Although far from Westside and downtown gallery enclaves, the aptly named Gallery Nucleus is truly at the heart of the artsy L.A. graphic novel and anime scene. Think groundbreaking artwork from well-known artists, such as New York Times best-selling author Kazu Kibuishi, creator of the lyrically drawn Amulet and Flight series, or Academy Award nominee Don Hertzfeldt, master of the neurotic animated stick figure. The massive, brightly lit gallery space is just as likely to host artists known for their dark themes, such as the recent show of the sweetly bizarre “Gothic-kawaii” (aka “darkly cute”) pages from Japanese artist Junko Mizuno, as it is to sponsor an exhibit based on Harry Potter or the Muppets. A meticulously curated blend of vinyl collectibles, funky T-shirts, design books, graphic novels and original artwork, this is one place you won't find the ubiquitous DC and Marvel superhero comic book fare. 210 E. Main St., Alhambra. (626) 458-7482,

—Katie Datko

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