Archive for the ‘Comic Book’ Category

Nanu Streets: Candlemaker Row

Candlemaker Row

Nanu Streets is a brand new feature on, taking a closer look at interesting stretches of Edinburgh that you might have missed. This week we’re featuring the wee stretch of shops on Candlemaker Row, between Greyfriar’s Bobby and Grassmarket. Candlemaker Row is home to a few independent shops perfect for completely unique, slightly unusual purchases.


At the top of the street we find Deadhead Comics. Don’t let the faded yellow paint and dusty windows put you off going in, despite a few of its aesthetic problems is the best comic book shop in Edinburgh for people who actually want to buy comics. Edinburgh’s other comic book retailer has given away huge amounts of floor space to action figures and manga seemingly at the cost of back issues. Deadhead is purely dedicated to comic books and alongside the wide range of current releases and collected editions sits a wide range of back issue comic books. If you are looking to buy books on a regular basis, Deadhead offers a pull list facility so you can guarantee you will never miss an issue. Plus if you miss a book or are looking for a particular graphic novel, it can more often than not be ordered to come in with the next week’s shipment. Opposite Deadhead Comics is another specialist bookshop which could make Candlemaker Row a one stop shop for genre fans. Transreal Fiction dedicates its considerable book shelf space to Science Fiction and Fantasy books alongside some merchandise and cuddly toys; a pleasant addition, if only a fleeting distraction, from the huge numbers of novels on display. Hours could easily be lost for any sci-fi or fantasy fans in this Edinburgh institution. Tucked slightly below ground and further along the street is Analogue Books; a tiny art bookshop crammed with design, art and lifestyle books, magazines and prints. Zines are displayed hanging from the shop’s ceiling and books are laid out in such a way that’s ideal for browsing. You’re guaranteed to find a good handful of interesting reads and not just a forgotten coffee table book. Prints from local artists are available to buy and once in a while a local artist exhibits their work in the shop too. Just next door is the lovely independent boutique Hannah Zakari. The wee shop only opened a couple of years ago, after six years of trading online and specialises in handmade, quirky pieces from independent designers. Delicate, subtle pieces of jewellery are found upon entrance to the boutique, further back a variety of prints and modern illustrations are on display and a Boiler Suited Lego Man necklace is waiting to be picked up by the perfect owner. Ideal for gifts and with a really relaxed

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shopping environment, it’s great to have an Edinburgh branch of Hannah Zakari open for business. Right at the bottom of Candlemaker Row is a very unique shop, a shop that sells dinosaurs. If you reckon owning a Spinosaurus tooth is the coolest thing in the world, and honestly who doesn’t, then Mr Wood’s Fossils is the place for you. Stocking a wide range of fossils, meteorites and minerals Mr Wood’s Fossils offers the chance to own prehistoric relics for surprisingly reasonable prices.   Just beyond Candlemaker Row is Armstrong’s Vintage Emporium. Take a look at our Vintage edition of Nanu:Maps to find out more about Armstrong’s, one of the best loved vintage shops in Edinburgh.

The Comic Stack – Halloween


Today is new comic book day. Today is Halloween. Marketing opportunity ASSEMBLE.

There are a number of new and interesting horror comics hitting shelves today and quite a few of them are worth a look.

Ghosts #1 | Various | Vertigo

This book gives you 80 pages of ghosts and horror from some of the best creators in the industry. Yes please. If you are going to buy one book this Halloween this has to be it. The slightly higher price point may be a little off putting for some but this anthology book promises amongst its many stories the tale of ‘a spirit who wants to play synthesizer in a techno band’. If that doesn’t get you reaching for your wallet I don’t know what will. Perhaps the impressive line-up of creators including Geoff Jones, Phil Jimenez, Joe Kubert, Amy Reeder Hadley, Paul Pope and Jeff Lemire to name a few.

Lot 13 #1 | Steve Niles & Glenn Fabry | DC

DC have really grasped this Halloween new comic book day by the horns with the release of the above book from Vertigo as well as this new horror title. When it comes to horror comics Steve Niles is one of the industry’s biggest names, he created 30 Days of Night. This haunted house/apartment story drawn by preacher artist Glenn Fabry promises to be a creepy affair.

Bedlam #1 | Nick Spencer & Riley Rossmo | Image Comics

Nick Spencer created one of my personal favourite new books of the last couple years Morning Glories, which was discussed a few weeks back on this site. The current winning streak of Image Comics new releases also gives me huge confidence. The preview doesn’t give too much away but expect murder and mystery with the story of a homicidal maniac who ‘got better’. If the mystery and horror of some of Morning Glories are anything to go by this will be a book you will want to pick up from the start. All that plus the gorgeous artwork from Riley Rossmo, as seen in Cowboy Ninja Viking, make this a must for horror fans.


Continuing series

As well as the above new series there are also a few continuing series being released today that may satisfy your horror needs.

Whispers #4 from Image Comics is released today, though if the story of a mentally troubled man leaving his body in ghost form to manipulate others in disturbing ways tickles your fancy I would go and seek back-issues/help.

Dark Horse has their Buffy Season 9 comic book Angel and Faith #15 if vampires and continuity are your thing. Also out from Dark Horse is the confusingly titled B.P.R.D: Hell On Earth #100 Return Of The Master #3 make of that what you will.

The zombie/vampire mash-up New Deadwardians #8 comes to a close this week. I would wait for the trade on this one.

IDW are the clear Halloween winners with the releases of so many of their biggest horror related licenced properties – Ghostbusters, 30 Days of Night, Godzilla, True Blood and a rather interesting sounding Mars Attacks Holidays One Shot.

All in all it is a rather good time to be a horror/comic book fan.


Nanu Maps: Comic Book Shops

Deadhead Comics

If you are new to the world of comic book collecting then you may be unaware that there are a number of destinations around Edinburgh that cater to this very small market. Well I am here to tell you that you no longer have to put up with the very limited range of graphic novels on sale at your local Waterstones.

View Nanu Maps – Comic Book Shops in a larger map

Forbidden Planet

40 -41 Southbridge

Forbidden Planet is Edinburgh’s comic book superstore. You will find all the latest releases and a huge variety of graphic novels on the shelves. If you are looking for something specific, and current, this is by far your best option. Also on sale are a variety of collectibles

Deadhead Comics

27 Candlemaker Row

Walk into Deadhead and you feel like you are on the set of an American slacker film vertureplica from the 1990s, which is the shop”s biggest draw. This laidback indie feel is embodied in the owner Gav. Deadhead has a very impressive selection of back issues, with long boxes with covering the shop hours could be spent navigating the stock. The shop also stocks all the latest releases and a selection of graphic novel, and anything they don’t have that is currently being published can easily be ordered to arrive with the next week’s shipment.

Oxfam Bookshop

116 Nicolson Street

This charity bookshop is filled with a wonderful changing selection of books. You won’t always find a massive selection of comic books but it is worth checking back regularly for some rare and interesting finds. There are also regular comic book events held in the store.

Elvis Shakespeare

347 Leith Walk

This shop may not specialise in comic books but it has a good selection of second hand comics alongside a vast collection of books and records. For fans of vintage and second hand entertainment this store is a haven.

Heroes & Idols @ Games Hub

101 Lauriston Place and

A new destination for Edinburgh based nerds Games Hub has joined up with Edinburgh based online retailer Heroes & Idols to offer some comic book merchandise. This café and gaming environment is evolving into something quite brilliant for all those interested in table top gaming and now with the addition of comic books and collectibles

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hard core collectors should be checking this place out. Perhaps not the best place if you are just starting out.

The Comic Stack – Volume 1 Issue 1

Comic Stack 1

Welcome to the very first edition of The Comic Stack. Nanu Nanu is aiming to make comic books accessible to the uninitiated so every week I will be telling you

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what to pick up plus a little bit of history and a look at some of the bigger news of the week.

Back Issue Randomness

In future weeks I will be writing about a random back issue. The aim is to show that comics can be fun even if you know absolutely nothing about the characters or the context of its continuity. So I will be dropping into my local comic shop and picking up a random back issue, basically judging a book by its cover. There are a couple rules, because rules make everything fun, the book has to be a single issue not a collection, also it has to cost less the £3 so no classic Spider-Man for me and most importantly I have to know nothing about the contents of the book beyond perhaps the characters on the front cover. I will then read the book and give a wee review along with some historical context.

Picks of the week

DC – Zero Issues

There hasn’t been a better time to jump into the DC Universe, well since DC relaunched it’s entire line last September at least. This month the publisher is putting out #0 issues of its entire line. These stories are all exploring the origins or early years of characters and so by nature are hopefully accessible to all. This week flagship title Justice League tells the origin of Shazam plus it would be worth a look at Wonder Woman which has been consistently top notch since its relaunch a year ago.

Marvel – Spider-Men #5

Spider-Men #5 is the final chapter in Marvel’s much hyped (this supposedly was never going to happen) cross over between the Marvel Universe and its alternate Ultimate Universe. If you are looking for an introduction to either the Ultimate Universe or Spider-Man comics this series is a pretty great way to go about it. The art work is outstanding and the basic story line allows for the differences between the two universes to be explored by our two Spider-Men. The previous issues are all still available in shops or on the Comixology app.

Indie – Peanuts vol 2 #2

More Peanuts is always a good thing. That is pretty much all I need to say. These new comics are some of the only Peanuts stories to see print since the death of Schulz in 2000. If you like Charlie Brown, Snoopy and co then this is kind of a no brainier.

Coming Up

In the next few editions of The Comic Stack I will be giving you the most basic of introductions to the comic book world with a run down of DC Comics next week, then Marvel and Indie publishers in subsequent weeks. After that I will dive into my random back issues starting with The New Wariors, Marvel Team Up and most excitingly Savage Drangon and Destroyer Duck.

I mean he has a robotic arm! Look at him in all his 90s goodness.

Back To School Part 1: Comics

Back to School Comics

It”s that time of the year, doesn”t matter how old you are summer ending is bullspit. End of the summer means end of the Olympics, end of good weather and, for those of a certain age, back to school. Well cool off, I am here to brighten up even the worst summer hangover. Over the next couple of days I will be aiming you towards stuff that should keep the September blues at bay

I know what you”re going to say “Angus I”m going back to uni”, “Angus I spent all my money in the fringe”, “Angus I”m scared the leaves are changing”  well quit moaning I”ve got some comics for you.

Morning Glories Vol: 1-3

Image comics has recently released the third volume in this expansive series and there has never been a better time to pick it up. Until a week ago I hadn”t heard of Nick Spencer”s interesting take on High School, I have since inhaled all three volumes.

Morning Glories is set in one of the worlds leading preparatory schools, classrooms stocked with the best resources and all other available space stuffed with unresolved mystery. Following a group of pupils providing a Breakfast Club-esque cross section of the high school society. This group”s initial excitement at being accepted to this prestigious school is soon replaced with horror as they realise the Orwellian arsenal of despair and torture the staff utilise to achieve their unknown goal.

Spencer draws on influences from across the board, whether its room 101 or John Hughes. The key influence on the overall style however are the JJ Abrams” shows Lost and Fringe. Extensive backstory all tying into one mystery, each issue drifts in and out of flashbacks and/or flash-forwards? (wibbly wobbley timey wimey). This style of narrative is infuriatingly compelling but possibly to0 grand for the comic format. I read the series in three volumes and this was very enjoyable, however I cannot see myself enjoying the single issues to the same extent. The story can be slow and convoluted, waiting a month for an issue which ends up a flashback that won”t be relevant for another four issues (months) would drive me to the edge of insanity.

It”s a testament to the writing that I am only now discussing the art of this series. Morning Glories has consistent but frankly muted art. It”s functional but not much more, the only stand out feature I felt are the expressive characters. This means one of two things 1) they wanted to create an atmosphere of mundane drudgery in the school while aiding character development with expressive close ups or 2) they spent all the budget on a decent writer and got stuck with an average artist.

The size and ambition Casino games paid for for any mere 11% (individuals online slots can’t be introduced rapidly enough) while bingo notched a 4% share. of this project is infuriating but enjoyable. I was excited to read the third volume, I want to know what happens. It”s more compelling than a lot of content currently produced, especially when read in trade paperbacks. However if Spencer so much as thinks the word purgatory when writing the ultimate payoff, I will riot.

Freshmen Vol: 1

What if a group of college freshmen suddenly got superpowers based on what they were
thinking in one split second in 2004?

I”ll give you a minute to mull that mammoth question over.

You”ve just read the first issue of Top Cow”s Freshmen co-created by Seth Green and Hugh Sterbakov. Penned by Sterbakov, Freshmen aims to capture the fresher experience utilising super powers and a talking beaver. It”s a simple comic from a simpler time, it”s a super powered “Undeclared”. This simplicity however plays to the relative strength of Sterbakov”s writing, silly humour (one character”s power is to make people drunk and the Beaver talks) is used to mask a fairly strong arc of character development. There are some gaps in development later in the series, however this is more due to the unusual size of ensemble.

Volume one does a good job combining a standard super-hero origin story with a college freshers group dynamic. A pared down story which focuses entirely on characters is pleasant relief after the heavy “Morning Glories”. It is a funny book which handles an overly large ensemble well, the bad guy is menacing if a little basic and Freshmen set itself up well for a second volume. Overall I would recommend Freshmen Volume One, its funny, silly and provides some good action with a fun group dynamic.

Comics On Screen: Volume 2 – X-Men First Class


Thor marked the beginning of another Super Hero summer at your multiplex; this weekend saw the release of the second big title “X-Men: First Class”. First Class was a far superior film to Thor and I would recommend you go check it out. If you wish to pick up a couple of books to familiarise yourself with the X-universe then this handy little list will point you in the direction of some of the best mutant stories Marvel have published. I have chosen one title for each of the film’s two main characters Professor X and Magneto plus a couple other titles you should be reading for mutant fun, I chose to focus on the modern X-books rather than the classic stories, hope you enjoy.


X-Men Legacy spun out of the big X-Men crossover event Messiah Complex. The first story arc of this book ‘Divided He Stands’ focuses on Professor X as he recovers from being shot in the head. Xavier is fully explored in this title, the closest thing we will ever get to a Professor X solo book. Crucially for the X-Men First Class connection we see Xavier’s history throughout the book, though it is significantly different to the movie history. This book was one of the most entertaining X-Men books to come out of the Messiah Complex story line and as a character study of Charles Xavier it is one of the best books that character has ever starred in. Also it stars Gambit and Rogue. Everybody loves Gambit and Rogue.


X-Men First Class deals with Magneto’s history as a Holocaust survivor. Magneto’s past was explored in Greg Pak’s ‘X-Men Magneto Testament’ set in Nazi Germany. One of Marvel’s greatest villains is just a boy in this story, a boy living a painful existence in Jewish ghettos and concentration camps. A truly heartbreaking story this book creates a depth of sympathy for a villain rarely attainable in other mediums.

Best of the X

Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men is, in my opinion, the single greatest X-Men book ever written. Joss put together an all-star X-Team with Cyclops, Wolverine, Emma Frost, Kitty Pryde, Colossus and Beast. It’s this team aspect that makes re-reading this series so refreshing, many titles today focus on assorted mutant groups and communities annoyingly disregarding the traditional X-Men format. Similar to Buffy there is also evidence of the Whedonesque staples: characterisation, humour and soap opera. All this and John Cassaday’s artwork make a recipe for the perfect X-Men book, in fact one of the best comic books of the last decade.

The best monthly x-book on the stands right now is Uncanny X-Force. If you read my regular comic book round up I am sure you are more than aware how I feel about this series. Wolverine and a team of other kick ass mutants including fan favourite Deadpool work under the radar as assassins taking care of threats to mutantkind before they become threats. Trust me this book rocks.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also point out the comic book that got me into super hero comic books in the first place Ultimate X-Men. Mark Millar’s first arc on Ultimate X-Men is one of the best Ultimate books around. The continuity free take on our favourite mutants was the perfect jumping on point for new readers, like me, in the early 00s. Ultimate X-Men #3 is what I have to thank for hooking me all those years ago.

Finlay Niven

Comics On Screen: Volume 1 – Thor


This year the cinema, like most other years, is packed with comic adaptations. I plan on giving a rundown of some essential reading for the big releases; Green Lantern, X-Men First Class and Captain America which

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are all released this year. This week Thor is hitting the big screen and I had the pleasure of seeing it on opening night. This does not however make me an expert in Thor; I am actually fairly new to this world of Asgard, not being the biggest Avengers fan in the world. How wrong I was to dismiss the god of thunder; while not perfect the film was enjoyable and out shown other Marvel Studios releases. One thing I did take away from the film was a desire to read more comics so this list comprises of some of the best Thor books, not all of which I have read but which I plan to read. So if you go watch Thor this weekend and want more or are so disappointed you need to forget you ever saw it by reading lots of comics, then this is the list for you. Sometimes a character and a creator seem to go hand in hand, you think of the Uncanny X-Men and instantly Chris Claremont’s name comes up. Well this is true of Thor and Walt Simonson. A run that lasted for almost a decade during the late 70s, early 80s, Simonson is the place to start any Thor education. A handy but very expensive Omnibus collection is available with a large portion of this celebrated run as well as a series of ‘Thor Visionaries’ trades. If the prospect of reading comic books from the 80s scares you rigid with the over abundance of panels and dialogue (I mean they even had thought balloons in some books) then first of all shame on you and secondly J. Michael Straczynski has written the most celebrated Thor comic in recent years. This series lasted 12 issues before renumbering to 600. Straczynski is on his best form here; while he can sometimes be hit or miss (*cough* Superman *cough*) it is this run that cemented him as a superstar creator. This is the series that brought Thor and the rest of the Asgardians back to the heart of the Marvel Universe. Various trades are available for this series; you can indulge in an Omnibus or just pick up the individual hardcovers or trade paper backs. Thor began in the pages of Journey into Mystery #83 in 1962, so if you come out of the film and feel the need to read Thor from the very beginning then that is where to start your long journey. There are again plenty of options to get your hands on the early adventures but the Essential Thor series is the cheapest option. Marvels Essential trade paper backs are a long running series of books that reprint classic comics from the beginning in black and white. Mighty Thor issue #1 handily hits comic shops this month, so if you are looking to jump on to the current Thor story then this is a great opportunity. Journey into Mystery is also back picking up the old numbering system with issue #622. To read Thor in the context of the wider Marvel universe then he is all over the place just now. Fear Itself is the big event story line this summer and the Asgardians are at the heart of the story, issue #1 should still be available in stores and it was a surprisingly good book. Thor is also a major character in the Avengers, he has been for a very long time, the second story arc of the current run just wrapped up with issue #12 and an issue #12.1 is being released that serves as a jumping on point. Hope this quenches your thirst for Thor. Finlay balklänningar Niven