Paris Comic Shops

Favorite Comic Shops of Paris

I recently returned from a trip to Paris. While this wasn’t my first visit to the city, it was no less inspiring. Paris is a long-standing oasis for most of the arts. Cartooning is no different. For those not familiar with the Franco-Belgium style of comics (bande dessinée) I urge you to do a little Wikipedia research.

I probably read just as many European comics as I do American nowadays. It’s something I’ve been following for about 10 years. I’m extremely happy that North American publishers like Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly, First Second, and others have been translating and publishing many of these books in English in recent years. It’s important for cartoonists to be exposed to other work that’s being created at this very moment thousands of miles away.

I did some research before my first trip to Paris. What are the best BD stores in the city? It was the dead of winter and I walked as much as I was physically able to find each shop on the list. What I found was some of the most vibrant stores with deep stock I could have dreamed about. Many of these stores are mentioned in a blog post I found invaluable on my first trip.

On this recent trip, I was mentally prepared. I told myself I would not be overwhelmed as I had been before. I came with a list of addresses and a list of books I was searching for. While I stopped at about 8 stores, the following were the best-of-the-best on this trip:

Les Super Héros
175 rue Saint Martin 75003 Paris

This is my absolute favorite comic shop in Paris. It has a small, record store feel, but every book they carry is well-curated. Every inch is utilized, but not in a hoarding way. Books are presented with care. They also have a section of ex-libris (signed tip-in plate editions) that cost the same an unsigned books. One thing I’ve never seen anywhere is that they have their latest releases by the front door stacked on the floor at least 3 feet high!

Rackham
2 rue Dante 75005 Paris

This store is for the collector. They have many out-of-print books as well as original art. Tons of Tin Tin material. I picked up two Tardi albums from the late 70s here.

Boulinier
20 boulevard Saint Michel 75006 Paris

One third comic shop, one third record store, one third video store, Boulinier is a big, multi-story location that has a great selection of comics. The shelves are packed with albums and you might luck into hard to find book here.

Aaapoum Bapoum
8 rue Dante 75005 Paris

The smallest shop I visited, Aaapoum Bapoum, has two locations within blocks of each other. One carries BD and American imports (shown above) and the other is their discount store with lots of marks downs (in the alley to the right of Boulinier).

Album
84 Boulevard Saint-Germain 75005 Paris

Album has two locations in one intersection across the street from each other. One carries North American imports, figures, and merchandise (ie. very much like a U.S. comic store). The other (shown above) carries European work. Go downstairs to find a deep selection of work grouped by author.

18 Responses to “Favorite Comic Shops of Paris”

    • Mark

      Duygu – I’m so glad it was helpful for you. Enjoy it and pace yourself!

      Reply
  1. Rachel

    hi i am looking for posters of comics. Do any of the shops on your list stock them? Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Stine

    Great list here Mark! Have a question though. Do you recall if any of these had any “art of” books or misc. art books?

    Reply
    • Mark

      I had luck finding more sketchbook and art book collections at Boulinier. If you’re looking for something in particular that has been out of print for awhile, you may want to check Rackham. I do recall seeing some art books at Album (a Hugo Pratt book in particular), but they were mixed in and weren’t grouped in a specific area of the store.

      Reply
  3. Mangu

    Thanks for the list of comic stores in Paris. I have limited time in the city where I arrive on Monday next week. Would be very useful if you could advise on where I might be able to find asterix and obelix comic books in english. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Mark

      Thanks, Mangu. Rackham would be your best bet for classic Asterix albums, though they may not be English. You may want to try Album for them or one of the larger bookstores like Gilbert Jeune.

      Reply
  4. Steff'n

    Hello Mark,

    Do you know of any place that sells artists work such as Philippe Xavier? I am looking for drawings that are for sale. I believe that there is a comic bookstore that also sells their drawings on the quai near the Assemblée Général but I’m not certain.

    Thanks for your help,

    Steff’n

    Reply
    • Mark

      Hello Steff’n,

      Unfortunately I do not recall seeing Philippe Xavier’s work at any shop in particular on my last visit to Paris. Best of luck on your hunt!

      Reply
  5. Phil Garn

    Hi Mark
    I can’t thank you enough for your recommendations and research! Comics or more specifically Bandes Dessinees (BD) are everywhere from bookstores to department stores. The comic concentration is on Boulevard Saint Germain two of the three Album Stores and Rue Dante with Rackham, the other Album Store and several others with Boulinier right around the corner on Boulevard Saint Michel, all easily accessed from the Cluny-Sorbonne Metro stop in the 5th Arrondissement. Les Super Heroes was near our apartment and walked there several times. The other gems I found were in the Passage Jouffroy in the 9th Arrondissement Metro stop Grandes Boulevards: Le Petit Roi has hard to find older books, some quite expensive, with a very engaging and English speaking owner, Louis. I learned a lot about Hugo Pratt and got some great books here, Koinsky and Morgan as well as looked at a first edition Mobieus and Corto Maltese Christmas books. Further along the shopping passage is La Boite a Joujoux , they have a lot of comic character figures including Pixie and Cie figures: Tin Tin, Asterix, Corto, etc. A little further along in the Passage Verdeau is the Librarie Roland Buret where I got two volumes of “Scorpions du Desert”, other interesting stores in these shopping arcades. The Bon Marche department store has a relatively large selection of BD and was able to browse while my wife went off and did her thing in the other departments for quite some time. The Pixi and Cie shop is definitely worth a visit if you are into Tin Tin and the other classic European characters; however this is primarily a museum with terrific displays of figures they have produced in the past which you will see at many of the shops you describe.
    Cheers
    Phil

    Reply
    • Mark

      Phil,

      I usually stay in the Saint-Michel area and have become most familiar with that part of the city. Some of the other stores you mention are new to me. Thank you for the new recommendations and Metro stops! Le Petit Roi sounds a hidden gem. I’m adding them to my list to visit next. Thanks for writing.

      Reply
  6. bande

    Thank you, I’ve just been looking for info about this subject for ages and yours is the best I have came upon till now. However, what about the conclusion? Are you positive in regards to the supply?

    Reply
    • Mark

      I’m positive the books are made by Sennelier. Joann Sfar mentions it in his new book “Journal de Merde”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like an item that Sennelier is producing for wide distribution. I order from them direct now.

      Reply
  7. Anna

    Thank you so much for this list!
    I am travelling to Paris in a couple of weeks for the first time. Where do you think I could find a good selection of Enki Bilal in English?

    Thanks again!

    Reply

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