Finding your favorite things in a foreign country can be difficult, especially when that country doesn’t speak your native language. But, if you look hard enough, you may often find that your favorite things are right around the corner, hidden amidst a city’s larger and better-known attractions. Comics are wildly popular, but finding a hub of comics and comic-related merch in Athens can occasionally be challenging. There are, of course, the large chain-stores and newsstands, but what about more specialized places, brimming with more than just the mainstream stuff? Look no further than our Comics-Lover’s Guide to Athens, a comprehensive list of stores, attractions, and more for the comic lover in your life, even if that’s just yourself!
Comicdom Con Athens
Athens hosts its very own annual comic convention, thanks to the nonprofit Comicdom Press, a Greek organization dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of comics. Hosted in the buildings of the American Embassy and the French Institute of Greece, Comicdom Con Athens occurs for three days every April and offers a plethora of events. Stop by for workshops on comic scripting and illustrating, panels, a retailers and publishers bazaar, and the Greek Comics Awards, which honor the best in Greek comics every year.
Athens Comics Library
Established in 2015, the Athens Comics Library is the only one of its kind of Athens, housed in the Impact Hub Athens in the hip Psiri neighborhood. A collaborative endeavor between Comicdom Press and Impact Hub Athens, the library currently holds more than 2,500 titles, ranging from comics, graphic novels, and manga from Greece, the U.S., and more. It also frequently hosts seminars, lectures, presentations and fun workshops, such as this past origami workshop. A day pass is €2. To rent comics (for two weeks), purchase a 6-month membership for €50 (borrow up to five comics at a time), a yearlong membership for €80 (borrow up to five comics), or a lifelong membership for €600 (borrow up to ten comics). It’s certainly a worthy and economical investment, if you love comics but don’t want to empty your pockets over buying endless volumes!
Established in 1989, Solaris is the oldest comic-book store in Athens, is now one of its best-stocked stores for fantasy/sci-fi stores merchandise, books, graphic novels and more. Located in downtown Athens (Botasi 6), Solaris is packed with figures, movies, and shelves and shelves of comics and books. It surpasses the larger, more well-known chain-stores in its sheer variety and amount of goodies, stocking shirts, mugs, keychains, and every other piece of merch imaginable. It is also one of the few places where you can find merchandise for more cult names like Doctor Who and many manga series, along with more popular brands like Marvel and Disney.
There are many smaller comic stores hidden on downtown’s streets. Some of these stock primarily Greek comics, but even for visitors there’s still plenty of merchandise and English publications to lug home. For a glimpse into the world of Greek comics, try Comicon in Solonas 128, which stocks the world of Greek, young, and less-popularized artists, as well as Comicstrip Bookstore on Solonas 125, which stocks more European comics. If you happen to be down in Pireaus, a port city just south of Athens, be sure to pop into Jemma Books & Comics, which offers the standard comic fare along with their in-house brand, Jemma Press, which publishes comics and book from Greek authors and artists.
So, whenever you’re next in Athens, know that your one-stop hubs for comics, merch, and general geek-ery are right around the corner!
If there’s anywhere else in Athens you love to get your comics from, let us know in the comments below!