Better Than Sliced Bread embarked on some investigative journalism and took toll of independent comic book vendors in our fine capital. From DC and Marvel to Finnish indie pubs and collectors' editions, the following list will cater for all tastes and styles. If you're not sure what to look for in these establishments, we suggest your check out the BTSB Graphic Novel Gift Guide. Good Fellows Fredrikinkatu 38, 00100 Helsinki Mon-Fri 11-18, Sat 11-16 www.goodfellows.fi
With several veterans of Finnish cartooning behind it, Good Fellows is the epitome of a comic book store. In addition to magazines and graphic novels, it stocks an impressive collection of comics memorabilia. Their catalog of American comics is unequaled and they're the only store in town offering a collecting service, meaning that you never have to miss another number of Spiderman, or any other DC/Marvel/younameit publication.
Fantasiapelit Vilhonkatu 4 B, 00100 Helsinki Mon-Fri 10-20, Sat 10-16 www.fantasiapelit.com
Originally known for their role-playing, board and miniature games, Fantasiapelit has successfully ridden the wave of the great Manga Invasion of the early 21st century. In addition to the gazillion manga titles, they stock a nice collection of Marvel, DC and Dark Horse books, among other fantasy and scifi titles. Their pricing is nicely straightforward as well, you should be prepared to pay one euro for every dollar in the original price tag.
Oranssi Planeetta Hämeentie 95, 00550 Helsinki Mon-Fri 10-18, Sat 10-14 www.oranssiplaneetta.fi
Oranssi Planeetta is the first antiquarian store on our list, selling used books (mainly fantasy and scifi) in addition to comics. Their offerings are somewhat sporadic, so don't expect to find complete collections here. Prices are really reasonable, as low as 1-2€ per magazine, so it is easy to go on a shopping binge here. They have a nice selection of classic comics translated into Finnish, from Marvel titles to Lucky Luke, Tintin and the like. Oranssi Planeetta is perfect if your comic tooth aches and you need a quick fix for a low price.
Sarjakuvakeskus Hämeentie 150, 00560 Helsinki Mon-Fri 10-18, Sat 12-16 www.sarjakuvakeskus.fi
Run by the Finnish Comics Society, the cozy corner of the actual store is not the main source of activity at Sarjakuvakeskus. Rather, the place has focused on offering courses, workshops and a nice place to hang our for all interested in comics and their making of. According to Antti Vainio, an active at Sarjakuvakeskus, their definite strength are connections both inside Finland and to Europe, guaranteeing an unique collection of indie titles from the Nordic countries, as well as from places like Belgium and the Baltic states. Despite the limited number of titles, they offer an unparalleled window into alternative comics, both in Finnish and English. This is a place to ask for the most obscure works you can think of and even if they might not have it on shelf, they will find someone who can point you to the right direction.
SS Libricon Fredrikinkatu 58, 00100 Helsinki Mon-Fri 10-17.30, Sat 10.30-15 http://divarit.com/ss-libricon-oy/
Conveniently located near the Kamppi station, SS Libricon is maybe the most collector-friendly of all the surveyed shops. This is where you can walk in, ask for the collected 1969 Donald Ducks and they not only carry them, but in fact have several volumes in varying conditions for sale. Eetu Turunen, responsible for the comics side of the shop (for they specialize in numismatics as well), says that they rely on a binder of contacts in their business and continue to sell classic Disney titles and Tex Willer books the most. Despite this, they pack a nice selection of new European titles in Finnish, translated horror and action comics from the US and a bunch of used goodies. Perfect for casual browsing and hunting down that one issue you managed to miss in October 2004.