Tony Hazzard is the owner/operator of Cover to Cover in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We really appreciate Tony providing a frank look at the current economic situation in Winnipeg. While Cover to Cover has downsized from two locations to a single store, Tony has 15 years experience as a comic shop owner and looks forward to solidifying his main store. We wish Tony all the best going forward.
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Owner’s Name: Tony Hazzard
Manager’s Name: Tony Hazzard
Number of Employees: 0
Years in Business: 15
Physical Address: 1187 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2A5
Phone Number: 204-275-5700
How did you choose your store name?
Just came up with it one day.
Favorite Comic Book, published in the past few months:
Five all-time classic comics, graphic novels or story arcs:
X-Men: God loves Man Kills GN
Batman the Dark Knight Returns
Swamp Thing: Love and Death
X-men: Dark Phoenix
What are you excited about for this coming year?
The continuation of the The Boys storyline.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
Seeing as I had to downsize from 2 stores to 1 I am going to concentrate on rebuilding my business.
What has been one of the most rewarding parts of running your business?
Meeting all the different customers.
What has been one of the biggest challenges?
Trying to keep things afloat during this economy.
Why are you a comics retailer?
Because I have a love of the Medium.
Product Lines Carried:
Comics and related Items.
Best selling floppy/monthly books:
Was Buffy the Vampire Slayer and is now Blackest Night; Best selling Manga is Naruto.
What percentage of your business is comics compared to the peripherals of a ‘culture store’?
What are your Best selling graphic novel books?
Fables, Y the Last Man, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Marvel Zombies, Green Lantern.
What books do you find yourself recommending the most?
Detective Comics, The Boys, Strangers in Paradise, Incredible Hulk.
What great comic/manga should everyone under 14 be reading?
Mini Marvels Graphic Novel.
What comic/manga would you recommend for an adult interested in returning to comics?
Strangers in Paradise.
How important is the web to your business?
Right now not very but I am still working on improving that.
Does your store have an area of expertise? What makes your store unique?
Some people would say me because I have this fountain of Knowledge best used for a trivia game, but it’s because I tend to carry a lot of the comics some stores don’t and I have a good pulse on new indies that are put out.
Describe the comic book scene within your community?
There are quite a few local artist, and we have at least 2 conventions a year (one large and one small).
Do you participate in Free Comic Book Day?
Every year since the beginning.
What aspect of your store are you most proud?
How clean and organized it is.
What have been some or your best/most fun promotions/events?
When I had my other store the Bookshelf open, in the 90’s I used to order lots of those Spider-man inflatibles and I would give 1-3 away in a good grades contest. If you maintained good grades throughout the year or you improved your grade by the end of the year your received an entry into the draw.
Have the last few years of Hollywood film releases changed your customer base?
Yes, it has sent some new people our way and it has also had some people return to the fold.
Graphic Novels have been a growth product for large bookstore chains, does this affect your customer base or business?
Not really I have found that I have been able to carry and get in quicker some of the Graphic Novel that people are looking for faster than Chapters.