Happenings – The Dragon Mini-Con – Sunday, March 4th, 2012

The Dragon – Spring Mini-Con – Sunday, March 4 from 1-5 pm

6 great creators!

Becky Cloonan – Conan #1 book launch
Ross Campbell – Glory #23 book lauch
Francis Manapul (Flash)
Marcus To (Huntress, new artist on Batwing)
Marco Rudy (Swamp Thing)
Agnes Garbowska

Time – Sunday, March 4 from 1 – 5 pm

Location – The Dragon – Old Quebec St. Mall, 55 Wyndham St. N., Guelph, ON

There is a Parking garage aoff Macdonell Street & 2 hour free parking in the downtown core.

2010 & 2011 Eisner Award Finalists, The Dragon is proud to host a stellar lineup of creators for our March 4th in-store event.

Come to Guelph, get great access to top talent, check out our new store location and our awesome selection of Kids comics, Independent comics and Self-Published comics and zines.

Follow us on twitter: @dragonguelph

Our website: www.thedragonweb.com

Our Facebook page

Hark! A Vagrant takes a … long period of slowness ?

All of her superstar success has resulted in Kate Beaton being offered a whole whack of new and interesting jobs. Jobs that will interfere with her work schedule on the webcomic Hark! A Vagrant, and she wants to let all her fans know what’s up.

Kate will be moving to Toronto, and working on a variety of long form projects.

“Webcomics are often cited as the future of comics and the internet and I don’t know what else, but the fact that no one has retired from them yet means that I, at least, rest a little uneasy in these shoes sometimes if only for the lack of having a dependable compass by which to steer the ship. I just want to make the best decisions I can, so that I will be around longer, making drawings and comics and writing and other things that I hope people will enjoy. “

Kate has aspirations to do other work, and has a desire to profit from her success, rightly so. The one aspect I find most interesting is the desire to placate the anonymous internet masses, a group that will surely turn their back on you the moment they lose interest and see something else shiny, which makes sense becauseit is these same internet masses that launched her into the cartooning stratosphere.

Despite her consternation, “I’ve been pacing the room about what decisions to make. … Anyway: to be honest with you, I’ve taken on freelance work in the past years and that’s been well and fine, but I’ve never given other long term projects a chance, because I can never detach myself from the website”, Beaton will be wildly successful in these new projects. Have faith, Kate! If you lose some of your internet-only fans, you’ll gain fans through these new paying jobs, and the success will continue.

People love cat jokes!

Accepting submissions for the 2012 Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing

The Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing honours Canadian comic book creators who self-published their work during the previous calendar year and is open to all Canadian citizens who self-publish and self-distribute their comics. The winner receives a Joe Shuster Award and a bursary of $500, to help fund your next comic project.

This award is open to comics self-published from January 1, 2011 to December 31st, 2011. The comics can be in any language. There is no limit on the number of titles submitted per person, if you created 3 comics in 2011 you may submit all 3 titles.

You must attest that that the books were self-published within the appropriate timeline by signing “self-published in 2011” and your signature. Be sure to write an email address your books, or some other way to reach you, so we can communicate with you in the event that your book is selected as a finalist.

Deadline to submit is March 1, 2012.

We ask that you submit 2 copies of your book, to allow copies to be distributed to the jury.

Submissions should be sent to:
Robert Haines
c/o The Dragon
The Old Quebec Street Mall
55 Wyndham Street North, Unit T19B
Guelph, Ontario, N1H 7T8

The Gene Day Award will be given out Saturday, September 15th, 2012, as part of the Montreal ComicCon.

More about the Gene Day Award.

This year the Gene Day Award is being sponsored by The Dragon, a retail comic book store based out of Guelph, ON and a strong supporter of self-published comics. The Dragon sponsors and operates the Kazoo Comics & Zine Expo, a small press fair in Guelph, and has been a finalist for the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award for best comic shop in the world each of the past 2 years.

Summation:

  • award is open to non-professional comic creators who self-publish and do not use distribution such as Diamond
  • $500 prize plus a Joe Shuster Award winner statue
  • submit 2 copies of each title you wish to submit
  • work must be self-published from any time in 2011, January 1 to December 31st
  • each copy must have “self-published in 2011” and your signature in the book (unless this is printed in the book)
  • provide your email address in each copy of the book
  • mail to The Dragon in Guelph, ON
  • deadline to receive books is March 1, 2012
  • works will be looked at by a jury
  • Finalists announced along with all other award nominees
  • winner announced at Montreal ComicCon

If you have any questions about submitting, please ask! robert@joeshusterawards.com.

Retailer Roundup – July to December 2011 – the Mega Roundup – Prairie Edition

It’s 2012 and time to start thinking about the Harry Kremer Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Retailer, and begin the process of coming up with potential nominees. This award is open to input from all members of the general public, including retailers, so if you would like your shop of choice to be considered for the award, please send an email to retailers@joeshusterawards.com.

Saskatchewan

In October there was the ‘Best of Saskatoon’ (not Saskatchewan, so Regina wasn’t included) readers poll in Planet S magazine/webzine. The winner?

BEST COMIC BOOK STORE: AMAZING STORIES

Holy competition, Batman! This category saw an extremely close race, with Amazing Stories narrowly — and I mean by one single blue-black, helmeted hair — kapow-ing its way to top spot. Hardly sidekicks are 8th Street Books & Comics and Unreal City.

By my reading, that’s as close to a three-way tie as you can get, with Amazing Stories beating 8th Street and Unreal City by one vote. Three great shops that service the community in various ways.

In the same Planet S poll, Amazing Stories employee Donny Sparrow took home BEST ARTIST (TRADITIONAL MEDIA) and BEST ARTIST (NEW MEDIA). Congrats to Amazing Stories for getting their customers to vote enmasse.

Unreal City hosted Riley Rossmo and Elaine Will for a signing and art jam event in August.

In September Unreal City hosted an event ‘The Art of “Binky the Space Cat” by Ashley Spires’, in which the original art was on display for the month.

Each page of Binkey art is hand painted.

Amazing Stories hosted Ethan Van Sciver for their 18th Anniversary event.

8th Street Books & Comics took part in a Saskatchewan fundraiser called ‘Drop Zone’ to raise money for Easter Seals. The 8th Street Comics team raised $3,753 for this charity. Congratulations!

Tally: shops in Saskatchewan

Stores at start of 2011 – 8

Opened in 2011 – 0

Closed in 2011 – 0 (though 2 were removed from the listing due to lack of comic related material)

Manitoba

No news in Manitoba, other than the fact that Wizard purchased the rights to the Central Canada Comic Con, and then promptly cancelled and abandoned the convention. Yet the convention rolled on, under the stewardship of Michael Paille, who owns Raven Toys Comics & Games in Winnipeg. The event went on with minimal hiccups, and is scheduled to occur again November 2nd – 4th, 2012.

Tally: shops in Manitoba

Stores at start of 2011 – 11

Opened in 2011 – 0

Closed in 2011 – 0

Territories

No news from the Territories. Still 1 comic book shop in Whitehorse and 1 games/hobby store in Yellowknife.

Tally: shops in Territories

Stores at start of 2011 – 2

Opened in 2011 – 0

Closed in 2011 – 0

Retailer Roundup – July to December 2011 – the Mega Roundup – East Coast Edition

The preoccupations of life, mainly the arrival of my first child, resulted in a break from the day-to-day duties of running the Joe Shuster Awards (big thanks to Kevin for picking up the slack!).

Harry Kremer

But it’s now 2012 and time to start thinking about the Harry Kremer Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Retailer, and begin the process of coming up with potential nominees. This award is open to input from all members of the general public, including retailers, so if you would like your shop of choice to be considered for the award, please send an email to retailers@joeshusterawards.com.

(Note: please see yesterday’s note re: eligibility)

We’ve updated with a few new stores, updated links, and added some twitter feeds.

Now, on with our show.

Newfoundland

Time Masters had a cute promotion called Show Us Your Geek where customers submitted photos of their geek rooms. In October there was a Customer Costume Contest.

Tally: 5 shops in Newfoundland

Opened in 2011 – 0

Closed in 2011 – 0

Nova Scotia

The Coast held their annual Best Of Halifax poll, and in the Best Comics Store category:
1st – Strange Adventures, Halifax
2nd – Quantum Frontier, Halifax
3rd – Giant Robot Comics, Dartmouth

Strange Adventures held a number of signings the last few months:

  • In December it was Darwyn Cooke for the Martini Edition, with custom made martini glasses
  • Kagan Mcleod appeared signing Infinite Kung-Fu graphic novel
  • Kate Beaton had a big, busy, buzzy night for her new book Hark! A Vagrant!
  • Rebecca Kraatz, in support of Snaps!, and Temple Bates, with Hermoddities, signed at the shop in August, both books published by Conundrum Press, located in Wolfville, NS.

Tally: 9 shops in Nova Scotia

Opened in 2011 – Giant Robot Comics

Closed in 2011 – Role Initiative, in Yarmouth, has been declared closed.


Prince Edward Island

No news to report the last 6 months.

Tally: 2 shops in PEI

Opened in 2011 – 0

Closed in 2011 – 0

New Brunswick

Mad City has a new website

Strange Adventures put out their own comic, available throughout the SA empire at a cost of FREE!

Enigma Comics and Games is closed. When I visited in March 2011, things were clearly on the way down. Telephone disconnected. Facebook page down. Sackville is a very small town, population 5,400. Mount Allison University is located there, but it’s a small school with a student base of 2,300. It was a risky experiment, to open a shop in such a small town.

Tally: 9 shops in New Brunswick

Opened in 2011 – 0

Closed in 2011 – Enigma Comics and Games

Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund announces Board of Directors

For Immediate Release

The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund announces that, 22 years after forming as an ad hoc fundraising organization in defense of a Calgary retailer charged with selling obscene materials, it has at last been formally incorporated. CLLDF Board of Directors member Derek McCulloch says, “It’s a long overdue step, and one we hope communicates our intention to grow the Fund as a bulwark in the defense of free speech in Canada.” McCulloch added that while the Fund has been incorporated with bylaws outlining its mission as a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the free speech rights of Canadian comics professionals and fans, its status as a charity is pending. “The paperwork is in at Revenue Canada,” McCulloch said. “We hope to have charitable status before the end of the year.”

The move toward formal incorporation comes in the wake of the CLLDF’s involvement, in partnership with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, in the defense of an American citizen facing criminal charges in Canada for comics brought into the country on his laptop.

At the same time, the CLLDF announces that it has expanded its Board of Directors from three members to five. Joining founding Directors McCulloch, Leonard Wong, and Paul Stockton are two prominent Canadian retailers: Jay Bardyla of Edmonton, Alberta; and Jennifer Haines of Guelph, Ontario.

Jay Bardyla is the founder of Happy Harbor Comics, the award winning comic shop located in Edmonton, Alberta that works tirelessly to promote the craft of comics to schools and libraries through free presentations and who keeps its doors open to creators of all types to put their books upon their shelves. A 30 year collector, 24 year employee and 12 year owner in the comics industry, Jay believes he has only begun to understand the industry he loves dearly and looks forward to many more decades of learning about the medium, inspiring others to create comics and to protecting the hobby.

Jennifer Haines opened The Dragon in September 1998 in Guelph, Ontario. Since then, it has gone on to become the Echo Reader’s Choice best comic store in the area in 2009 and 2010, as well as an Eisner finalist in 2010 and 2011. Jennifer has an M.A. in Classical Studies, as well as a B.Ed, which has led her to form comicsintheclassroom.ca, a resource for teachers and librarians. Additionally, she works closely with schools and school boards to help them design specific graphic novel curricula. When she’s not in the shop, she works as a teacher, primarily of Latin and Drama.

I’m very pleased to be a part of such an important organization,” Haines said. “It is vital to protect our freedom of speech by working on cases such as this one. Despite no longer needing the Comics Code to publish and sell comics, it seems comics are still the focus of attack by government agencies as a result of a historic misunderstanding of content. Therefore, we must continue to work to clarify the nature of comics in order to preserve our freedom to produce them, without fear of retribution.
— Jennifer Haines, The Dragon, Guelph, ON

McCulloch says, “We welcome Jay and Jennifer to the Board and very much appreciate their willingness to give of their time and their expertise in support of this important mission. We look forward to working with them in defense of free speech in the months and years to come.”

About CLLDF
The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1987 to raise money for the defense of a Calgary, Alberta comic shop whose owners were charged with selling obscene materials. The CLLDF has since been maintained on an ad hoc basis to provide financial relief for Canadian comics retailers, publishers, professionals, or readers whose right to free speech has been infringed by civil authorities. Largely dormant since the early 1990s, the CLLDF is reforming to provide support for this case, and reorganizing to ensure that help will be readily available for future cases involving Canadian citizens or authorities. To help the CLLDF in this mission, please go to clldf.ca.

Kingston, ON comic shop owner released from prison on drug charges

As reported in the Kingston Whig earlier today, Jorge M. Carquez, owner of Action Packed Comics in Kingston, ON, “has been released from jail after six months in pretrial custody.”

From the article:

Carquez, who was identified in Kingston’s Ontario Court of Justice as the owner of Action Packed Comics on Princess Street, pleaded guilty to possessing proceeds of crime — the money — when he was initially arrested in February; two counts of possessing marijuana and THC tablets for the purpose of trafficking; additional counts of illegally possessing morphine and psilocybin (magic mushrooms); and two subsequent violations of drug conditions attached to bail he received after his initial arrest.

While the Action Packed Comics Facebook page has been very quiet, looking at Carquez’ personal Facebook page there has some activity over the past 6 months, Jorge noting he has “been really busy”.

The Crown and Defence have recommended Carquez “be sentenced to time served in respect of the 188 days he spent in jail before dealing with the charges. The lawyers agreed, as well, that $608,594 in Canadian currency seized from the Carquez’s bedroom closet would be forfeited to the Crown.”

While the majority of cash and drugs were seized from Carquez’ home following an initial warrant, a second warrant which involved a drug sniffing dog entering Action Packed Comics, where “the canine’s nose detected a concealed shelving unit on the building’s main floor stocked with eight quarter-ounce bags of marijuana, one two-ounce bag, and 33 one-gram packages of the weed.”

After he was arrested Carquez “told police that he sold marijuana “on the side” and estimated that he was moving about a pound of it a month.”

Carquez used to own two comic shops, Action Packed Kingston and Action Packed Belleville. The Belleville store was sold to long time manager Andrew Goodsell less than a year ago, and renamed Goodsell Collectables. When asked about the timing of the sale, Goodsell said, “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

And people say comics are like drugs.

Spidey crossed Canada, saving stores from destruction.

Taking a note from IDW’s Godzilla press and order numbers, Marvel Comics came up with a similar twist: Spider-Man saves your comic book store!

Retailers had to special order a stack of Spidey comics to get this special print run, and you’ll notice that none of the Godzilla shops are in on the Spidey promo. I’d be interested in hearing about the various ways retailers are using this issue as a promotion. Are you selling them strictly to your walk in traffic? What is the stale date for such a product? Will you be handing them out as marketing for your shop? Will you wait until the Spider Island TPB is available, then give away copies of the comics with a sticker/boomerang coupon for the complete story? Or did you just order it because you wanted to see your store on the cover of a Spider-Man comic?

FANTASY REALM
227 Pitt Street, Cornwall, ON, K6J 3P8
Phone: (613) 933-7997
Website: www.fantasyrealm.ca

CYBER CITY COMIX
1025a Steeles Ave West, Toronto, ON, M2R 2T1
Phone: 416-667-7592
Website: www.cybercitycomix.com

PHOENIX COMICS NW
1010 16 AVE NW, Calgary, AB, T2M 0K6
Phone: 403-220-1399
Website: www.phoenixcomics.ca

AMAZING STORIES COMICS
270 – 2600 8th Street E., Saskatoon, SK, S7H 0V7
Phone: 306.242.8996
Website: www.amazingstoriescomics.com

WORLDS COLLIDE
80 Simcoe St. N. Oshawa, ON, L1G 4S2
Phone: 905.436.8999
Website: www.worldscollide.ca

eXpertComics
1470 Shevchenko Ville LaSalle, Montreal, Quebec, H8N 1P1
Phone: 514-507-7378
Website: www.expertcomics.com

1000000 COMIX
3868 Jean Talon east Montreal, Quebec, H2A 1Y7
Phone: 514-725-1355
Website: wwww.fremto.com

ANOTHER DIMENSION
424 B – 10th Street NW Calgary, AB, T2N 1V9
Phone: 403-283-7078
Website: www.another-dimension.com

ROGUES GALLERY COMICS
327 Chatham St. West Windsor ON, N9A 5M8
Phone: 519.254.9482
Website: www.rgcomics.com

STADIUM COMICS
499 Main Street S Unit #104 Brampton, ON, L6Y 1N7
Phone: 905-451-3751
Website: www.stadiumcomics.com

THE MONSTER COMIC LOUNGE
2089 Gottingen St., Halifax, NS, B3K 3B3
Phone: 902-429-2398
Website: www.monstercomiclounge.com

LA BOITE A B.D.
3161B Dagenais Ouest Laval Quebec, H7P 1T8
Phone: 450-628-9917
Website: www.laboiteabd.com

HEROES COMICS
186 Dundas St. London, Ont. Canada N6A 1G7
Phone: (519) 439-4955
Website: www.heroescomics.ca

GOLDEN AGE COLLECTABLES
852 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1K3
Phone: 604-683-2819
Website: www.gacvan.com

COMICS AMERICA
552 Academy Road Winnipeg Manitoba, R3N 0E3
Phone: (204) 489-0580
Website: www.comicsamerica.com

SILVER SNAIL COMICS LTD
367 Queen St West Toronto, ON, M5V 2A4
Phone: 416-593-0889
Website: www.silversnail.com

SILVER SNAIL COMICS LTD
391 Bank St Ottawa, ON, K2P 1Y3
Phone: 613-232-2609
Website: www.silversnail.com

RXCOMICS
2418 Main St. Vancouver, BC, V5T3E2
Phone: 604-454-5099
Website: www.rxcomics.com

Retailer Roundup – May/June, 2011

As you can imagine, we were really busy in May and June getting ready to hand out our annual awards. Which resulted in a never completed May version of Retailer Roundup.

Even more new shops have opened up recently (or been recently discovered, whichever), and a couple of deletions as well. Comic retailing is fluid, that’s for sure.

Here is what happened in comic shops across Canada these past 2 months. Note: this information was gathered by perusing the retailers websites, as well as email I’ve received from stores across Canada. If you have an event to promote, let us know! Send an email to retailers@joeshusterawards.com. And if you have an upcoming event that isn’t listed here, then I was not able to find it on your website. If I can’t find it, your customers can’t find it. Continue reading

Cleaning up the Retailer listing

I have wanted to do a clean up of our retail listing for some time now. I had a hard time believing that there are 310 comic shops in Canada, so it was time to go through the listings and get some up to date information.

Part of this revamp was to uncover new shops that sold product, and weed out the stores that have closed.

Added to each store’s listing were appropriate images that allow you to see if they are a member of an organization or have won an award. New tags added to each store:

  • Winner of the Harry Kremer Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Retailer
    shuster_awards_winners_jpg
  • Participates in Free Comic Book Day
  • Member of ComicsPro, the Comic Professional Retail Organization
  • Winner of the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, for Best Comic Shop in the World
  • Member of the Canadian Booksellers Association


We started January with 310 shops, lets see where we ended:

Newfoundland
7 listed in January
5 remain open
2 closed

Nova Scotia
11 listed in January
8 open + 2 new stores = 10 Open stores
1 closed
2 stopped selling comics

New Brunswick
10 listed

PEI
2 listed

Quebec
42 listed
46 open
5 removed

Ontario
120 listed
127 open – many new and newly discovered shops in Ontario
16 removed from listing

Manitoba
19 listed
11 open
8 closed

Saskatchewan
9 listed
9 open + 1 newly discovered = 10 open

Alberta
39 listed
41 open – 6 new shops uncovered in Alberta
4 closed

British Columbia
49 listed
55 open – 12 newly discovered shops in BC
6 removed from listing

Territories
2 listed

So by my math there are 318 comic book retailers in Canada, up from the 310 I didn’t think were possible. There are some caveats here:

  • stores are considered comic book stores, for the most part, if they stock new release comics, manga, BD or graphic novels.
  • there are stores on the list which deal exclusively in non-new/used product, but are considered to be comic book shops based on the quantity of material stocked
  • the Quebec listings could be much larger if BD stocked in book stores was considered, but like the absence of Chapter’s/Indigo bookstores, the focus is on comic book shops
  • you may quibble with some of these determinations, that’s okay
  • if you know of a store which is missing, has opened, or has closed, please let us know by contacting retailers@joeshusterawards.com

Happenings – Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas in Toronto May 7/8, 2011

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas will be in Toronto, appearing at Gendai Gallery, which will be exhibiting the graphic works of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and Joanne Hui.

Both artists use the form of manga to address unique moments in Canadian history that are particular to their culturally specific histories of activism and resistance. Yahgulanaas is known for his haida manga work.

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 7, 2-5pm
Workshops & Talks: Saturday, May 7, Sunday, May 8, Saturday, May 14
Closing Reception: Saturday, June 25, 2-5pm

At Gendai, Yahgulanaas presents a collection of previously unpublished and rarely seen graphic works dating from the 1970s to the early 2000s. On display as reproductions, his work invites visitors to handle and take time reading through these archival materials that document decades long political activism and cultural advocacy work. A highlight of the exhibition is Yahgulanaas’ monumental 15 ft wide watercolour mural, the panels of which make up the pages of his 2009 award-winning publication RED.

A selection of Hui’s originals and reproductions from her recent titles will be on display in tandem with Yahgulanaas’ archival materials.

Joanne Hui will enliven the gallery by conceptualizing and facilitating a series of workshops as the host of Comic Jam Studio at Gendai. Presenting talks by the curator, the artists and guest speakers, Comic Jam Studio invites participants to create a collaborative publication that records the shared experience of the comic jam sessions and discussions on the topics of global citizenship, migration and cultural activism.

Both artists will be appearing at the Toronto Reference Library – Beaton Auditorium, in conjunction with Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

11:15am-12pm
Haida Manga and Shanghai Daily: a Graphic Travelogue, panel discussion between artists Joanne Hui, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and senior editor of Montreal Mirror and comic artist, Rupert Bottenberg.

12:15-1:30pm
Book signing of RED and Declaration of Interdependence by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, and signing of West Coast Line magazine and Potato Wars by Joanne Hui.

hummingbird-cover

Retailer Roundup – April, 2011

Lots of new shops have opened up recently (or been recently discovered, whichever).

Here is what happened in comic shops across Canada this month. Note: this information was gathered by perusing the retailers websites, as well as email I’ve received from stores across Canada. If you have an event to promote, let us know! Send an email to retailers@joeshusterawards.com. And if you have an upcoming event that isn’t listed here, then I was not able to find it on your website. If I can’t find it, your customers can’t find it.

Ontario

Le 5 Hobbies, located in the military town Petawawa, ON, has moved and morphed into Hydra Hobbies and Comics.

New Store! Just By Chance Games is a new shop that opened in Waterloo, beside the RIM offices. This is a gaming store which stocks a very small amount of new comics, manga and TPB’s. Inventory takes time and money.

Comic Cave, a long time store in Brockville, ON, has closed up shop, but reopened as Sequence, with an expanded product line.

New Store! Local Friendly Gaming open in Sault Ste Marie — mainly a gaming shop, they stock manga.

New Store! Sir Games A Lot open in Barrie — mainly a gaming shop, they stock manga.

New Store?Gamedom in the Milton Mall, is supposed to carry comics.

The Dragon put on and sponsored the Kazoo Fest Zine & Comic Expo in Guelph, ON and recently podcast about the end of the Wildstorm Universe.

Comics and More has a few things to say about online retailers, specifically Amazon.

Oh, did you need to use the restroom? Check with Amazon to see if they'll let you use theirs.

The Beguiling

Quebec

Librairie Planète BD continued with three strong events in April. In conjunction with the Goethe Institut Isabel Kreitz appeared. Jean-Paul Eid appeared, promoting his new book Jérôme Bigras : le Fond du trou. Marcial Toledano appeared in support of his Ken Games series.

New Store! Chez Geeks in Montreal [Facebook]

New Store! Hey, Le Comic! in Laval [Facebook]

New Brunswick

The Comic Hunter hosted their 2nd Comix Jam in April.

The Gamezilla chain are promoting their Free Comic Book Day events on the radio. Not sure that I like their catch phrase ‘giving boredom a wedgie’, but perhaps this appeals to the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’-kids. GAMEZILLA-DEMO-ONE-APR6-11.mp3

Nova Scotia

New Store! Opening May 1, 2011Giant Robot Comics
Address: 114 Woodlawn Road, Dartmouth, NS, B2W2S7
Telephone: 902-401-5794
Email

Newfoundland

This is a video interview with Sean Ezekiel, owner of The Lair in Corner Brook, NL

Saskatchewan

Pat Thompson, owner of 8th Street Books & Comics, appeared on CTV Saskatoon and talked about local creator books and Godzilla crushing his shop.

Unreal City hosted an art gallery event for Green Wake #1, featuring the art of Riley Rossmo.

Alberta

New Store! Animehypercubed has a second location in Grande Prairie.
Address: 10026A – 100 Ave, Grande Prairie, AB, T8V 0V3
Telephone: 780-672-1763

Happy Harbor had a couple of events in April:

  • Nat Jones has moved to Edmonton and is an instructor at Guru Digital Art College. Nat appeared in HH v1 to sign copies of the Zombies in Viet Nam story ’68 #1, published by Image Comics.
  • Nick Thornborrow, Matt Goldman and Joy Ang, creators behind the release of Anthology Project 2, appeared at HH v1 to launch the new book.

British Columbia

Big Pete’s Collectibles is having a “Help Big Pete Pay his Income Tax” Sale! Want to help Pete meet his obligations to the CRA?

New Store! Wiser’s Collectibles

New Store! Dragon Cards, Games & Collectables

Lucky’s Comics hosted Joe Ollman and Pascal Girard as part of the book launch tour.

Happenings: Kazoo Zine & Comic Expo guest list, Guelph ON – April 16, 2011

This Saturday, April 16th in Guelph, ON, Kazoo! fest 2011 and The Dragon are proud to present the Kazoo! Zine and Comic Expo.

The Zine and Comic Expo will happen on Saturday April 16th from 11 am to 4 pm at Norfolk United Church in Guelph, located at 75 Norfolk Street, Guelph, ON, N1H 4J4. All a short walk to The Dragon in Old Quebec Street Mall.

The guest list has really shaped up, there are a lot of great comic and zine exhibitors who have been producing top notch work. Guests include:

Studiocomix
Telegram Ma’am
Cave Minds
Satan Macnuggit Popular Arts
Nick Maandag
Ethan Rilly
Jason Kieffer
Lethal Panther
CFRU
Sarah Managle
Culture Slut/ Fight Boredom Distro
Brown Paper Bag Comics
Buildings & Bodies
RCRG Team Dreams
WORN Fashion Journal
Toony Quarterly
Freelance Blues
gangLion
Boredom Pays / Jason Bradshaw
Everybody Moon Jump
Clara Bee Lavery
Le Cyc
Christa Treadwell
Twelveohtwo Zine Distro
Liz Worth
Sparrow Press
Caitlin Black
Patrick Kyle
Ginette Lapalme
Chris Kuzma
Amya
Rooster Tree
Big Sexy Comics
RAILS
Bits of String
Look Mum! Distro
Broken Pencil
Sasha Foster
Scissorkix
Splashworks
Brian Evinou
Julie Faulkner / Promises Promises
Ian Turner
Felix Kalmenson
Adriana Blake
Andrea Manica

There will be lots of zines, comics, and sweet treats, and new this year: FESTIVAL AWARDS! Also be sure to also go to the Afterparty, which runs from 4pm to 7pm at the Bookshelf Ebar (41 Quebec St, Guelph, ON) where Jennifer Haines will present a talk on Women In Comics, with the awards ceremony to follow. Award categories are: best zine, best comic and best new work. Winners will receive a trophy and cash prize. Awards show will be followed by live music! There are two shows happening that night as part of Kazoo! Fest:

Playing at Jimmy Jazz - 52 Macdonell St (a 19+ show, FREE admission)

* Catl (11:00pm)
* The Skeletones Four (12:00pm)
* Anagram (1:00pm)

Playing at Synnema – 106 – 121 Wyndham St. North (an ALL AGES show, $8 admission at the door):

* Rival Boys (8:00pm)
* Tasseomancy (9:00pm)
* Wax Mannequin (10:00pm)
* Lowlands (11:00pm)

All this is happening in the downtown core of Guelph, ON, within a 2 minute walk.

For more information visit www.kazookazoo.ca or send an email.

Happenings: Girard, Ollman, Worton book launch – April 14, Toronto

A trio of creators unite this evening in Toronto to promote their recent releases from Canadian publisher Drawn & Quarterly.

Pascal Girard has come to promote the English translation of his BD Conventum, originally published by Delcourt. D+Q continue their program of translating Quebec based BD (and it’s their second Girard translation after releasing Bigfoot late last year), this one is now Reunion in English. It’s semi-autobiographical, as Pascal attends his 10th high school reunion.

Joe Ollman brings us Mid-Life, a less-than-semi-autobiographical story about being 40 and finding yourself in momentarily forgetting what you have, instead chasing the rush of not being 40, married with kids. I enjoyed this book quite bit.

Finally, ex-Saskatchewanian and former Beguiling employee Zach Worton launches his debut graphic novel, The Klondike.

All this can be found at Clinton’s Tavern – 693 Bloor West, Toronto, ON (at Bloor + Clinton) starting at 7:00 PM. Tonight.

Retailer Roundup – March 2011 & The great comic shop tour of 2011

Before I left on my trip of the Maritimes the esteemed Kevin Boyd presumed that I would be hitting comic shops all across the region. I strongly refuted that assertion but that didn`t last, obviously.

Over the last two weeks I visited, and secret shopped, 22 comics stores:

Fantasy Realm – Cornwall, ON
Librairie Première Issue – Quebec City, QC
Librairie Pantoute – Quebec City, QC
L’imaginaire – Sainte-Foy, QC
The Comic Hunter – Moncton, NB
Strange Adventures – Halifax, NS
Game Zilla – Truro, NS
Batter’s Box – Truro, NS
Enigma Comics and Games – Sackville, NB
Read’s United Book Exchange – Saint John, NB
Game Zilla – Saint John, NB
Loyalist City Coins & Books – Saint John, NB
Game Zilla – Moncton, NB
Read’s Comic Shop (aka Halley’s Comics) – Moncton, NB
Game Zilla – Bathurst, NB
Studio 9 Comic Shop – Montréal, QC
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly – Montréal, QC
Débédé – Montréal, QC
Librairie Planète BD – Montréal, QC
Librairie Millénium – Montréal, QC
Librairie Renaud-Bray – Montréal, QC
Librairie The 4th Wall – Pointe-Claire, QC

This is the sort of thing we do to keep on top of our Harry Kremer Award nominations, and it was an interesting look at the industry from a retail point of view as the stores were all across the spectrum. I was pleasantly surprised by many of the shops, and this trip really reinforced what we already knew: the Quebec market has a strong affinity for comics, and the support for bande dessinée is astounding.

For everyone that lambasts this industry for having dank, basement comic shops, I think you are stuck in the 80’s/90’s. The quality of comic shop has increased the past 10 years. As the business becomes more difficult and retailers have to step up their game to compete, the shops that remain better represent modern retailing. While not every shop achieves higher standards, the average score is higher. And it could be something as simple as leaving back issues in the 90’s. With the rise of the TPB/GN, and decimation of the collectible back issue, stores have adopted a bookstore appearance.

___________________________________________________________

British Columbia

Gotham Collectibles is gathering gently used clothing which will be donated to charity at the end of the month. Bring in your donation of clean gently used jeans or hoody to receive a free comic of your choosing with any purchase of $5 or more. Limit 1 comic per customer per day.

Tazmanian Comics
will be moving in April, 11 blocks away to a new location at 3618 East Hastings Street, Vancouver.

It's not that far. What's 11 blocks? Though they are crossing 'Boundary Road'. That's got to mean something.

Alberta

Red Skull hosted writer Kurtis J Wiebe for a signing of Intrepids #1.

Quantum Comics & Collectibles celebrated 1 year in business.

Happy Harbor announced an Artist in Residency program. Work in the shop two days a week (Friday & Saturday) and earn yourself $100.

Happy Harbor will drive you to the Calgary Comic Expo, where you will see the Joe Shuster Awards given out, or the San Diego Comic Con.

Happy Harbor also hosted a 12 Hour Comic Challenge: draw a 12 page comic in 12 hours. They raised $2500 and HH is topping that up by 10%.

Saskatchewan

Looks like there is a Comic Jam in Saskatoon now, as Unreal City posts the photos.

Amazing Stories will host local creators Kurtis Wiebe and Riley Rossmo for the launch of Green Wake #1 in April. Wiebe mentions the book has sold out at the distributor level, another Image #1 that is underordered during initial orders and sees an FOC bump. It’s a continual pattern but I won’t blame retailers as Image is pumping out a ton of new product lately and not every book is going to be a hit.

The Amazing Stories guys hip us to local creator Arwen Savage’s first book, A Life Inside Mine, and her webcomic, Bob & Charlie

Ontario

Stadium Comics continues on with their Unboxing Wednesday. They open the delivery, pull stuff out and show it to you.

The Dragon put out two podcasts: 1) a review of Matt Kindt‘s Super Spy(Top Shelf) and Revolver (Vertigo) & 2) a discussion of the Joe Shuster Awards Cartoonist and Artist categories.

During March Break The Dragon hosted Story Time, a reading of children’s comics for kids.

Big B Comics radio podcast Comic Culture put out 5 new episodes in March. They have a new intro! Listen every week to find out if they mention Conan or Grant Morrison (they usually do, for some reason). Catch up on all the movie and other-media tie in’s that are out there.

Comic Connection in Hamilton are celebrating 25 years in business.

Heroes Comics participated and helped sponsor Comics Literacy Day in London. They received some great media attention. (Shame about the Pow! Bam! headline.)

It’s great to see Heroes World launching a new website with updated content.

Here is a cute article: Silver Snail vs Paradise Comics. Who would win? Action Figures vs Back Issues!

Quebec

La Boîte à B D in Laval celebrated 17 years in business.

Le Port de tête hosted two events in March. On the 2nd, Jimmy Beaulieu (Comédie sentimentale pornographique), and Pascal Girard (Conventum) appeared to sign their recent releases. On March 7th,
La Pastèque launched their new erotic comic ‘Carton’ featuring work by John Martz, Benjamin Adam, Nicolas Mahler, Pascal Blanchet, Pascal Girard, Edouard H.Bond et Mélanie Baillargé.

Paul at Librairie Astro fancies himself a geezer or curmudgeon, but his recent ‘Motormouth‘ posting made me laugh: “We carried CSN about 15 years ago, and frankly, the … obnoxious griping by people who insisted that it be included in their reserves, and were then dissatisfied because the free newspaper they got “wasn’t mint” just left us disenheartened and we stopped getting it. … Now we’re trying it again … every other Wednesday … and if you want an in-between issue, well gee, we’re sorry, but that’s just tough luck.”

Drawn + Quarterly store had a couple of events in March

  • Billy Mavreas (The Overlords of Glee and Inside Outside Overlap) hosted a round-table discussion with Elisabeth Belliveau and Joe Ollmann on March 24th
  • Joint book launch for two local Montrealer D+Q artists: Joe Ollmann (Mid-Life) & Pascal Girard (Reunion) on March 23rd

Librairie Planète BD hosted Tristan Roulot and Patrick Hénaff for the launch of the new book Le Testament du Capitaine Crown. This is a fine looking comic which received great reviews, and I picked up a copy during my great comic shop tour.

New Brunswick

The Comic Hunter has started up a new Comic Jam.

The Strange Adventures Ladies Night has spread to Fredericton.

Nick Bradshaw appeared at Gamezilla Moncton for a signing of his newest book X-Men Annual #3.

Nova Scotia

Strange Adventures Halifax hosted another Ladies Night.

Newfoundland

Comic Jams are all the rage! Breakdown Comic Jam started up in St. John’s. Downtown Comics and the Breakdown Comic Jam hosted Andrew Bonia, writer of TMNT, in March.

Sword n Steele launched a new website.

Happenings: Kazoo! Zine and Comic Expo – Guelph, ON

Kazoo! fest 2011 and The Dragon are proud to present the Kazoo! Zine and Comic Expo as part of the week long festivities.

The Kazoo! Festival is a five day arts festival, happening April 13-17th 2011 in the heart of downtown Guelph. The festival features music, with over 25 bands at venues across town, and will include a zine & comic expo, visual art, film screenings, and more. Heck, there is even a Kid’s Disco!

The Zine and Comic Expo will happen on Saturday April 16th from 11 am to 4 pm at Norfolk United Church in Guelph.

There will be lots of zines, comics, and sweet treats, and new this year: AWARDS! Dust off your Xerox machines and get creating! Also be sure to also join us afterward at the Afterparty (4pm to 7pm) where Jennifer Haines, owner of The Dragon, will present a talk on Women In Comics, with the awards ceremony to follow. Award categories are: best zine, best comic and best new work. Winners will receive a plaque and cash prize.

Artists looking to sign up for this event: half tables is $10 and full tables are $15. Registration is through kazoo.zine@gmail.com. You can pay the day off at set up, which begins at 10 am on the 16th. This year is going to be amazing, so be sure to get your name on the list early to ensure your spot! Come join in and share your own work!

For more information visit www.kazookazoo.ca

Navigating Canadian tax laws for Artists

It’s that time of the year, where people are rushing around readying their paperwork so Canada Revenue can take their money.

Artists do not typically have deductions made throughout the year, so tax time, and the tax bill, can be a stressful thing. Keep as much of your money as you can, by making sure your accountant is aware of the following:

Bulletin 504R2, “Visual Artists and Writers”

Bulletin IT514 “Work Space in Home Expenses”

Bulletin IT473R “Inventory Valuation”

Other bulletins of interest found at the CRA Site (eg: claiming car expenses).

Full credit to Chris Tyrell.

Retailer Roundup – February 2011

Newfoundland

Missed it, but Timemasters turned 20 in January.

New Brunswick

The Comic Hunter, and their Kremer nomination, was featured by Here NB.

Strange Adventures manager Jason Arnold is interviewed about that Godzilla-cover-thing that’s been floating around. Plus a civilian university student dropped by the shop to have a look around. She might not “do the comic book thing”, but she likes cute cats.

Quebec

Interior art from Frankenstein Reassemble

L’Imaginaire hosted four artists for book launches: Djief, Eric Theriault and Richard Gagnon from Frankenstein Réassemblé, and François Lapierre with Chroniques sauvages.

L’Imaginaire released their Top Ten sellers in 2010
#1: Thorgal #32 (Le Lombard)
#2: Donjon de Naheulbeuk #6 (Claire de Lune)
#3: Blacksad #04 (Dargaud)
#4: Largo Winch #17 (Dupuis)
#5: Assassin’s Creed #1 (Les Deux Royaumes) *This is by Corbeyran & Defali, not Cameron Stewart & Karl Kershl
#6: Les mondes de Thorgal #1 (Le Lombard)
#7: Yoko Tsuno #25 (Dupuis)
#8: Blake et Mortimer #20 (Blake et Mortimer)
#9: Antares #03 (Dargaud)
#10: Lucky Luke #4 (Lucky Comics)

What I find most interesting about this list? No Quebec-based creators or publishers. Not sure why I expected a stronger Quebec-based list; I would expect a random shop in Edmonton to have their top sellers be heavily international weighted.

This is pretty cool: Exclusively for Renaud Bray-TV, Michel Rabagliati, the cartoonist darling of Quebec, talks about the creation of Paul and a talks about his next comic.

The 4th Wall will be having a gallery show this weekend featuring customers drawing on blank comic covers.

Jimmy Beaulieu visited Planète BD for the launch of his new book Comédie sentimentale pornographique, published by Delcourt in the collection Shampoo. François Lapierre also appeared to sign his new book Chroniques sauvages, with a Planète BD exclusive bookplate.

Ontario

Looks like there has been a bit of a shake-up in Eastern Ontario. Action Packed Comics was a 2 shop company based in Kingston and Belleville. It seems that Jay Goodsell, who I believe managed the Belleville location, has purchased this store and has changed the name to Goodsell Collectables.

The Dragon switched things up and did podcasts on some mainstream comics: Identity Crisis and the J. Michael Straczynski penned relaunch of Thor.

Big B Comics has changed their hours, now opening at 10am. Beyond that, Big B just wrapped up their ‘Free Comicbook for every A on your report card‘ deal. Every shop should feel free to steal this idea. I just ask that you give out age appropriate comics, that’s key.

L.A. Mood’s hosted the Kill Shakespeare crew for a Q&A plus signing. Click to see many photos! Plus, they received a crank call. Man, I remember Marc Emery being all the news 20 years ago.

I think Pulp Comics in Niagara Falls had some sort of sponsorship or involvement in a wrestling event.

Myths, Legends & Heroes have copies of FF 587, the death issue, for $15. I know that there are still people and shops that believe in ‘collectible comics’, but FF 588 just went on sale on Feb 23rd. Should FF 587 have been sold at cover price until the next issue cycle came out or should it be pulled and marked up based on demand? I ask the question, feel free to give your opinion in the comment section.

The Beguiling manager Chris Butcher gave a talk titled Censoring Manga for Fun and Profit. For the first time in a while the Beg had no instore events. TCAF keeps rolling on. A real shame they chose to have it the same weekend as Free Comic Book Day. Since this event pulls in creators from across Canada, I would expect this to impact creator appearances for Free Comic Book Day across the country. Most harshly impacted will be shops in smaller towns, the kind of place a festival-centric creator, and the only local creator, might live. As well as smaller shops in the city of Toronto, where the majority of the local/regional creators will be at the library. How could a store counter this and not allow the Beguiling/Drawn & Quarterly run TCAF to negatively impact the Free Comic Book Day events for their shop? Perhaps a big name shop could invite and fly in a larger name creator for a Saturday appearance? Draw customers, and casual comic fans, to the in-store event for this ‘name’ creator, putting the focus of FCBD on your store. Perhaps even use TCAF to your advantage and tell the creator that they get to check out TCAF that night/the next day. Like many comic book conventions, TCAF is well known for creators drinking and chilling together.

Early in the planning stages, it looks like Rogues Gallery is stepping up their community involvement: kids comic workshops and a graphic novel club. Have they been reading our Harry Kremer Retailer of the Year criteria?

Saskatchewan

TONIGHT – Feb 26th! Unreal City is hosting a live drawing art event featuring Riley Rossmo (Proof, Cowboy Ninja Viking), Gene Day Award nominee Elaine Will (for Look Straight Ahead) and Nathen Wahl (Zap Girl, Joe the Zombie). The concept is simple, yet the possibilities are endless: three comic artists from Saskatoon will be given a large blank paper. From there, it’s up to the artists to construct an original piece of art, while those in attendance will be able to catch an intimate look at the entire process.

Alberta

Happy Harbor hosted their in-store whisky tasting.

British Columbia

Lucky’s hosted a great event featuring Aaron Renier (Unsinkable Walter Bean), Jason Shiga (Meanwhile: Pick Any Path), Raina Telgemeier (Smile), Matt Holm (Babymouse) & Dave Roman (Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden)

The Godzilla List

I must think this is a pretty cute idea, because I’m putting up a second story about it.

To recap: a retailer must order 500 copies of Godzilla #1. If they do, they get an exclusive cover: Godzilla crushing their shop. (And the bonus of getting covered here! And a comic that they can use as advertising for years, or until they’ve given them all away at, perhaps at the upcoming Free Comic Book Day.)

If you’re thinking that Godzilla comics are like Pokemon and you gotta get ‘em all, contact the shops.

The Canuck shops participating in the Great Godzilla Give Away of 2011: (From West to East, just to change things up)

Curious Comics
Address: 631 Johnson Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1M7
Telephone: 250-384-1656
Email

Gotham Collectibles
Address: 2676 w 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V6P 1K8
Telephone: 604-434-4684‎
Email

Happy Harbor Vol. 1
Address: 12226 – Jasper Ave, Edmonton, AB, T5N 3K3
Telephone: 780-452-8211
Email

8th Street Books & Comics
Address: 1006 8th Street East, Saskatoon, SK, S7H 0R9
Telephone: 306-343-6624
Email

Comic Book Shoppe
Address: 228 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 1X1
Telephone: 613-594-3042
Email

Strange Adventures Comic Bookshop
Address: 68 York Street, Fredericton, NB, E3B 3N5
Telephone: 506-450-3759
Email

Strange Adventures Comic Bookshop
Address: 5262 Sackville Street, Halifax, NS, B3J 1K8
Telephone: 902-425-2140
Email

If you’re extra curious and want to see more Godzilla feet, here are all 80 covers created for this promo.