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: A Comics History Of Toronto : The Stores
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Aug 22nd 2010
Here, for your edification is my run-down of comic stores on the T-Dot. Having helped host oddbill recently and having drunk a measure of beer before the sun came up, I feel most qualified.
THE SILVER SNAIL
Do you like toys? This is the place, then. Every action figure you can think of (and a few you can't), figurines, minatures, models, maquettes, etc. Plus, they sell comics. Very nice and upscale, a bit of a tourist trap, two floors, folks like Robin Williams and Samuel L. Jackson can be found shopping here. There's an Alex Ross-esque mural painted on the side of the building. They also often have awesome window displays of G.I. Joes or Transformers all fighting and shit. And you have to search a bit but yes, they DO sell comics.
Do you like comics? Welcome home, then. The first floor is mainly collections and graphic albums - Tintin, Euro comics, fancy shmancy shit that would give Chris Ware a boner. Lots of old comic strip stuff, rare and out-of-print material, zines and mags and post cards. Upstairs, it's nothin' but Kraken scriptures - they even segregate the Warren Ellis Books,both for easy reference and so they don't get their goodness all over a random issue of, say, the Blue Fucking Beetle. Say hello to the Chris Butcher of Earth Prime, blogger supreme.
THE DRAGON LADY
Used to be on Queen, now on College Street, the Dragon Lady smells like a comic book store - rotting newsprint, b.o. and a burrito for lunch. You like old sf-paperbacks? Old magazines like Life, Time, People? They don't sell toys. Samuel L. Jackson also shops here because it's fucking cool, you dig? Plus, it SMELLS like a comic book store. The employees are fat and snarky and THEY KNOW THEIR SHIT. Recommended.
The third floor of the Bloor St flagship store is ALL COMICS. Power Man and Iron Fist for a buck each. Tons of remaindered comics and collections, readyto be devoured. Ever wonder if Kurt Busiek is worth reading? The library's the only place you'll find it cheaper. Two other locations, at Yonge and Yonge and Eglinton but fuck them. Bloor Street's the place, man.
Then there's Book City, which technically DOES carry comics. And Type, which prefers to call them Graphic Novels. And Chapters/Indigo which are the Borders/Barnes & Noble of the Great White North. There are many other "mom n pop" type comic stores but this should get you started.
Toronto was the home & birthplace of Joe Schuster. You know who he was, right?
Aug 24th 2010
I have now been to 3 out of the 4 mister hex has highlighted here. Used to go to the Silver Snail two decades ago, and made my first visits to The Beguiling and BMV a few days ago under his stern tutelage. These are all great places. BMV is open until midnight. That makes it mighty.
Not heard of the Dragon Lady before this, but some mysteries must remain, if life is not to sour, right?
(Please dear god tell mister hex you know who Joe Schuster is, or he will abuse with cutlery your soft precious gums!)
Aug 26th 2010
You forgot Hairy Tarantula!
Sep 10th 2010
Yes, Hairy Tarantula. A crammed store with tons of graphic novels. Lots of old ones too if you look everywhere. Like they have (or had) a section for First and Pacific and other small press 80s publishers. Also big on Manga. Multiple copies of everything. Do some even further digging around you'll find some odd stuff too. While the owner is male I've always seen females at the cash register.
1 Million Comix is a good store if you're into bread and butter Manga and Superhero/Mainstream books. A large selection of books.
And please, learn to spell Joe Shuster's name right. Thanks.
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