Montreal’s Librairie Fichtre! has closed – but for how long?

Sad news from Montreal as another Canadian store has closed, this time it’s Montreal’s Librarie Fichtre!, nominated last week for the Harry Kremer Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Retailer. Fichtre! had been in business 14 years. From Saturday’s Le Devoir

En bref – La librairie Fichtre! ferme ses portes

Une petite-grande institution vient de s’éteindre. La librairie montréalaise spécialisée en bande dessinée Fichtre! vient de fermer définitivement la porte de son commerce, situé sur la rue De Bienville à Montréal.

L’établissement n’aura pas réussi à se sortir de sa dernière profonde crise financière et vient de choisir la faillite comme ultime solution, a indiqué au Devoir son propriétaire, Yves Millet. Ouverte depuis 14 ans, Fichtre! était devenue au fil des années un point de convergence des amateurs d’histoires à bulles, mais aussi de jeunes bédéistes qui y déposaient pour la vente leur création en autopublication. L’apparition de librairies spécialisées en bande dessinée, ailleurs dans la ville, tout comme l’engouement des bédéphiles pour les commerces en ligne a fait vaciller le marchand de livres, avant de le faire définitivement tomber.

The store before it closed. Courtesy of Le Lecteur.
Someone snapped a photo of the window as it appears now.

[google translation – not exactly 100% accurate]

(Robert Haines — a sad nod of the head to Bryan Munn at Sequential for the tip.)

Note that Fichtre! translates to Damn! in English.

3:15 UPDATE: Whoa! There are rumours circulating that this may not be the ultimate end of Fichtre!. People in Montreal are reporting that there is a sign posted on the papered up window that says that the store has closed for inventory check and reorganization and will reopen under new management.

4:30 UPDATE There is a report on Le libraire.org that while online sales and competition from other bookstores in town resulting in the closing of Fichtre!, ironically, thanks to the Internet, they “will continue to offer the works of independent publishers and authors” via the internet. “Indeed, an agreement has been signed between Jove and the pressman, a virtual bookstore dedicated to independent magazines in Quebec.”

The website fichtre.qc.ca is indeed up and running, offering a diverse amount of small press BD. There is a message at the top of the webpage which basically says:

About Fichtre.qc.ca …
To the great chagrin of the world of small publishing, Fichtre! closed its doors at the end of April 2010. Following an agreement reached deuce and the pressman, we are pleased to continue to offer the works of independent publishers and authors to address fichtre.qc.ca.

But then again, this blog post from employee Julie Delporte has a haunting sense of finality.

by Vincent Giard

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