently baby and dog-friendly, as one of each were chilling in the store when we visited.
We recommend Atomic Age for Greek Town locals, (and Magic the Gathering players–they host tournaments), with the caveat that if you’re delving into literary comics, or rare stuff, you’ll need supplement its wares with a backup store, or online shopping.