You may have walked by the mysterious “bakery” before on Metropolitan Ave in Williamsburg and marveled at the wonderful displays in the window like I did. That was what first peaked my interest about this little neighborhood comic shop, but what’s inside is what keeps people coming back. The proprietor, Gabriel Fowler, first opened Desert Island Comics back in 2008 without much pomp and circumstance but quickly gained a loyal customer base. Often when you enter a coffee shop or record store in the neighborhood you’re greeted with icy indifference and barely a greeting, Fowler practically welcomes you with open arms and makes me think , “gee shucks, what a nice guy”, every time I leave the store.
I’m definitely what you would call a comic newbie, but what’s great about Desert Island is they cater to all types of customers. While I shied away from the traditional superheros and their exaggerated female anatomy of my brothers DC Comics , I always had a soft spot for graphic novels and offbeat comics. Island’s stock runs the gamut of well known series like Persepolis and Ice Haven to more obscure releases and art books. They also have a rotating selection of print posters, art magazines, and plenty of zines. Besides being a great place to browse, DI is also a regular hangout spot. Fowler hosts book release parties and signings it seems almost every other week. It’s a great way to meet some fellow comic-enthusiasts and familiarize yourself with cool authors and the modern comic artists of today all while sipping on free beer. Their blog features all their event listing and they also play host to the annual Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. Even if you’ve never read a comic in your life, it’s worth checking out their theatrical window displays and chatting up the owner. Who knows, you could be convert like me, after leaving this art geek oasis.
Photo by: Block Magazine
Desert Island Comics
540 Metropolitan Ave
Between Lorimer & Union Ave [Williamsburg]