On Saturday, September 20th at Back Space Toronto we announced the winners of the 2014 Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creators.
Harry Kremer Award (Retailers) / Prix Harry Kremer (Détaillants)
Throughout the year, the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association (CBCAA) works to maintain an accurate list of active comic book stores and a database of recommendations, referrals and secret shopper reports.
A separate Retailer Award Committee overseen by Scott VanderPloeg and Anthony Falcone reviews the data and selects a short list of stores that have shown merit in a variety of categories. In June we announced the 10 finalists for the Harry Kremer Award and they were:
- Amazing Stories (Saskatoon, SK)
- Another Dimension (Calgary, AB)
- The Comic Hunter (Moncton, NB)
- Imaginaire (Quebec City, QC)
- Comic Readers (Regina, SK)
- The Comic Shop (Vancouver, BC)
- Paradise Comics (Toronto, ON)
- Conspiracy Comics (Burlington, ON)
- Timemasters (St. John’s, NL)
- Stuff 2 Do Toys & Games (Iqaluit, NU)
Since that announcement, all of the retailers were asked to provide details about their business and why they should receive the Kremer Award for Canadian Comic Book Retailer. After reviewing the data received, the five finalists are:
- Amazing Stories (Saskatoon, SK)
- Comic Readers (Regina, SK)
- Another Dimension (Calgary, AB)
- The Comic Shop (Vancouver, BC)
- Timemasters (St. John’s, NL)
Congratulations to all! This year’s list has very strong western Canadian representation with 2 stores from Saskatchewan, 1 from Alberta and 1 from British Columbia.
The winner will be announced in Toronto at a ceremony that will take place on Saturday, September 20th.
The Harry Kremer Retailer Award, is named after the late owner of Kitchener, ON store Now & Then Books. Kremer’s store was one of the first comic book specialty shops in North America and Kremer has a tremendous impact as a retailer, aficionado and patron of the sequential arts.
2005 – Now and Then Books (Kitchener, ON)
2006 – Strange Adventures (Halifax, NB)
2007 – Happy Harbor Comics (Edmonton, AB)
2008 – Big B Comics (Hamilton, ON)
2009 – Legends Comics (Victoria, BC)
2010 – The Beguiling (Toronto, ON)
2011 – Librairie Planète BD (Montreal, QC)
2012 – Silver Snail (Toronto, ON)
2013 – Heroes (London, ON)
Volume 9 of the stunning Prince Valiant by Hal Foster hardcover series from Fantagraphics came out on Wednesday this week.
Jeff Lemire’s acclaimed run on Green Arrow will be ending with the 34th issue. The Arrow television show producer and a show writer will be taking over the title in the fall.
DC Comics has changed their contracts, and now colourists will receive cover credits and royalties, the bummer is that the royalties are much harder to get.
Speaking of DC, they continue to provide Justice League Canada variants of Justice League United which are the preferred version to get at many comic shops. It’s also written by Jeff Lemire.
Later this month we’ll have some more details on the Harry Kremer Award finalists (narrowing down the selection from 10 to 5), and on our 2014 Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame Inductees.
Canada Day has come and gone, but the media was awash with stories about Canadian superheroes, Johnny Canuck, Brok Windsor, and in particular, Captain Canuck. The good Captain is getting a new comic book series later this year, hopefully you were able to get your free Captain Canuck Canada Day comic!
UPDATED – AUGUST 22, 2014
The Joe Shuster Awards will be presented on Saturday, September 20th in Toronto, Ontario at BACK SPACE TORONTO, 587A College Street (2nd Floor). Ceremony will commence at 8 pm.
June 4, 2014 – Canada has a rich tradition of supporting our national arts communities with awards that recognize the achievements of our citizens like the Genie Awards for film and television and the Juno Awards for music – the JOE SHUSTER AWARD is Canada’s national award that honours and raises the awareness of Canadians that create, self-publish and sell comics books, graphic novels and webcomics.
They are named after pioneering Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster (1914-1992), whose clear, dynamic style and inventive visual flourishes set the standard for graphic storytelling during the infancy of the North American comic book industry. It was Superman, a co-creation of Shuster and his friend Jerry Siegel, that electrified the industry over 75 years ago in 1938 and, almost overnight, transformed comic books into an enormous pop-cultural phenomenon.
Nominees were selected this spring from lists of creators of original works published and distributed during the year 2013. Qualifying creators must be Canadian citizens – living at home or abroad, or a recognized permanent resident. The award winners will be chosen by a jury vote to ensure every nominee is given adequate consideration.
And the nominees are: Continue reading
Okay, so we’re nearing the end of the extension given for the Retailer, Webcomics, Comics for Kids, and Gene Day Awards and if all goes as planned we’ll be announcing the nominations next week.
I would like to thank the many folks who have contacted me about being involved in the awards this year, I’ll be contacting you all shortly and we can begin planning for the ceremony and fundraising as soon as the nominations list goes public.
As usual, it should be stated that since these are awards with only 7 (sometimes 8) nominees per category, not everyone can be nominated for an award. Our committees have been narrowing down the lists to a smaller set of nominations (in some categories from hundreds of individual artists) and we know that inevitably some people will feel we neglected a creator, a book, or a store…
Congratulations to the winners of the Doug Wright Awards for 2014 (handed out as usual at TCAF in Mid-May) for non-mainstream, non-superhero comics:
Best Book – Paul Joins the Scouts by Michel Rabagliati (Conundrum Press)
Spotlight aka “The Nipper” – Steven Gilbert for The Journal of the Main Street Secret Lodge
Pigskin Peters (non-narrative) – “Out of Skin” by Emily Carroll
We have a near complete list of English and French creators ready and so we are initiating the nominating process and should have some announcements to make in time for Free Comic Book Day (May 3rd).
We’d like to thank all of the creators that sent in books for consideration for the Gene Day Award this year, we’re still accepting submissions right up until May, so there’s still time.
The Hall of Fame committee has initiated discussions on who will be included in 2014.
Congratulations to Jeff Lemire – in addition to writing Animal Man (now completed), Green Arrow and the upcoming Justice League United (formerly Canada, but set in Canada), Jeff will be writing Teen Titans: Earth One, an original graphic novel being illustrated by Terry and Rachel Dodson.
In Spring 2005 the first annual Joe Shuster Awards for Canadian Comic Book Creators was held at the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon and a lot of great books and talent have been honoured over the decade since then.
As 2013 draws to a close, please join us as we present an overview of 9 years worth of Joe Shuster Award Winners.
Note that some winners in 2005-2008 were selected by public voting. In 2009 all categories became jury selected.
2005 – Darwyn Cooke for DC: The New Frontier (DC Comics)
2006 – Bryan Lee O’Malley for Scott Pilgrim Vol. 2 (Oni Press)
2007 – Darwyn Cooke for The Spirit (DC)
2008 – Jeff Lemire for Essex County Books 1 and 2 (Top Shelf)
2009 – Dave Sim for Glamourpuss (Aardvark-Vanaheim)
2010 – Michel Rabagliati pour Paul, tome 06: Paul à Québec (La Pastèque)
2011 – Tin Can Forest for Baba Yaga and the Wolf (Koyama Press)
2012 – Ramon Perez for Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand (Archaia)
2013 – Jeff Lemire for Sweet Tooth (DC/Vertigo) and The Underwater Welder (Top Shelf)
2005 – Kaare Andrews for Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus: Year One (Marvel)
2006 – Pia Guerra for Y the Last Man (DC/Vertigo)
2007 – Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone for Batman/The Spirit (DC)
2008 – Dale Eaglesham for Justice Society of America (DC)
2009 – David Finch for Ultimatum (Marvel)
2010 – Stuart Immonon for Ultimate Spider-Man and New Avengers (Marvel)
2011 – Francis Manapul for the Flash, Adventure Comics and Superman/Batman (DC)
2012 – Stuart Immonen for Fear Itself (Marvel)
2013 – Isabelle Arsenault pour Jane, le renard & moi (La Pastèque)
2005 – Samm Barnes for Doctor Spectrum (Marvel MAX)
2005 – Ty Templeton for The Batman Adventures (DC)
2006 – J. Torres for Teen Titans Go! and Legends of the Dark Knight (DC) and Love as a Foreign Language (Oni)
2007 – Darwyn Cooke for Superman Confidential (DC)
2008 – Cecil Castellucci for the PLAIN Janes (DC/Minx)
2009 – Mariko Tamaki for Emiko Superstar (DC/Minx) and Skim (Groundwood Books)
2010 – Maryse Dubuc pour Les nombrils, tome 04: Duels de belles (Dupuis)
2011 – Émilie Villeneuve pour La fille invisible (Glénat Québec)
2012 – Kurtis J. Wiebe for The Green Wake and The Intrepids (Image Comics)
2013 – Fanny Britt pour Jane, le renard & moi (La Pastèque)
ACHIEVEMENT 2005, 2008
2005 – Dave Sim and Gerhard for the completion of Cerebus. Begun in 1977, this 300-issue series is a milestone in comic book publishing and is the longest running creator-owned comic book series
2008 – David Watkins for using comics as a teaching tool.
2005 – Arcana Studio
2006 – Drawn & Quarterly
2007 – Drawn & Quarterly
2008 – Drawn & Quarterly
2009 – Les 400 Coups/Mécanique Générale
2010 – La Pastèque
2011 – Koyama Press
INTERNATIONAL CREATORS 2006-2008
2006 – Brian K. Vaughan
2007 – Brian K. Vaughan
2008 – Ed Brubaker
2007 – Dan Kim
2008 – Ryan Sohmer and Lar De Souza
2009 – Cameron Stewart
2010 – Karl Kerschl
2011 – Emily Carroll
2012 – Emily Carroll
2013 – Michael DeForge
Favourite Overall Creator – English Language Publications 2007-8
2007 – Dan Kim
2008 – Faith Erin Hicks
Favourite Overall Creator – French Language Publications 2007-8
2007 – Michel Rabagliati
2008 – Philippe Girard
2008 – Steve Skroce
2009 – Niko Henrichon
2010 – Darwyn Cooke
2011 – Fiona Staples
2012 – François Lapierre
2013 – Mike Del Mundo
2008 – Dave McCaig
2009 – François Lapierre
2010 – Nathan Fairbairn
2011 – Julie Rocheleau
COMICS FOR KIDS – RENAMED THE DRAGON AWARD in 2012
2009 – Kean Soo for Jellaby Vol. 1 (Hyperion)
2010 – Svetlana Chmakova for Nightschool: The Weirn Books (Yen Press)
2011 – Scott Chantler for Three Thieves Book 2 (Kids Can Press)
2012 – Paul Roux pour Ariane et Nicolas Tome 6: Les Toiles Mysterieuses (Les 400 Coups)
2013 – Jo Rioux for Cat’s Cradle Volume 1: The Golden Twine (Kids Can Press)
THE GENE DAY AWARD FOR SELF-PUBLISHING
2009 – Jesse Jacobs for Blue Winter, Shapes in the Snow
2010 – Ethan Rilly for Pope Hats #1
2011 – John Martz for Heaven All Day
2012 – Dakota McFadzean for Ghost Rabbit
2013 – Cory McCallum, Matthew Daley for The Pig Sleep: A Mr. Monitor Case
THE HARRY KREMER RETAILER AWARD
2005 – Now & Then Books (Kitchener, ON)
2006 – Strange Adventures (Halifax, NS)
2007 – Happy Harbor (Edmonton, AB)
2008 – Big B Comics (Hamilton, ON)
2009 – Legends Comics and Books (Victoria, BC)
2010 – The Beguiling (Toronto, ON)
2011 – Planete BD (Montreal, QC)
2012 – The Silver Snail (Toronto, ON)
2013 – Heroes Comics (London, ON)
The Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame
2005 Joe Shuster (1914-1992)
2005 Leo Bachle (aka Les Barker) (1926-2003)
2005 Adrian Dingle (1911-1974)
2005 Hal Foster (1892-1982)
2005 Ed Furness (1911-2005)
2005 Rand Holmes (1942-2002)
2006 Jon St. Ables (1912-1999)
2006 Owen McCarron (1929-2005)
2006 Win Mortimer (1919-1998)
2006 Dave Sim (1956-)
2007 Albert Chartier (1912-2004)
2007 Gerald Lazare (1927-)
2007 Jacques Hurtubise aka ZYX (1950-)
2007 Gene Day (1951-1982)
2008 Ted McCall (1901-1975)
2008 Pierre Fournier (1949-)
2008 Stanley Berneche (1947-)
2008 John Byrne (1950-)
2009 George Menendez Rae (1906-1992)
2009 Real Godbout (1951-)
2009 Ken Steacy (1955-)
2009 Diana Schutz (1955-)
2010 Richard Comely (1950-)
2010 Dave Darrigo (1954-)
2010 George Freeman (1951-)
2010 Serge Gaboury (1954-)
2010 Deni Loubert (1951-)
2010 Jean-Claude St. Aubin (1951-)
2011 Chester Brown (1960-)
2011 Todd McFarlane (1961-)
2012 No Inductees Selected
2013 Murray Karn (1924-)
2013 Vernon Miller (1912-1974)
2013 Arn Saba (Katherine Collins) (1947-)
News today out of Toronto that David Mirvish has completed negotiations to sell the large property at Bathurst and Bloor that includes comic book stores The Beguiling and it’s satellite store for children’s comics Little Island Comics.
Discussed in an earlier article on this site, Markham Street as long had historical ties to comics, as it was the home to Canada’s first comic shop, Memory Land, and to the first comic art festival in 1968 (with guest Stan Lee). It was also home to some to the 2nd Toronto Comic Arts Festival in an adjacent parking lot in 2005.
It had been confirmed that the property has been sold to BC based developers WESTBANK PROPERTIES, the deal will be completely finalized by the end of the year. Westbank is responsible for the Shangri-La Hotels in Toronto and Vancouver, as well as other buildings on the west coast is very design intensive, which is something Mirvisch is very much in favour of doing with his own projects downtown on King Street, which will be partially funded by the sale of this land. They are known for building luxury condos and hotels.
Westbank is the winner in a race that had an unknown number of horses. Sources have independently told me that the Weston Group (Loblaws) was very interested in the land, and American retailers Wal-Mart and Target had also expressed interest. Originally assessed at a price of 100-million dollars, chances are the final deal is for a sum larger than that amount.
Since Westbank has no concrete plans as of yet for the 1.8 hectares of land that runs more than a block West of Bathurst and Bloor and a block South of it — and if they did the designs would have to go through the long process of permits and approvals — so they are renting the land back to David Mirvish for at least 2 to possibly 3 years. Plus the city of Toronto voted to hold off on approving anything until 2014, so they’ll have time to start surveying and consulting and readying for the inevitable discussions with Toronto’s City Council.
This of course gives the current Mirvisch Village tenants some more time to make some more long-term plans. Since Mirvisch is renting the land from the new owners, it could be assumed that he will continue to charge the lower, subsidized rent that MV tenants have been paying for decades, but that’s not a definite. Also not definite is the fate of his father’s retail store, which will probably run down business before the rental term is completed.
Toronto, ON – Saturday, August 24. Earlier this evening at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Jackman Hall, the 9th annual Joe Shuster Awards were presented at a gala ceremony hosted by the Toronto Star’s ROB SALEM and Cartoonist TY TEMPLETON.
The results are: Continue reading
So in 8 days the big show aka Fan Expo Canada starts at the Metro Convention Centre. This year the show is so massive they had to add a second building and for the first time ever the event will be in both the North and the South Buildings.
Many Joe Shuster Award nominees and winners (past and present) are at the event, and we encourage you to visit the website to look at the floorplans and schedules.
2011 JSA Hall of Fame inductee TODD MCFARLANE is a headlining guest. Full guest list here.
Our retail sponsors The Dragon and The Comic Book Lounge (my store) will be in the dealers section along with Harry Kremer award winning retailers Big B Comics (Hamilton) and the Silver Snail (Toronto).
There are two Canadian comics related panels worth checking out:
FRIDAY AUG 23 – 11:15 AM In room 703
THE CANADIAN SUPERHERO RENAISSANCE
With projects like the True Patriot anthology, the Captain Canuck webseries, the Lost Heroes documentary, The Wolverine movie and more – are we witnessing a Canadian superhero renaissance? Where is this all coming from? Does the industry need this? Will the market support it? Are Canadian superheroes poised to be the next big thing in comics?
Join moderator Fearless Fred and panelists Jay Torres (“True Patriot”), Ramón K Pérez (“True Patriot”), Mike Valiquette (“Captain Canuck”), Hope L Nicholson (“Lost Heroes”), and Kevin A. Boyd (“Joe Shuster Awards”) to discuss The Canadian Superhero Renaissance.
SUNDAY AUG 25 – 2:15 PM in room 703
THE GOLDEN AGE OF CANADIAN COMICS
During WWII the Canadian government initiated the War Exchange Conservation Act and Canadian artists stepped up to fill the void of comics on our newsstands.
Join moderator Ivan Kocmarek and a panel of industry experts as they discuss the first age of Canadian comics and characters like Iron Man, Johnny Canuck, Freelance, The Penguin and many other forgotten heroes and their impact on Canadian-made comics.
ALSO DON’T FORGET THE JOE SHUSTER AWARDS ARE TAKING PLACE ON SATURDAY NIGHT – JACKMAN HALL, ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO! Seating at 8pm – Ceremony to begin around 8:30PM
Torontonians awoke earlier this week to news that David Mirvish had decided to sell Honest Ed’s, the store founded by his father in 1948 and a Toronto landmark of sorts (featured prominently in the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley). The estimated $100 million dollar property was to include the 160,000 square foot retail store as well as 190,000 square feet of additional property.
Comics aficionados perked up — what does this mean for THE BEGUILING (Harry Kremer and Will Eisner Award Winning retailer) and the affiliate store LITTLE ISLAND COMICS? Both are located on land adjacent to the Honest Ed’s property. Not only that, but older fans will know the area has ties to the comics community that go back to the late 1960’s.
This morning, the Toronto Star confirmed that the 190,000 square feet of additional property does include all of the properties known as Mirvish Village – a series of mostly Victorian era homes that have subsidized rents to arts based businesses and studio spaces for working artists.
David Mirvish indicated in the Star article that the existing tenants would have about 3 years to relocate.
While this is not unusual in Toronto – Silver Snail had to relocate from it’s traditional home on Queen Street last year when the building it was in was sold to developers some years prior, and Dragon Lady Comics closed in early 2012 when rising rent was enough of a discouragement for that business’ owner to call it a day (although the new comics side of the business transitioned to the Comic Book Lounge just east of the old location). Even One Million Comix has had to make a couple of jumps over the years, having occupied three different store fronts in 2 decades.
However what is unfortunate is that with the sale of Mirvish Village, Toronto loses an area with strong ties to the comics community that has been virtually preserved since the 1960’s.
Mirvish Village was the home to Canada’s first comic book store MEMORY LANE, established by “Captain” George Henderson in 1967. Memory Lane at 594 Markham Street would survive in the area for almost two decades. The shop closed just prior to Henderson’s passing in 1992.
Little Island Comics (on Bathurst Street) occupies space that used to be the home of YESTERDAY’S HEROES, which closed in 2010.
As they say in the comics, to be continued….
The Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association is pleased to announce the venue of the 2013 Joe Shuster Awards Ceremony. The 8 2013 awards and 3 Hall of Fame presentations will be presented on SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2013 at JACKMAN HALL at the Art Gallery of Ontario, starting at 8:30 PM.
Seating: 200 – priority seating for nominees, their family and friends and other industry professionals, with limited general admission seating.
The Art Gallery of Ontario – 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON
The Art Gallery of Ontario is an art museum in Toronto’s Downtown Grange Park district, on Dundas Street West between McCaul Street and Beverley Street. Its collection includes more than 80,000 works spanning the 1st century to the present day.
Jackman Hall has it’s own entrance on McCaul Street, South of Dundas Street West (pictured above)
.About The Joe Shuster Awards
Established in 2004, The Joe Shuster Awards are Canada’s first national and bilingual award recognizing outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books, graphic novels and webcomics. The awards are named after pioneering Toronto-born artist Joe Shuster who, along with writer Jerry Siegel, created the iconic super-powered hero, Superman. The name is used with the approval of the Estate of Joe Shuster – Michael Catron, Estate Agent.
2013 Sponsors include: Guerilla Printing, The Dragon, The Comic Book Lounge & Gallery, Autodesk.
For more information please contact email@example.com
For Artist, Cartoonist, Cover Artist, Writer: John Babos, Erik Bouchard, Laurent Boutin, Shawn Bryan, Jeff Brown, Amy Chop, Tyler Jirik, Mike Jozic, David Kelly, Patrick Marleau, Conor McCreery, Alice Quinn, Rachel Richey, Andrew Wheeler, Leonard Wong, Sarrah Young with additional input from Bill Code, Kelly Dowd and Andrew Uys.
For Webcomics: Tyrone Biljan, Allison Covey, and Andrew Walsh.
For Hall of Fame: Kevin A. Boyd, Walter Durajlija, Joseph Kilmartin, Ivan Kocmarek, Robert MacMillan, Hope Nicholson, Robert Pincombe, and Rachel Richey.
For the Gene Day Award: Tyrone Biljan, Kevin A. Boyd, Peter DeCourcy, Rachel Richey, and Debra Jane Shelly.
For the Harry Kremer Award: Anthony Falcone and Scott VanderPloeg. With additional input from Robert Haines (research) and the CCBCAA secret shopper team.
For the Dragon Award: Jennifer Haines (coordinator) and a team of her fellow educators: Beth Alexander (BEd – elementary) and Diana Pai (BEd).
Full list of 2013 Nominees / La liste complète des nominés 2013
Canada has a rich tradition of supporting our national arts communities with awards that recognize the achievements of our citizens like the Genie Awards for film and television and the Juno Awards for music – the JOE SHUSTER AWARD is Canada’s national award that honours and raises the awareness of Canadians that create, self-publish and sell all kinds of comics, graphic novels and webcomics.
They are named after pioneering Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster (1914-1992), whose clear, dynamic style and inventive visual flourishes set the standard for graphic storytelling during the infancy of the North American comic book industry. It was Superman, a co-creation of Shuster and his friend Jerry Siegel, that electrified the industry 75 years ago in 1938 and, almost overnight, transformed comic books into an enormous pop-cultural phenomenon.
Nominees were selected this spring from lists of creators including all eligible original works published and distributed during the year 2012. Qualifying creators must be Canadian citizens living at home or abroad, as well as permanent residents in Canada. The award winners will be chosen by a jury vote to ensure every nominee is given adequate consideration.
The awards will be presented at a gala ceremony in Toronto, open to the public, on the evening of Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM. This year the awards will be held in JACKMAN HALL, at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto.
And the nominees are:
Okay, so the Prix Bedeis Causa were handed out last month, the Doug Wright Awards are being presented this Saturday night, and the Prix Bedelys are going to be presented on June 2nd.
What about the Joe Shuster Awards?
Well, they’ll be handed out in late August, and we’re almost finished with the selection process.
So far we’ve finalized the 2013 nomines for:
– Cover Artist
– The Harry Kremer Award for Comic Book Retailing
– The Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame (aka what I like to call the “Hinterland’s Who’s Who”)
There will be 3 inductees into the Hall of Fame in 2013.
- The Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing
– The Dragon Award for Comics for Kids/Younger Readers
The Nominating Committee for the Dragon Prize and for Webcomics have asked for a little extra time, while the Selection Committee for the Gene Day Award will be picking up some final books this weekend at TCAF to enlarge the pool of nominees.
We’ll be announcing the full list of nominees in a press release in late May, unfortunately we missed the Free Comic Book Day deadline I was shooting for.
The awards are going to be presented in Toronto this year, in late August – the specific date and venue will be announced later as well.
First off, I’d like to mention that this year we have two fellows joining the CCBCAA who are coordinating the HARRY KREMER CANADIAN COMIC BOOK RETAILER AWARD – Anthony Falcone and Scott VanderPloeg, most well known for their involvement with the website Comic Book Daily as editors and columnists.
Anthony’s latest Whosoever Holds This Hammer Column addresses the criteria for the Kremer Award (pronounced Kray-mer) and he also talks “more about what makes a comic shop great based on feedback from colleagues, customers, and complete strangers”. One of the reasons why we went with Anthony and Scott were because they have always been very interested in the criteria for what makes a shop great and have spent a lot of time dissecting the comic shop retail experience.
Anthony makes some great points in his column, and he’s looking for some feedback as well, so let him know what you think makes a comic shop great.
I know I had some ideas myself as to what makes a great comic shop based on my interactions with the various folks who have run the Kremer Award in the past and spending time at many different comic shops in my 40 plus years as a collector and fan, all of which have informed the running of my own store.The obvious answer is “CUSTOMERS”, as a store without customers and the support of the local community is ultimately a failure, no matter how clean and appealing it may look, or whether a staff person is there to greet people.
But the comic book shop model is unique in that it is unlike most retail business models — the closest retail equivalent in my opinion is that of the independent record shop, that offers a mixture of new and used product for sale along with a community hang-out component. Some may view the comic shop as an antique store, or a bookstore, but most bookstores or either used or new – not a combination of both… and many comic shops are that in name only – they are primarily gaming stores, or toy stores, etc. with minimal comics.
I recently met a fellow from BC named BENJAMIN WOO who for now lives in the GTA – Woo wrote a paper on comic shops that is definitely worth reading in that it compares three different comic book shop models, with differing philosophies and customer bases.
Woo’s paper is titled: “The Android’s Dungeon: Comic-Bookstores, Cultural Spaces, and the Social Practices of Audiences” and was published in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 2 (2011): pages 125–36 (and is available for reading online).
An excerpt from Woo’s paper:
An adequate understanding of the readers of comic books and graphic novels must extend beyond reader–text relationships to comprise contexts of reception. Chief among these is the direct-market comic-bookstore. In contrast to newsstand distribution, the direct market represents the institution of comic-book collecting and connoisseurship as subcultural practices. Comic shops are not simply distribution points in a commodity chain but also social settings integral to the reproduction of comic-book fandom, yet they occupy an ambivalent position between the comic-book industry and its consumers. Citing findings from qualitative research conducted in three Canadian comic-bookstores and drawing on the work of Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu, and Erving Goffman, this article develops three approaches to the sociology of the comic-bookstore, theorizing them as locales for interaction among participants; as nodes, interlocks and regions articulating the communities served by a given store; and as both sanctuaries from mainstream hierarchies of taste and status, and arenas of competition for social and cultural capital.
So everything is well under way now here at JSA central. We’re once again aiming for a Free Comic Book Day (May 4th) deadline for our nominee announcements.
I must say that it’s been an enthusiastic year for Canadian comics so far, as there’s been a lot going on recently – especially for things related to Canadian comics history. The shooting for the upcoming documentary LOST HEROES has wrapped and the crew is currently in post-production mode, we eagerly await the final product. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to watch some of the interviews filmed at the Comic Book Lounge, and I think people are in for a real treat when the film finally airs on Super Channel later this year. Here’s the official blurb followed by the promotional poster for the film:
Lost Heroes is a feature documentary set to air on Super Channel in 2013. We explore the history of the great Canadian superheroes, from Johnny Canuck to Captain Canuck. Currently in post-production.
Lost Heroes explores the past of the Canadian superhero, from the golden age when millions of children read the tales of Inuit goddess Nelvana of the Northern Lights, to the thrilling days when Canadian superheroes returned to the newstands with Captain Canuck and Cerebus. Lost Heroes celebrates the unique Canadian talent behind these characters and asks why can’t Canada keep their heroes?
In what I’ve seen of it, this is a top-notch, professional production and I think it will be a great chance to expose a lot of people to Canada’s comics past, as well as it’s present and future.
With the completion of the eligible English and French list I’ve spent some time perusing the lists to play my guessing game of who I think the nominating committees will be selecting for the 2013 Joe Shuster Awards, and I think that this year’s list is strong, but seems to working from a smaller pool than in previous years. That certainly means that a lot of projects by people absent this year are on the horizon, but I’m eager to see who the nomcoms select.
Currently we have 19 individuals participating in the Nominating Committee for Artist, Cartoonist, Cover Artist and Writer. They come from across the country, but as per protocol we won’t be publishing their names until after they have finished their selections in case anyone drops out before the end.
Our Hall of Fame selection committee has expanded quite considerably this year, to make up for last year’s year off. Of the seven members, only three have participated in previous HOF nomcoms. Maybe I can convince them finally to rename the HOF “Hinterland’s Who’s Who”.
To be announced June 4th, 2013.
Great article for the Hamilton Spectator about ARAM ALEXANIAN’s contributions to both Canadian and American Golden Age Comics before he went to work for his well known family’s carpet business. Plus a discussion on the Canadian Whites with Big B’s Walter Durajlija and White’s authority Ivan Koczmarek.
Congratulations to Mississauga, ON store owner Carlos Camara on the first anniversary of the opening of his shop GOTHAM CENTRAL. The store celebrated with cake and pastries (above), guests and cosplayers, as well as raffles and other fun activities.
All of that reminds me that we are quickly approaching the 1st anniversary of the opening of my own Toronto shop, The Comic Book Lounge. In one week from today (on February 8) we will have survived our first 365 days in business (and a few people will be forking over money from lost bets!).
We’re also throwing a party – on Saturday February 9th – with an in-store minicon, an On the Couch with Ty Templeton industry talk followed by an Industry Night party. Hoping by then that our new outdoor sign will up! On Sunday, Feb. 10 we’re hosting a series of drawing demonstrations “Exploring Digital Comics”, sponsored by Sketchbook Pro.