Montclair is a town that is known for its unique and eclectic shops and boutiques, but for all of its interesting clothing shops and cafes, there is no other place in town like East Side Mags. Located at 491 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite 102 in Montclair, it is a haven for comic book lovers, superhero fans, and gaming aficionados, this shop provides locals with a one-stop shop for all their comic book needs. Read on to learn more about what makes East Side Mags in Montclair so special.
About East Side Mags
East Side Mags opened in 2014 after owner Jeff Beck quit his job in the city and took the plunge to open a comic book shop in Montclair. Beck has been a collector of comics for 25 years before he turned his passion into a business. Beck lives in Bloomfield but has always enjoyed Montclair’s strong sense of community. When deciding to open up the shop it was one of the main things that drew him to town.
“The community was very responsive since the beginning and has been great to us during COVID,” Beck said. “Our customers have really stuck with us, from coming and buying gift cards to give out when we were able to open back up to placing online orders.”
Beck says he often tries to combine the store’s passion for comics, superheroes, and fantasy with the message of giving back to the community that sustains his business. When hosting live events like author signings or comedy nights, in lieu of charging a fee he will ask attendees to donate canned goods that will go to Toni’s Kitchen or Montclair Mutual Aid.
The In-Shop Experience
Walking into East Side Mags might be overwhelming if you’re new to the comic book world. The shop is filled with rows and shelves of comics from the latest releases to vintage collectibles. But Beck and his staff are more than happy to help you find your way: just name a few of your favorite tv shows or movies and the team is sure to give a recommendation that will pique your interest.
“We greet everyone and ask if they need anything, and if they are new we are great at making recommendations,” Beck said. “Whether you’re interested in romance, fashion, LGBTQ stories, we can find something you’ll like.”
And if the store doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for, they are more than happy to order it into the shop.
Besides selling comics and collectibles, the team will also buy from collectors looking to make room for other items in their personal collections.
Before the pandemic, East Side Mags would host special events such as in-store drawing classes for kids, Dungeons and Dragons campaign nights, artist events, author signings, and cosplay nights. The shop has since had to shift to hosting events online. However, they are now back to in-person events, including Free Comic Book Day.