The Harry Kremer Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Retailer /Le Prix de Harry Kremer pour Détaillant Exceptionnel Canadien de Bandes Dessinées was created to recognize the contributions that brick and mortar retail stores have made to the Canadian comic scene.
The award was named for Harry Kremer, the original owner of Now & Then Books in Kitchener/Waterloo and a true pioneer in the industry and a constant and tireless promoter of the medium.
Every store in Canada is eligible for the Harry Kremer Award, but the store must be nominated to be considered. If a store is not nominated they cannot be considered for the award. If you would like to nominate a retailer send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject title “Harry Kremer Nomination”, and provide us the store name and the reason for your nomination. You may be contacted to provide more details as required by the committee.
Individual shops are recommended by the public, then the Retailer Award Committee reviews all considered stores based on:
1) Store Presentation — how clean, well lit, orderly the store is; would this store fit in amongst any other business in a mall setting?
2) Product Selection & Diversity — how much stock do they maintain, how many publishers do they carry, how diverse is the content of those publishers, how much effort goes into stocking age appropriate comics?
3) Customer Service & Staff Knowledge — based on statements made by nominators, the Joe Shuster Committee will also conduct ‘secret shopping’ and telephone inquires to help determine level of service.
4) Online Presence — as a business, can anyone actually find you? Do you have a website, email, telephone book entry? Any online presence that helps set you apart?
5) In-store Events & Community Involvement — In the past year, what has this store done to go above and beyond? How are they promoting the industry to the greater public? Are they building a community or just selling comics?
Nominated Retailers are required to answer a questionnaire which is used, along with other the areas of consideration, by the Retailer Award Committee to determine a final 8 nominees.
These Nominees may undergo further questions, telephone interviews and secret shopper visits, but the final winner will be the store which has shown merit in all of the categories.
We do give leeway based on things such as population. We don’t expect a small town store to match up equally with a major store, in a major city, in all areas of consideration. As well, each of our panel members have areas they consider to be of top priority in a comic store, and weigh these when considering our Retailer of the Year.
Past winners include:
Now & Then Books (Kitchener, Ontario), Strange Adventures (Halifax, Nova Scotia), Happy Harbor Comics (Edmonton, Alberta), Big B Comics (Hamilton, Ontario), and Legends Comics & Books (Victoria, British Columbia).