Lloyd & Gareth are the owners and the only employees, they love comics and want to truly provide their customers with excellent service. A past finalist for Retailer of the Year, Legends Comics & Books is a great comic shop located in Victoria, on the lovely Vancouver Island, a hotbed of comic culture. I think I’ll have to start a movement to have a future Canadian Comic Book Creators Award event out there.
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Owner’s Names: Lloyd Chesley & Gareth Gaudin
Manager’s Names: same
Number of Employees: same
Years in Business: 17
Physical Address: 633 Johnson Street, Victoria ,British Columbia, Canada, V8W1M7
Phone Number: 250-388-3696
How did you choose your store name?
We wanted something reverent to evoke our love of the comic book creators and their creations while attempting to trend towards a literary appreciation more than a sci fi or fanboy-sounding name
Favourite Comic Book, published in the past few months:
Five all-time classic comics, graphic novels or story arcs:
Will Eisner’s The Spirit
Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron
What are you excited about for this coming year?
Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely doing Batman and Robin
Amazing Spider-Man 600
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
Our goal remains constant: to develop new readers for the literature of comic books and to maintain their interest with the best in reading.
What has been one of the most rewarding parts of running your business?
Satisfied customers who want to read more.
What has been one of the biggest challenges?
Maintaining sufficient inventory of titles, especially the ones we recommend most often.
Why are you a comics retailer?
We share a life-long love of the medium in all its aspects: the characters, the writers, the artists, the history; we love illustration in all its forms from decorative to caricature; we love good stories told with pictures and words.
Product Lines Carried:
Comic book, Graphic novels, Books and magazines about the history, art and literature of comic books and graphic novels.
Best selling books:
Our best sellers are authors more than just single titles –
Alan Moore, especially Watchmen
Neil Gaiman, especially Sandman
Warren Ellis, most especially Fell
Garth Ennis, in particular Preacher
Brian Michael Bendis, his entire oeuvre
Daniel Clowes, with Ghost World in the lead
What percentage of your business is comics compared to the peripherals of a ‘culture store’?
100%. We do not do peripherals. We like to say “Legends put the ‘book’ back in ‘comic book.’”
What books do you find yourself recommending the most?
The Killing Joke
What great comic/manga should everyone under 14 be reading?
What comic/manga would you recommend for an adult interested in returning to comics?
How important is the web to your business?
Does your store have an area of expertise? What makes your store unique?
We make it our business to know and understand the form and content of all the books we carry. We are also devoted to vintage comics and collectibles. We have one of the highest ratings of any eBay merchant of vintage comics with extensive experience in grading and knowledge of key titles and issues.
Describe the comic book scene within your community? (e.g.: amateur comics, anime/manga clubs, comic clubs, convention events)
Owner Gareth Gaudin is the writer and publisher of his own comic, “The Magic Teeth Dailies,” starring “The Perogy Cat,” an endeavour of over fifteen years. His work and inter-action with the community has been a source of pleasure and inspiration to many locals and customers who directly attribute their own forays into self-publishing to his example. He has also teaches classes in cartooning to students at The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Vancouver Island School of Art.
Do you participate in Free Comic Book Day?
Begrudgingly! We find it is mostly a mob scene that leads to little development of market or interest.
What aspect of your store are you most proud?
Our reputation. When we suggest a book to a customer we find they buy it, saying “you never steer me wrong”.
What have been some or your best/most fun promotions/events?
We just hosted a book signing for fantasy artist/storyteller Iain McCaig who regaled fans with his book “Shadowline” containing the designs he has created for George Lucas (Star Wars), Stephen Spielberg (Hook, Harry Potter) and many other Hollywood blockbusters. It has also been our pleasure to host Canadian auteurs Seth, Chester Brown and Dave Cooper.
Have the last few years of Hollywood film releases changed your customer base?
Buffy Season 8 brought a lot of TV fans into the store, seeking their favourite character and in the end discovering a new world of entertainment. Watchmen did the same with movie-goers. We do not find that the super hero adaptations, while excellent and stoking the pleasure fires for ongoing fans, have brought in new readers to any extent.
Graphic Novels have been a growth product for large bookstore chains, does this affect your customer base or business?
It is nice that the main titles are stocked in the big stores because when their customers enjoy graphic storytelling they generally find their way to Legends where they can gain some real knowledge of the medium and get introduced to further reading.