Ash Avenue Comics is New Times’ Best Comic Book Shop of 2022!

What a pleasant surprise it was to wake up this morning to find that Ash Avenue Comics was named Best Comic Book Shop in the Phoenix New Times 2022 Best of Phoenix poll! There are so many amazing comic book shops in the Phoenix area that to be singled out for recognition among them is a high honor. Thanks to all of our families for putting up with our weird hours, our staff for all of their passion and hard work, to the New Times for their kind words, and most of all to our customers both locally at our brick-and-mortar store and online nationwide. We’re fortunate to be able to scratch out a living making sure that the books we love end up in the hands of people who are excited about them as we are. Thanks for helping us make it happen, and we look forward to many more years of serving you.


Is modern living not already nerve-wracking enough without Key Collector sticking their oar in with baseless speculation regarding which of the Marvel frogs is going to be palling around with She-Hulk? Is it Leap Frog or Frog Man or who is it? Is Disney finally bringing Kermit the Frog into the Marvel Universe as I’ve advocated for for a decade? Is the race now on to scoop up all of the copies of Kermit’s first Marvel appearance, and if so, is it that Super Special with the Muppets Take Manhattan adaptation, or is it technically the Marvel Age issue with Kermit and Miss Piggy on the cover?

Can anything Key Collector says be trusted anymore? And just what am I supposed to do with all of those Leap Frog issues I bought off eBay this afternoon?

My god! Comics! I love ’em but sometimes they just make you crazy!

Dark Crisis 1 | DC Comics | Ash Avenue Comics

PREVIEW: Dark Crisis #1

THE ENTIRE JUSTICE LEAGUE JUST GOT FRIDGED AND NOW EVERYONE IN THE DC UNIVERSE IS KYLE RAYNER, BABY! That was the tagline I pitched to DC Comics for their Dark Crisis event, but they politely declined. You guys can all use it, though.

Are you psyched for Dark Crisis #1 yet? Here’s a little taste from our friends at DC and Lunar Distribution! Final orders are due 5/15.

Free Comic Book Day 2022 | Ash Avenue Comics

Free Comic Book Day 2022!

Free Comic Book Day 2022 | Ash Avenue Comics

My goodness! Has it already been a year since Free Comic Book Day 2021? The answer is… no! Free Comic Book Day 2021 was in August 2021, therefore ACTUALLY it’s only been nine months, so how do you like that? That’s the sort of joyless pedantry that keeps me working on this website from a top-secret, undisclosed location with only my friend Bilbo Bag ‘n Board for company, rather than down in the shop where I can alienate people and expose us to one-star Google reviews, ha ha!

Bag 'n Board Bill | Ash Avenue Comics
Pictured: Bilbo Bag ‘n Board

If you’re the type of person who wants to experience joy unconfined, you’re in luck because tomorrow is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! As you may know, 364 days of the year, comic book store owners are miserly, penny-pinching misanthropes who count every last bag and board in the shop before they leave at night to make sure none have gone missing. But then, late on the night before Free Comic Book Day, each participating store owner is visited by three specters:

  • The Ghost of Comic Retail Past, a fellow who is always posed in a crouch with his knees up over his head as an homage to Todd McFarlane’s classic Spider-Man #1 cover
  • The Ghost of Comic Retail Present, who you only get to see after you’ve made an order for 50 other ghosts
  • The Ghost of Comic Retail Future, a woman of color bearing an iPad with Marvel Unlimited installed on it

Moved to their depths by this sobering experience, the retailers run through the streets, laughing and whooping merrily, and upon arrival at their shop, start handing out free FCBD-branded comic books to the whole town! Not just to the middle-aged men, but to little girls and college students with septum piercings and all sorts of others! They even discount their own inventory by as much as 50% in some cases! (Bags and boards are still $0.35, though. Those things aren’t cheap.) And then, the day after, a notification from Key Collector that an artist drew Kitty Pryde to look a bit like Billie Eilish in a Marvel house ad will come through, and people are wondering if maybe this means that Billie Eilish will be playing Kitty Pryde in a forthcoming Disney+ series, and then the race is on to pull every single Kitty Pryde cover appearance out of the back-issue bins and flood eBay with them… and the whole cycle begins again.

That is the sacred tradition of our people. And we have honored that tradition every May for twenty years, except during the pandemic and that time it was delayed to August.

If you’ve read this far, you may well be saying to yourself, “That was stupid. I just wanted to know what Ash Avenue Comics is doing for Free Comic Book Day. Tell me. Tell me, damn your eyes.”

Well, we have all kinds of free comics, for a start! There’s the Dark Crisis Special Edition from DC, a 25 Years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Special from Boom, Spider-Man/Venom #1 from Marvel, a lead-in to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Armageddon Game event from IDW, and loads more! Choose up to five titles each, one copy per title per person. Play fair!

Remember that every issue isn’t for every age group. Not all of these titles are for kids! The books are color-coded to indicate the age range they’re aimed at. Here’s a guide for you culture warriors out there:

In addition, everything in the store is 20% off from 10:00-2:00 (excluding new issues, items on hold, and items already discounted). What better time to get that Jim Lee X-Men Artist’s Edition book that’s the size of a tombstone?

Quests Aside #1 | Vault Comics | Ash Avenue Comics

PREVIEW: Quests Aside #1

Enjoy this sneak preview of Quests Aside #1 by Elena Gogou and Brian Schirmer, out this coming Wednesday, May 4th from Vault Comics! Don’t sleep on this one!