The start of a new year and some free time on my hands, and I decided it was time to update the Retailer information on the site. It had been about three years since the last update (Director’s note: I had been editing entries on a one by one basis when people sent information in or I knew about it, so it wasn’t completely neglected. ~Kev), so there had been a bunch of changes (and thank you, I don’t need anymore emails regarding the Silver Snail’s move) that needed to be reflected. But the real impetus behind this update is that the wife and I are heading to the annual ComicsPro meeting in Portland, OR.
This is the most important comic event of the year for retailers as it has a 100% business focus, meetings and presentations with publishers and suppliers and distributors and retailer colleagues, rather than the carnival atmosphere of a comic convention. Jennifer will be giving a presentation on how to grow your comic retail business through kids comics, while I will use this opportunity to bring the Canadian market into focus for these business partners, especially given the risks that are present with a $0.75 dollar, and projections by the international banking community that we could hit $0.60 in no time. Make no mistake, when you’re buying in Canadian dollars and selling at US listed prices, things are dangerous. Not every customer will understand it, but retailers need to increase prices to reflect the weakness of the dollar, but beyond that the fact is that retailers will become more risk adverse on product selection as a non-sale, or misselection error, compounds things much more rapidly. Cash flow is king in the comic retailing business.
Maybe by reminding these business partners that there are over 320 accounts in Canada, reflecting approximately 15% of the market (as the current thought is that there are 2600 comic shops), will give us some help in the coming months. Or maybe not. I hope to do some surveys with other Canadian retailers about the coming low-value-dollar-days, how they see their business and how they will deal with the results.
There have been a lot of new stores pop up across Canada in the last couple of years, and a lot of established stores upgraded facilities and increased space, taking on higher costs of rent and square footage and staffing. “Investors have very short memories,” said Roman Abramovich, and the same can be said of comic retailers who survived the early 2000’s. Here’s hoping that a low dollar jump starts the Ontario manufacturing base and the 36 new comic shops that have popped up can stay open. The pessimist in me predicts that we will see 40 shops across Canada close in the next 2 years.
5 Stores as of last review.
1 Store Opened – The Game Cave (looking into status as comic shop)
1 Store Closed – Buddytoad Comics
1 Store Removed – Sword ‘n’ Steele (does not sell comics, gaming focused)
4 Total Stores currently open as of January 2015 (pending ruling on The Game Cave)
– The Lair celebrated 5 years in business in 2014.
– TimeMasters were selected as a Top 10 finisher for the Harry Kremer award in 2014 .
9 Stores as of last review.
9 Stores Opened – Capes and Cowls; Galactic Paradox; Hibiki Anime Shop; My Secret Identity; Ragnarok Hobbies; Rainbow’s End; The Local NPC Games & Comics; Games People Play; Wilkies Wonderful World of Comics, Coins, Cards & Collectables
1 Store Closed – Batter’s Box in Truro
1 Store Removed – Collectible Comic Guild in Sydney
16 Total Stores currently open as of January 2015
– Strange Adventures Halifax moved into a new location along the waterfront (now located at 5110 Prince St, Halifax, NS B3J 1L3)
– Quantum Frontier moved across the street (now located at 3132 Robie St. Halifax, NS B3K4P7), this new location has allowed the addition of a cafe
– Batter’s Box in Truro closed after 27 years!. The small town of 12,000 people couldn’t support two comic game stores. When I spoke to the owner, Ralph, in 2012, he had moved comics to subs only. The comic business had shrunk and was no longer a focus. My doff my cap to the fact the shop made it 27 years.
– 9 new comic shops have opened (or been discovered) in Nova Scotia since the last update: Capes and Cowls – Galactic Paradox – Hibiki Anime Shop – My Secret Identity – Ragnarok Hobbies – Rainbow’s End – The Local NPC Games & Comics – Games People Play – Wilkies Wonderful World of Comics, Coins, Cards & Collectables
10 Stores as of last review.
1 Store Opened – Heroes’ Beacon
0 Stores Closed
1 Store Removed – Reads United Book Exchange
10 Total Stores currently open as of January 2015
News: – Heroes’ Beacon has opened as a replacement for Reads United Book Exchange. It appears that former managers of the Reads shop joined forces, along with Indiegogo contributors, to rebrand and reopen a new, bigger & better shop in the same location. The successful Heroes’ Beacon Indiegogo campaign video .
2 Stores as of last review.
0 Stores Opened
0 Stores Closed 0 Stores Removed
2 Total Stores currently open as of January 2015
News: – 2 comic shops remain in PEI. Both stores were visited in person in Summer of 2013.
46 Stores as of last review.
3 Stores Opened
6 Stores Closed
1 Store Removed – Chez Geek is gaming focused, no comics
Total Stores currently open as of January 2015
Komico had a fire in their store, just before Christmas 2015. They salvaged what they could, packed up and moved next door to continue operations.
New Comic Shops that OPENED
Crossover Comics, Montreal
Boutique FDB, Gatineau
Stores that CLOSED
La Bête Noire, Drummondville – Closed. Not at location. Removed from listing
Hey, Le Comic!, Laval – Closed July 2014. Removed from listing
Carley’s Comics, Montreal – announced they will be closing by May 2015. Removed from listing
Chez Geeks, Montreal – Game focus, no longer stock comics. Removed from listing
Legends Action Figures, Montreal – Closed December 2013. Removed from listing
D’Artagnan, Pointe Clair – Unable to locate. Presumed closed. Removed from listing
The 4th Wall / Librairie The 4th Wall, Pointe Clair – Closed October 1, 2014. Removed from listing
123 Stores as of last review.
35 Stores Opened – HOLY! Lots of folks want to own a comic shop these days!
21 Stores Closed – 18 previously listed stores closed, as well as 3 shops that opened and then closed between updates.
1 Store Removed – Just By Chance Games no longer does comics
136 Total Stores currently open as of January 2015
Rogues Gallery underwent a 2nd floor expansion that has been in the planning for 9 years!
J & B Books expanded into a second location, and now the comic book business is run out of the new location at 97 Dundas Street W. Trenton, ON K8V 3P4
Fantasy Realms in Cornwall went through one of the worst experiences any retail business could go through, from Nov 11th to end of day Dec 24th the front of the shop was boarded up as the facade underwent renovations. They will celebrate 30 years in business in 2015.
World’s Collide – Oshawa – owner looking to retire! Lease ends in March 2015, so this store may be closing.
Stores that moved
Border City Comics, Windsor moved
Retro Rocket, Cambridge moved
Lookin’ For Heroes, Kitchener moved
Gotham Central Comics and Collectibles, Mississauga moved
Planet Hobby, Mississauga moved
Big B Comics – Niagara Falls moved
Comic Connection Oakville moved
Silver Snail Toronto moved
Mike’s Book Store, Owen Sound moved
Comic 1 Books, Stoney Creek has new ownership, and the store moved
New Comic Shops that OPENED
Dr. Comics, Toronto (was previously known as Kensington Comics)
The Comic Pile, Toronto
West End Comics, Toronto
Horsemen Comics & Toys, Toronto
Little Island Comics, Toronto
TCAF Shop, Toronto
Sketchbook Comics, St. Catharines
Koros Games, Orangeville
Anime Stop, Ottawa
The Hooded Goblin, Georgetown
Fortress Comics, Milton
Milton Comics & Toys, Milton
Kobold’s Corner, Kanata
Forest City Coins, London – for high end back issues
Things From Mom’s Basement, Peterborough
Nutt’s Collectables, Woodstock Note: I used to shop here occasionally until 2000. The store moved around Woodstock, and did close at one point. I drove by, confirming the shop does exist.
Retro Rare Collectibles, Mississauga – for high end back issues
Comic Alley Toys, Oshawa – this is basically a rebranded Wyldstar. No new release comics.
Bounty Hunter Toys, Hamilton – toy shop with vintage high grade comics
The Giddy Goblin, Hanover
Jacks on Queen, Elmvale
Dungeon Comics, Burlington – this is a second location for the Dundas, ON shop. This business was previously known as Collector’s Vault, which was not part of our listing due to newness.
Aardvark Comics, Burlington
JC Collectibles, Brantford
Kingston Nexus Gaming, Kingston – a game store that has begun doing comics, hired Adam Pottier from 4c8b
R&D Comics, Aurora
Labyrinth, Oakville – a second location for this business, now located across from Sheridan, a great match for a shop specializing in art books
Stores that CLOSED
Project Asylum Comics, 2188 Mountain Grove Avenue, Burlington, Ontario – Was never listed in the database. Store is closed.
Nuclear Winter Comics, Cards & Gaming, 654 Wonderland Road Unit #6, London, Ontario – Was never listed in the database. Store closed September 2014.
Sign of the Times, 211 King St. West, Brockville, Ontario – This store was only 5 months old when a robbery forced the business to close
Goodsell Collectables, Belleville – Closed.
Heroes Lounge, Carleton Place – Closed.
Cover to Cover, Collingwood – Does not sell comic books.
Mountain Bookstore, Hamilton – Closed November 2013.
4 Colour, 8 Bit Comics & Games – Closed January 2015
Gamedom, Milton – Closed.
AOD Collectables, Mississauga – Closed.
All Star Sports Cards & Comics, Newmarket – No longer sell comics.
Pulp Comics, Niagara Falls – Closed December 2014. Removed from listing Owner Paul Tappay talks about why he chose to close the shop.
The Book & Net Cafe, North Bay – Unable to located. Presumed Closed.
Wyldstar, Oshawa – Closed.
Kaos Komix, Richmond Hill – Closed.
3rd Quadrant Comics, Toronto – Announced closing Feb/Mar 2015.
Comics & More, Toronto – Closed due to passing of owner Rob Charpentier.
Comic Book Lounge + Gallery, Toronto – Announced closing April 30, 2015. Sponsor of these awards. (Director’s note: this is my shop. Since our lease is up, our neighbours didn’t want to renew and I don’t want to move to a new location in the current climate, so I’ll maintain the storefront online for now and do local shows as the Lounge. ~Kev)
The Comic Post – Closed in 2012.
Planet X, St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto – This location closed. 2 other Planet X shops remain.
Just By Chance Games, Waterloo – Game store focus.
Hugin & Munin, Windsor – Closed.
double check Rebel in innisfil uncanny in kenora pendragon markham uptown comics sault house of comics sault gamesnook 2 sault kool collectables and comics thunder
12 Stores as of last review.
2 Stores Opened – I Want That Stuff in Brandon; Cobra Collectibles in Winnipeg
3 Stores Closed – Raven’s on Portage is closed (not previously listed); Arkham Asylum Comics Collectibles (not previously listed); Maluga’s Memorabilia (not previously listed)
1 Store Removed – Raven’s Toys on St. Mary’s has been rebranded as the above Cobra Collectibles
13 Total Stores currently open as of January 2015
News: – Cobra Collectibles has risen from the ashes of Raven’s. Raven’s underwent a name change and rebranding, becoming Cobra Collectibles. The Raven’s Portage location closed and the St. Mary’s location moved up the street (now located at 2984 St. Mary’s Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2M 3S1)
Maxx Collectibles has moved into a new location (now located at 835 Cavalier Drive, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2Y 1C6)
Brandon, MB saw the most activity in comics retail: I Want That Stuff opened up in Brandon, while two other shops (Arkham Asylum Comics Collectibles and Maluga’s Memorabilia) both opened and closed between reviews.
7 Stores as of last review.
2 Stores Opened – Collectors Edge, Readers Haven
2 Stores Closed – Phoenix Comics; Hoknes Comics (Not Previously Listed)
0 Stores Removed
8 Total Stores currently open as of January 2015
2 new comic shops have opened (or been discovered) in Saskatchewan since the last update:
– Phoenix Comics closed after 17 years. Gerry Macdonald retired as a teacher, then opened a comic shop. A forthcoming rental increase in the sizzling hot Saskatchewan market pushed Gerry to make the choice. Lack of supply for retail frontage in the rapidly growing city, has caused rental rates to sharply increase.
– And then there is the sad story of Hoknes Comics which opened with fanfare (here is a process video of the store developing pre-opening) was forced to close after being in business after only 2 months due to a fire destroying the building .
34 Stores as of last review.
3 Stores Opened – Phoenix Comics Inglewood; Imaginary Wars; Kapow Ltd. Comics, Cards & Games
1 Store Closed – Bazinga Comics
1 Store Removed – Wide Choice, replaced by Hanger 19
36 Total Stores currently open as of January 2015
– Treasure Cove in Airdrie moved to a new location (now located at 118 1st Ave NE, Airdrie, Alberta, T4B 0R6)
– Wide Choice Books closed and was taken over and/or was rebranded as Hanger 19 at the same address, using the same phone number.
– 3 new comic shops have opened (or been discovered) in Alberta since the last update:
– Phoenix Comics SW opened a 2nd location, Phoenix Comics Inglewood
-Bazinga Comics in Leduc closed
– Anime Hypercubed in Grande Prairie is for sale, perfect for someone looking to move a 7 hour drive North of Edmonton, smack into the Bitumen patch. Work in the tar sand, take a buddy to run the comic shop
54 Stores as of last review.
10 Stores Opened – Curious Comics Langford; T&N Games; Sector 2814 Comics & Toys; Dave’s Pop Culture; The Phoenix Nest; GameStars; Game-Bit; Dealers Choice Sports Cards and Collectables; Players Wanted Games and Collectibles; Pulpfiction Books East
10 Stores Closed – Gotham Collectibles; Clouda’s Cards, Comics, Coffee; Collectors Choice Sports Cards Comics & Collectibles; Haney Books; Comic Station Cafe; Iwase Books Canada; Book-Off; The Connection Games; Trippys Emporium; Kyogic Comics
2 Stores Removed – Spruce City Resale; Mad Hatter Book Store
52 Total Stores currently open as of January 2015
Big Pete’s moved
Hourglass Comics moved
Pulpfiction Books West moved .
2 Stores as of last review.
1 Store Opened – Stuff 2 Do (Iqaluit, Nunavat)
0 Stores Closed
0 Stores Removed – Ogre’s Lair continues to be a non-comics, gaming focused store; they continue to be listed due to scarcity of hobby stores in the North.
3 Total Stores currently open as of January 2015
News: – Stuff 2 Do was selected as a Top 10 finisher for the Harry Kremer award in 2014