October 24, 2007
Best Comic Book Store
TATE'S Comics, Toys, Videos & More
4566 N. University Dr.
Enter Tate's and prepare for sensory overload. Huge fiberglass heads by lowbrow artist Colin Christian peer salaciously from the storefront; a riot of Japanese snacks and beverages all but pops off the racks; superhero and villain figurines line shelves and display cases, poised for world-saving or - dominating, as required; and sci-fri, anime or other fantasy videos are usually playing in the background (and available for rent). And, oh yes, Tate's has comics - just about any title you can think of and more than a few you've never heard of. The latest graphic-novel offerings, from the largest publishing house to the most obscure imprint, guarantee readers will find something to keep them up late flipping pages. And if you though Tate's was impressive before, get a load of the store's recent expansion and new Bear and Bird Boutique and Gallery. (See Best Place for Affordable Art.) More reasons Tate's rates: Its neighbors include Uncle Sam's Music and Rock-A-Billy Tattoos and Piercing, making it one-stop shopping for hipsters, and well-behaved pooches are welcome inside.
Best Place to Buy Affordable Art
Bear and Bird Boutique+Gallery
4566 N. University Dr., Lauderhill 33351, 954-748-0181
Tate Ottati has long championed the local art scene at Tate's Comics (See Best Comic Book Store.) So when he expanded the store last year, he and his wife, Amanda Magnetta-Ottati, constructed a loft space gallery. Bear and Bird is truly Mrs. Ottati's baby - its moniker derives from her parents' nicknames, and she gave up her day job to run it. In addition to presenting cool shows such as For Love of Munny and Bad Meaning Good: An All-Star All-Stencil Show, Bear and Bird peddles paintings and prints by local artists at decent prices. A recent visit found prints by Sas Christian, Colin Christian, Justin DeGarmo and Terribly Odd for less than $50 (more with a frame), as well as watercolors by Johnny Robles and Jan Wang and oils by Skot Olsen. Tokidoki LeSportsac bags with anime characters, a skull-face Adios keychain, button brooches, handmade swallow combs and a cartoony stuffed deer head are among the other not-too-precious objects d'art available for purchase.