Independent publishing empire Fantagraphics Books was in the vanguard of a movement that legitimized an art form, pushing comics beyond the fantasy realm of superheroes and supervillains by publishing work that took chances. Among its popular releases are Hip-Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor, which explains the historical progression of hip-hop, and Charles Burns’ Black Hole. In 2006, Fantagraphics gave its local fans a spot to geek out by opening a comic book shop in Georgetown. Here, the growing masses of comics fans can peruse all of the publishers work, as well as the exemplary comics from other respected outlets. 1201 S Vale St., 658-0110
First runner-up: Phoenix Comics & Games
Second runner-up: Comics Dungeon
Honorable mention: Zanadu Comics, Arcane Comics
Read about the rest of the Best of Seattle Reader Poll winners here. If you didn’t get a chance to vote this go-round, make sure your voice is heard next year. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will let you know when nominations open for BoS 2017.