Comic Relief

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Whether you're in the market for a "Peanuts" anthology, some classic Jack Kirby comics, or the latest issue of "The Unwritten," Comic Relief on Shattuck Ave. has your number. Founded in 1987 by the late Rory Root, Comic Relief bills itself as "THE Comic Bookstore," and with their accessible approach to organizing their vast stock, it's easy to see why. Like any bookstore concerned with peddling prose, they put big-deal books on display at the entrance; the rest of their stock is conveniently organized by genre and title, with a special section for particularly beloved creators.

The layout is open and welcoming. Even if you're not keen on superheroes, the shelves have plenty to offer, from assorted zines to manga to British science fiction comics. Then there's the ever-present cat, and that odd, bulky Tusken Raider mannequin in suspenders.

Comic Relief used to pair nicely with neighbor the Other Change of Hobbit as a great way for geeks to blow their cash. Alas, the fantasy bookstore recently relocated to near Ashby BART, but Comic Relief remains as downtown Berkeley's only comic store. And an especially fine one, at that, whether you're an inveterate reader or a comics novice.

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