Toronto’s Paradise Comics celebrates 20 years in business on September 7th

In 1991, North Toronto’s Paradise Comics opened as a little cubbyhole on the east side of Yonge Street north of Lawrence. Under the direction of original owner Chris Friesen the store became a popular location for back issue collectors. As the business grew, the store relocated across the street to it’s current location. In 1994 Friesen sold the store to his room-mate at the time and decided to move into comic book restoration full time and has gone on to become the restoration expert for CGC.

New owner Peter Dixon subsequently continued down the same path established by Friesen, and the store has grown slowly over the subsequent 17 years. Dixon and manager Doug Simpson are both Overstreet price guide advisors. The store and some customers/associates were also involved in producing local comic conventions, eventually offloading them to Wizard in 2009 who continue them under the “Toronto Comic Con” brand name as part of their Wizard World family of conventions. The store continues to be the host for some local signings.

Over the last five or more years Paradise has expanded it’s graphic novel selection and the main floor of the store is lined with bookshelves full of trades and hardcovers. The basement is filled from floor to ceiling with long boxes of back issues, a selection of the size and scope that most retailers are currently abandoning.

Starting next week Paradise is celebrating their anniversary, here’s the blurb:

On Wednesday September 7th 2011 Paradise Comics will be celebrating our 20th anniversary. Over the course of the next year, we’ll be hosting a series of events to thank our friends, customers, and colleagues for all their support. The party will begin on September 7th between 3-8pm. Please join us for cake, door prizes and maybe even the chance to meet a few special guests. Please keep checking out our site throughout the next 12 months for many more special sales and events and we hope to make our next 20 years as fun as the first 20.