To succeed in this digital era, comic book stores can't just sell comic books. They need to provide a sanctum for the unwashed nerdy masses. An L.A. institution since 1979, Hollywood's Golden Apple Comics excels in this area beyond all others. Long known for hosting book signings for the industry's top writers and artists, the shop took it a step farther this year: It invited patrons to participate in a monthly book club, where local comic creators discuss their work with readers. Think Oprah's Book Club, but with more flannel and snarkier T-shirts. Whether you like debating Marvel versus DC with an informed peer, or hunting for a hidden gem in the treasure trove of $1 bins, Golden Apple is your L.A. nerd Asgard. —Mike Ciriaco
7018 Melrose Ave., Hancock Park, 90038. (323) 658-6047, goldenapplecomics.com.