Best Comic Book Shop

Alternate Reality was a finalist for the 2011 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award from the San Diego Comic-Con (trust us, that’s a prestigious international comics-schlepping honor). The reason is simple: This shop offers a beautiful space and first-rate selection, emphasizing acclaimed U.S. indie and foreign comics (from Europe and Japan). Owner Ralph Mathieu has fashioned an oasis for discerning sequential-art fans while also offering garden-variety geeks all the usual X-Crap. The staff is welcoming and very nearly super-powered in their ability to cook killer vegan dumplings while also helping to curate the Artists Spotlight, which every month showcases original works by local creators.