Friday, June 29, 2012

Quality Comics in Lewisham Way

A pleasant stroll on my 'New Cross and Deptford Radical History' walk a couple of weeks ago, from the Hobgoblin to the Birds Nest and back again. Around 40 people came along, which made the sun come out especially. I don't count a walk or talk like this a success though unless somebody chips in with some new information. So I was pleased when somebody pointed out that a shop in Lewisham Way played a key role in British comics.


Quality Comics was right next door to the Marquis of Granby at 3 Lewisham Way, and seems to have originally been opened in 1975 as Weird Fantasy by Frank Dobson. The rooms upstairs were sublet to Dez Skinn as the base for his emerging comics publishing empire. As Dez recalls, from 1979 he also acquired the shop, renaming it Quality Comics (photos above are from Dez's site).

It was in this period that his Quality Communications launched Warrior magazine as a kind of home grown UK version of a Marvel comic. The 26 issues published between 1982 and 1985 were very influential, featuring among other things the first episodes of Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta



Quality Communications also published the Halls of Horror series from its New Cross office. Not sure how long the New Cross shop/office continued - last Lewisham Way address I have found online for Quality Communications Ltd is from 1984.

Anybody know any more or remember the shop?

Update January 2013 - I came across this advert  for Quality Comics 'home of Warrior' today in a 1988 issue of the comics magaazine Speakeasy, so clearly the shop was still going then.




8 comments:

san said...

IIRC the shop was run by an American guy, can't remember his name. There used to be a 6m high hoarding of Axel Pressbutton & Laser Eraser above the door.

Ladywell1 said...

The American who ran it was Bruce Paley. I used to go there and buy comics. Later on it moved to Loampit Vale (by Mothercare) and I worked there for a few years

fabhat said...

In the late 80's/early 90's my brother used to spend all his pocket money in there as a kid. He then got a saturday job with Bruce - and spent all his wages on comics as well. He used to spend practically all day in there on Saturdays - once having to be dragged out by my irate mother in pre mobile phone days, when he hadn't come home at the agreed time... an event so terrifying to other comic nerds that I met someone a few years later, who'd been there at the time and still quaked at the thought of my mother in full ire*

*my brother won't thank me for mentioning that - sorry!

Anonymous said...

I remember driving past that shop in the mid 80's as a 7 year old and it was shut down. I remember the the psychotic cyborg above the shop. Never got to go in. I went in the comic shop that was opposite Ladywell swimming baths. Anyone remember that?

Anonymous said...

I remember driving past that shop in the mid 80's as a 7 year old and it was shut down. I remember the the psychotic cyborg above the shop. Never got to go in. I went in the comic shop that was opposite Ladywell swimming baths and bought a killer Hulk comic! there was way to much to choose from being a young kid with only enough money for 1 comic sucked! Does anyone remember that comic shop?

Anonymous said...

Hey, is there anyone who remembers a comic shop that was up by Lewisham market in the 80's. Remember it weirdly had an adult magazine section at the back of it but can't recall the name of the shop.

Andrew Wright said...

The comic shop in Lewisham was called Popular Book Centre (I think it was part of a chain of small independent shops).
I remember buying Batman Son of the Demon in there.

Anonymous said...

Cheers Andrew, knew I wasn't misremembering there being a comic shop by the market...I goggled the name and found a Facebook page dedicated to them.
The Lewisham shop must have been open around the late 80's, Son of the Demon came out in'87...now I think, that was about the time I went there.
Dean.