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11/13/2022 3:11 am  #1

Oh, the sights you'll see!

A new thread, inspired by a recent discovery. Around the world there are places that might be worth visiting for fans of comics, fantasy, SF, etc. Some are very well known - the various Disneylands/worlds for example. Others far less so. So I thought it'd be cool to share examples of same, be they large or small. 

A few guidelines. 
1. This can include stuff that is free to see or visit, and stuff where you'd have to pay. 
2. Natural wonders need not apply. Yes, the Grand Canyon or Niagra Falls are worth checking out, but they don't fit the fannish theme.
3. Ditto man-made icons that aren't fannish themed, even if they've appeared in fannish stuff a lot. The Tower of London is cool to visit, but despite having been featured as UNIT's base in Doctor Who it doesn't count, as there's nothing in or around the Tower to reflect that. By contrast, the Empire State Building wouldn't count just because the ending of King Kong was set there, but they actually have some Kong-related art and the like on display inside as you ascend the tower, which does fit the bill.
4. There's got to be something to see. Locations that are significant to fannish things are all well and good, but "this is the street where the building they filmed XXX in used to be" isn't all that interesting (imo - ymmv).
5. Attractions can be large enough to potentially warrant making an international trip just to visit them alone, or so small that you wouldn't go out your way much to see them, but would still check out if you happened to be visiting the area.
6. These are guidelines, as a Pirates of the Caribbean made clear, there's a difference between rules and guidelines. Exceptions can be made. For example, I'd think that the building used as the Ghostbusters HQ might be worth visiting, despite there being nothing to see except the exterior (it's still a working firehouse, so no going inside). And long-running but now gone attractions might be worth mentioning "in memoriam" for historical interest, even if they are no longer there to visit.


11/13/2022 3:18 am  #2

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

And to start us off, the one I just discovered that prompted me to think it might be worth trying to put together a collected listing of this kind of thing. I give you the Brussels Comic Trail!

The European comic industry, and especially the Belgian one, is extremely active, something that might surprise many British and American comic fans. It covers a wide range of topics, rather than being overly focused on superheroes, and apparently since the 1990s the Belgian capital Brussels has celebrated this by putting up giant murals on the side of buildings around the city depicting an array of iconic European comic characters, so many they now have a site showing where you can find them all.

And there's some pretty darned impressive ones on display:

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11/13/2022 6:34 am  #3

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

Dundee in Scotland is the home city of one of the UK's top comic publishers, DC Thomson; once publishing dozens of titles each week, these days they are down to one, the long-running Beano. Nevertheless, their place in British comic history is undeniable, and as such their presence is honoured in Dundee by statues in the city centre of iconic characters Desperate Dan, his "Dawg," and Minnie the Minx

while near the McManus Gallery sits a statue of Oor Wullie, pointing his pea-shooter at a nearby statue of Robert Burns. 

Mention of that Oor Wullie statue raises an entry for the "In Memorium" section, as back in 2016 a whole host of Oor Wullie statues were dotted around Scottish cities as the "Oor Wullie Bucket Trail" for a few months before being auctioned off for charity.

That was so successful that it was done again with 200 new statues in 2019.

All statues had an additional theme as well as being based on Oor Wullie, making for some eye-catching versions, including some that were mixed with other comic themes, such as Dr Manhattan:
and Iron Boy:


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11/13/2022 7:01 am  #4

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

Here are some that may count, all of which I've visited or at least seen from the outside (so these are all my own photos/videos):

Fox Plaza aka the Die Hard Building [20th Century Fox Pictures (Fox Studios) also in the shot], Los Angeles, California:

Star Wars Mural, Olympia, Washington

Movie Madness, the last video store in Portland, Oregon has a lot of movie memorabilia:

Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle, Washington (pay to enter; these photos taken when it was called the EMP Museum)

In Memoriam: Sucher and Sons (Star Wars memorabilia shop), Aberdeen, Washington (the owner became a bit radicalized towards the right wing and I think that hurt the business especially after the pandemic hit).

The actual falls at Niagara Falls may not count but Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Ontario probably does. Among the attractions (all pay, except for exteriors) are:
Movieland Wax Museum:
Dracula's Haunted Castle:
House of Frankenstein:
Close to the latter from the outside you can see the Frankenstein Monster holding a Whopper:

Some items in the free Rubber Chicken Museum inside Archie McPhee, Seattle, Washington have ties to pop culture (e.g. the JP Patches action figure with Tikey Turkey):

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11/13/2022 7:30 am  #5

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

All Toronto Ontario:

Honest Ed's (now demolished) was featured prominently in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World:

CBC Museum, free but now closed had memorabilia from various children's shows among other items:

Al Waxman statue:

Canada's Walk of Fame

The Second City, where a lot of prominent comedians got their big break:

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11/13/2022 7:44 am  #6

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

The building where I grew up (and where my father still lives) was used as the exterior for the home on the Disney Channel series Jessie. And if you're thinking that's a bit off-topic, the show had a crossover with Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors!

Last edited by zuckyd1 (11/13/2022 7:47 am)


11/13/2022 8:52 am  #7

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

Theme parks obviously count if the theme fits the remit. And while the various Disney ones are worth mentioning, I'd rather start with lesser known ones, such as Parc Asterix in France, located around 30 miles from Paris or 60 from Disneyland Paris.

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11/13/2022 8:55 am  #8

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

Meanwhile in Japan, you can visit the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo

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11/13/2022 9:13 am  #9

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

And if you are visiting Tokyo, why not stay at the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku - also colloquially known as the Godzilla Hotel, because not only is there a giant Godillza head popping out of the hotel itself
(and yes, you can get as close to it as those workmen), but also there's a Godzilla-themed room you can book to stay in

Of course, that's not the only place in Tokyo you can see Godzilla. He's also outside Toho Studios

and Yurakucho Station

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11/13/2022 9:23 am  #10

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

Even fleeing Tokyo will not save you from Godzilla. If you go to the Awaji Island there's a Godzilla theme park, complete with the option of zip lining into the monster's mouth:
Meanwhile in Kurihama Flower Park in Kanagawa Prefecture you can take a slide down inside Godzilla (although strictly speaking it's only meant for children under 12)

and back in Tokyo again the big lizard is emerging from the ground in Roppongi Midtown

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11/13/2022 9:35 am  #11

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

You can also shop Godzilla - and while I don't want to list loads of random comic shops or toy shops, I think we can make exceptions for ones that are themed to this degree, like the official Godzilla Store in Tokyo, located on the first floor of the Shinjuku Marui Annex

and then if you feel restricting yourself to just one giant monster isn't fair on the others, you can dine out at the Kaiju Sakabar, also in Tokyo

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11/13/2022 9:43 am  #12

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, if you visit London, you can do worse than drop by Baker Street to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum and adjacent shop:
There's a statue of Holmes himself just round the corner at the entrance to Baker Street Underground Station:

Somewhat more distant from Baker Street there's the Sherlock Holmes Pub in Northumberland Avenue (close to Trafalgar Square) 

     Thread Starter

11/13/2022 11:49 am  #13

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

Photos from theme parks I've been to, in California focusing on the more pop culture aspects:

Some aspects of Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park are peanuts related, including Camp Snoopy Theatre:

Universal Studios (partly in Universal City, partly in LA):
Blues Brothers show:
Animal Actors
Transformers 3-D
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem:
Revenge of the Mummy:
Jurassic Park: The Ride (now replaced with newer ride):
Waterworld (way more popular than the source movie):
Shrek 4-D (closed):
The Simpsons:
Studio Tour including Jaws and, shown here, Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives

Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim:
Twilight Zone (closed):
Muppet Vision 3-D (closed):
Monsters Inc:
Cars Land:
Toy Story Midway Mania

I'll do Disneyland itself later unless someone beats me to it.

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11/13/2022 12:13 pm  #14

Re: Oh, the sights you'll see!

In Metropolis, Illinois, you can visit the Superman statue:

which looks only a marginally impressive in that photo, until you get some comparisons to give a sense of scale:

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