Meltdown Comics has been one of L.A.’s premier comic-book sellers for almost two decades, but in that time — particularly in the last few years — it has evolved into so much more. Opened in 1992 by Gaston Dominguez-Letelier and Ilia Carson-Letelier, the Hollywood location is a spacious haven for lovers of comics and memorabilia, crammed with titles both popular and obscure, with knowledgeable staffers who are extremely helpful, whether you’re a seasoned expert or a curious newbie. (There’s also a smaller shop, Mini Melt Too, in Eagle Rock.) Meanwhile, Meltdown has grown into a real gathering spot for the savvy nerd crowd to commune, starting with its gallery space that regularly hosts exhibits of groovy pop-culture-influenced works from local artists. It also hosts terrific comedy events, from the biweekly “Comics on Comics” video podcast to Jonah Ray’s monthly stand-up lineup featuring the best of L.A.’s comedy scene, and more. Recently Meltdown dabbled in the realm of music venue, hosting beloved chiptune band Anamanaguchi for a good old-fashioned rock show. With such killer events, often supplemented by a visit from a local food truck to provide the grub, Meltdown’s more than just your friendly neighborhood comics shop — it’s a geek social mecca. 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd. (323) 851-7223,
—Nicole Campo

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