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 Here's how Austin Bealmer of The Nashville Musician rated The Great Escape as a record store in the April-June 2015 issue:
"The Great Escape (two stores locally) is the best, based on size and layout of inventory, turnover, price and knowledgeable staff. The also have outrageous sales several times a year."
Daredevils and renegades: An extensive guide to local comic book stores - Leo Weekly - April 11, 2015
By Syd Bishop
Comic books are all over popular culture these days, from television and film to music and fashion. And while it’s no secret that blockbuster movies like Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and The Avengers made a killing, the craze has contributed a boost for the source material as well over the past few years, although the industry is well outside its heyday. So, if you’re a new reader, where do you start? And what’s the best comic book store for you?
In order to really answer those questions, we have to first define what a comic book shop is. There are all sorts of places in Louisville where you can buy comics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a comic book shop. Here you can buy single issues — new every Wednesday — as well as the latest trade paperbacks (graphic novels if you want to sound brainy) and other comics-related paraphernalia. So, a place like Books-A-Million or The Peddler’s Mall is not a comic book shop, despite the fact that you may find some there — neither place specifically caters to the clientele, it’s just a byproduct of big business.
There are nine places that fit the criteria in Louisville, and they each have their own flavor. This article is about those nine. In most cases, I had pre-existing, and often-extensive knowledge of the shop, although I revisited each prior to writing this. In a few cases, I was pleasantly surprised by something new. Read on to find out how that manifests itself and where you too can find the best deals in town. And maybe something off the beaten path.
The Great Escape
2433 Bardstown Road
Superficially, the Great Escape isn’t much. The awning is fading, and the interior is dimly lit and crowded. The space is small and often difficult to navigate if they are even relatively busy, which is usually the case. The staff that works there is often impersonal, attending to the matters at hand, without offering much in the way of conversation. But all of this adds up to one of, if not the, best comic book store that I’ve ever had the good fortune to patronize.
I’ve been to a lot of comic book shops, in and out of Louisville, and not one has matched the used trade selection at The Great Escape. Comprised of two enormous shelves located in the back of the store, the used trade selection has helped pad my collection for years at an affordable rate. There are so many, in fact, that a few years ago they had to expand their used trade selection into several long boxes just to contain the overflow. And the selection is remarkably up to date, and prone to regular growth; they get in new used trades often, so if you don’t see what you’re looking for now, be patient.
Of course, their new selection is equally remarkable and economical. In order to compete with Amazon or other online ordering services, every trade in the store is 25 percent off every day, with even better deals popping up on a regular basis. Their new single-issue collection is equal to any other store in town, although it’s ordered by publisher, rather than alphabetically, which can be a bit more difficult to navigate if you’re unfamiliar with the system. I would argue that a composite of the two systems — by publisher and alphabetic — might be optimal for everyone. At least they don’t leave up old issues of single issues, which can get a bit confusing unless you follow the industry closely.
In addition to comics, The Great Escape has a ton of other great stuff. There is an enormous wall of DVD’s, and one of the best used music sections in town. That section includes both CD’s and vinyl, with an extensive collection of both. They also stock Magic cards and other gaming-based items, although that is definitely not their primary specialty. Still, their stock is robust and seems to be regularly replenished. Unfortunately, the same cannot be always said for their new trades selection, which tends to lack in some of the bigger titles that people may want. The selection is large, just not always as complete as you might like it, specifically for newer titles. All things considered, The Great Escape is a perfect and cozy little store that has so many hidden gems. You can spend hours there if you don’t pay attention.

YP Reviews




The Great Escape
5400 Charlotte Ave
Nashville, TN 37209
In Business Since 1977

Business Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Sat: 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Sun: 12:00 PM - 07:00 PM

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