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How a tiny Aberdeen comic shop inspired city's first ever Comic Con

How a tiny Aberdeen comic shop inspired city's first ever Comic Con

It was 25 years ago that ten-year-old Chris Robertson first wandered awestruck among the colour laden racks of Plan 9, a tiny comic shop on Rosemount Place.

As he handed over his precious pocket money at the counter to purchase his first ever graphic novel, X-Men: From the Ashes, little did Chris know that he was just starting out on a long path to "geeky fandom".

Now, Chris isn't just an avid consumer of comics - he creates his own, and is the first to admit that if it wasn't for Plan 9, he wouldn't have become one of the driving forces behind Aberdeen's first ever Granite City Comic Con.

  (Morgan Black)
via STV via STV

"We're very proud to have Plan 9 involved with our event," said Chris.

"All the organisers started their lives as full time nerds in the shop, so it's safe to say that without Plan 9, we certainly wouldn't be organising a comic convention."

After all, it seems only right that one of Aberdeen's first comic book shops should be a fixture at Aberdeen's first large scale convention.

Owner Mathew Moloney opened Plan 9 in Rosemount Place in 1989. Several years later, the business expanded to its current larger premises on 9 Rosemount Viaduct.

It quickly became a haven for Aberdeen comic lovers, for whom rummaging through Plan 9's impressive back catalogue of titles became a weekly ritual.

  (Morgan Black)
via STV via STV

"I started going into the tiny shop on Rosemount Place the year they opened," Chris recalls fondly.

"It was like going into a different world when you're that age, you could spend hours there.

"My parents would dump me there with a tenner and go off and do their shopping, so the staff were like my babysitters.

"It's really nice that an independent shop like that has lasted for so long."

Despite rival city comic book store Asylum opening in 1999, Plan 9 continued to thrive thanks to its loyal customers, many of whom, like Chris, have been visiting the shop regularly for much of their adult lives.

It continues to stock row upon row of old and new cellophane-wrapped comics, as well as graphic novels, memorabilia, RPGs and tabletop games - plus merchandise, clothes and even superhero baby-grows.

  (Morgan Black)
via STV via STV
  (Morgan Black)
via STV via STV

Along with fellow city comic shops Asylum and Forbidden Planet, Plan 9 are set to host two stalls at the inaugural Granite City Comic Con, planned for May 2015 at Transition Extreme.

Plan 9 proprietor Mathew said: "It's great news that a comic con is getting started in Aberdeen. Having watched the Glasgow con grow over the last few years we are hopeful of success up here.

"Personally I would love to see Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely attend. Without a doubt, they're the big names on the Scottish scene. They've worked together on a few titles and WE 3 is a personal favourite."

After announcing the event in June, organisers have since confirmed several guests including Glasgow's Jim Alexander, writer for 2000 AD's Judge Dredd.

Holy Granite City Batman! Aberdeen's first Comic Con set for 2015

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Also attending are Monty Nero from Dundee, who has been working with Marvel on the next Hulk installment, and artist Nick Brokenshire, who works on IDW and Monkeybrain's Amelia Cole series.

All of which you're guaranteed to find in the bulging racks at Plan 9.

We'd love to hear your memories of Plan 9. Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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