A Day of Exploring OEV Comic Shops
View over the comic bins at Worlds Away.
Hi there! My name is Sarah and I am an intern with the Old East Village BIA. I live in the south end of the city, so it’s a bit of a hike to get to the Old East Village. Despite that, I try to visit the village almost every weekend because there isn’t anywhere else like it in the whole city. OEV has shops for Dungeons & Dragons, board games, manga, Gunpla, and Magic the Gathering and they’re all within a 10-minute walk of one another. It’s like an amazing pilgrimage for all things nerdy.
Sarah Crook, OEV BIA intern
The first stop is at 100 Kellogg Lane with the newly relocated L.A. Mood Comics & Games. In their upsized OEV location, L.A. Mood sells trading card games, board games, and roleplaying games (RPGs) as well as a large selection of accessories and extras to level up your gameplay.
Carol Vandenberg, co-owner of L.A. Mood
L.A. Mood was my first London local game store. Their move east was the main factor in my decision to start riding the 2 bus straight through downtown and into OEV instead. While I started shopping at L.A. Mood for their Magic the Gathering catalogue, they introduced me to amazing board games, my first tabletop RPG, and so, so many sets of dice.
With their expanded space, L.A. Mood has even more room for board games and RPG supplies. They order all the latest rulebooks and campaign guides for Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder and many more fantastic games. Alongside the books, their miniatures, battle maps, and numerous colourful dice displays make this my go-to store for an upcoming game night.
Neo Tokyo - The Anime Store
Rob Chamberlain, owner of Neo Tokyo
By following Dundas Street to the west, we arrive at the next stop on the tour: Neo Tokyo. This shop has the very special distinction of being the only dedicated anime and manga shop in London. It is the best spot in the city to find a new series to read and maybe even a figure or plushie of popular characters to match.
Besides their impressive collection of manga volumes, I love Neo Tokyo for their entire shelf of Gundam plastic model kits—or Gunpla. They have kits from several Gundam series, a collection of Pokémon models, One Piece ships, and even a few Digimon models. Neo Tokyo carries the full range of models from the smallest and simplest High Grade kits, to more challenging builds like the small, but intricate, Real Grade, the larger Master Grades, and the massive Perfect Grade models which size up to around 30cm once completed.
Neo Tokyo also sells the best tools for the job. Whether you’re new to the hobby or a veteran, nothing tops the chance to get your hands on high-quality tools. Right next to the model kits are paint, snips, files, LED kits, airbrushes, and markers—everything a Gunpla-enthusiast needs to perfect their next project.
Storefront of Worlds Away at 666 Dundas St.
Rick Miles, who runs Worlds Away
Our last stop is Worlds Away. From their location at the heart of Old East Village, Worlds Away is the iconic comic bookstore. I’m not a big comic hunter, but I love to stop in Worlds Away to see their action figures and gaming supplies. They’ve even started 3D printing dragon egg-shaped dice holders and special dice towers if you are in the market for a unique piece to add to your gaming table.
Worlds Away interior shot
The center of the store is still home to a mighty collection of comic books, but the shelves that line the walls have action figures and collectibles that appeal to all sorts of geeky fandoms. Whether you have a passion for Marvel, DC, Star Wars, or Doctor Who, Worlds Away’s selection is vast, to say the least.
The back half of the store is reserved for Magic the Gathering. In non-COVID times, the back of the store and its basement play space are buzzing with folks attending scheduled Friday Night Magic (FNM) events or the special Pre-Release tournaments when a new set of Magic comes out. While these events aren’t on the table now, Worlds Away has been hosting their FNMs online and they’re eagerly anticipating the go-ahead to host in-person events once more.
And with that, we’ve reached the end of the tour. By this point, I’m usually both caffeine and sugar-deprived, so it’s fortunate that Backroads Café & Tavern and Wisdom Cafe, Teashop and Japanese Creperie are located in the west end of the village. Both places serve a medley of tea and coffee beverages perfect for a burst of energy at the end of your visit. If you are also craving something sugary then I wholeheartedly recommend either Backroads’ cupcakes or a decadent dessert crepe from Wisdom.