Support your Local Comic Shops - "Silkcuts Loves Your Comic Shop"

This blog was inspired by Sara's "Comic Vine Loves Your Comic Shop" Thread. 
 
Part of the reason I love living in Toronto is because of the rich history it has in comics.  Canada in general, but Toronto has to be one of the best places in the world when it comes to comics.  I have spoken to a few people who come across the boarder during Fan Expo and they all seem to love what Toronto offers.  I was once told that Toronto has the most Comicbook stores for its population.   This doesn't shock me at all since I will share with you all my favorite places to pick up Comics in the Greater Toronto Area and why.
 
I will list the stores in alphabetical order to avoid visual bias:

  • The Beguiling.

     Located at 601 Markham Street - Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Behind Honest Ed's.  Toronto's premier comic book retailer, and possibly Canada's premier graphic storytelling retail store. I have found many great gems there and the staff all know what they are talking about.
  • BMV.

    There are three locations: 2289 Yonge Street, 10 Edward Street and 471 Bloor Street - all Toronto, Ontario, Canada. BMV deals mostly in used and overage books and movies.  Because they do not directly work with diamond, but other sources, they can get huge varieties of books at very low costs.  Their prices reflect the product and what they paid for it, so if a used comic was purchased for like $2, it may sell for $6.  Some trades I've seen go for $2, such as the Andy Diggle Swamp Thing trade.
  • Comics and More

    1325 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.  This has become Jeff Lemire's local comic shop. If you are lucky you may bump into him there, I have during a signing.  This store has been around for over 20 years and the owner still seems to enjoy comics.  There is a pretty good selection.  His back-issue situation is randomly addressed so on a good day you can get great deals.  Besides the Jeff Lemire signing, I have found a bunch of good stuff there too.  I rarely go there because its out of the way of my Wednesday root.
  • Dragon Lady.

    Located at 609 College st  - Toronto, Ontario, Canada .  This store at one time was Darwyn Cooke's local store.  This comic has a great fairly untapped back-issue section.  Me telling you that is a big secret.  I found Peter Milligan Batman issues from long past as well as Brian Azzarello's OOP Marvel Max CAGE there.
  • The Labyrinth.

    Located at 386 Bloor Street west - Toronto, Ontario, Canada .  This store I has a special place in my heart for many reasons. This store I feel is the premier comic art store in Toronto and maybe Canada.  The owner supports local talent by selling their work when he can.  This store also carries a great selection of Sketch books from famous artist, as well as art books (both how to and pretty pictures kind).  Another nice thing about The Labyrinth is the rewards program, where roughly if you by 10 trades you get the 11th free and if you buy 10 comics you roughly get two free.* Confirm in store for details.  Another reason I love The Labyrinth is that the staff knows me as "Kevin the Hellblazer guy".  I pick up my Hellblazer stuff there, like monthlies and trades.
  • The HAIRY TARANTULA

    Three locations: (Main location) 354 Yonge Street, 2nd floor.  - This is the best location for indie and odd ball stuff.
    HAIRY T NORTH 6979 Yonge St. (647)430-1263 - This is the warehouse with the back-issues
    HAIRY T WEST 2949 Dundas St. W - The smallest location, not bad.  I got lucky there with a few random stuff.
  • Seekers.

    Located at 509 Bloor St. West (Downstairs) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada .  This is my OCCULT shop.  They have limited selection of trades, but like BMV they deal mostly in used and overage stock.  This store has been good to me and is a place of synchronicity and if you ever stop in, never know I may be besides you. This is the place I picked up a lot of sweet deals. Such Superboy: Boy of Steel for $12 CAD and Absolute Sandman's $40-60 CAD each.  I mentioned this is my occult shop because if I want anything in the occult, from Tarot cards to magic books, this is where I would look.  I trust the staff there.
  • She Said Boom!

     372 College Street - Toronto, Ontario, Canada .  This is more of a random store, since it is mostly records and used books.  But the trade paperback section is not bad and the prices are pretty good since like BMV and Seekers they deal with used books and overages.
  • Stadium Comics

    499 Main St S #104 - Brampton, ON.  This is an unconventional selection, but it is a secret I have to share.  Stadium Comics is a young store, ran by some very nice guys.  They still have the love for comics which is lost by a lot of the older stores where the owners are just sick of comics.  Free Comic Book day, this is the place to go.  They invite many comic creators and acutally make it a community event.  The last few years Francis Manapul and his girlfriend Agnes Garbowska both have made promises to do Free Comic Book day there.  Francis and Marcus To missed this year, because DC kept them busy, but if they were free that was the store they would be at.  Another nice thing about Stadium is they have a trade paperback reward program, by 10 get 11th free for up to the value of $20 or use that $20 towards a more expensive trade. 
 
I can understand the urge to save money buying online. I don't blame you and I do buy online myself, most ebay for rare books.  But for the Normal stuff I just shop around and do not depend solely on sites like Amazon.  I know in Toronto we have a healthy comic culture, so these stores can all provide something special.  It could be the service, the product selection, promotions and specials, local comics shops are there because that is how comics stay healthy. We are suppose to go to these shops and flip through and judge for ourselves if we want to read those comics.  Depending only online you are tend depending on others to tell you what is good.  
 
One of the nicest things about comics is the hunt.  Because of reprints and the industry now being controlled by a younger audience, many of the older good books are being forgotten.  I always love finding books no one has seemed to have read, it is fun and its like find treasure if its really good or fools gold if its really bad.  Supporting your local comic shops is a win-win for everyone.
 
I attached the link to the "Comic Vine Loves Your Comics Shop" thread. But I would also like to know what great comic shops are in your area. Who knows, may be I'll need that info if I am in your town.
 
Cheers
- Silkcuts
20 Comments
20 Comments
Posted by danhimself

my bastard of a comic book store owner has yet to put up his Comic Vine sticker so the heck with him and his store

Online
Posted by Silkcuts
@danhimself:  That sucks! You gave the guy a shout out and he is cold about it, eh?  Any other good ones you can tell me, to spite him?
Posted by danhimself
@Silkcuts:  yeah and it's not like it would be hard to put up or he hasn't found the time to do it yet...it's a sticker!!
 
the store is like the only store with in a 50 mile radius
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Posted by Silkcuts
@danhimself:  I think I am pretty spoiled in Toronto.  There are a lot of stores closer then 50 miles in the Core of Toronto.  
 
I think that is why Comic Vine isn't do the stick pack any more.  Most of the stores I don't think placed them up.  The store in Toronto to make the list hasn't place it up yet as well.. mind you I never asked him about it.  It suck we can't add stores of our own.  I got in trouble creating a Beguiling page, which I needed to comment on Scott Pilgrim stuff and it also appeared in Wolverine/Doop mini.  Which makes not sense since that store is world class and has more purpose then the one that did make the list.
Posted by danhimself
@Silkcuts:  If there's one thing I've learned about comic book store owners it's that a LOT of them are douchebags....I could probably make a 3 page single space rant about the problems that I have with my store owner and the way he does business
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Posted by Silkcuts
@danhimself:  The shops I got to tend to be pretty cool. I listed a whole bunch above in the blog.  Where do you live?
Posted by danhimself
@Silkcuts:  I live in Pennsylvania and sadly to far away from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for their stores to count....my store is small time and it always seems like he's more interested in having his friends in to play Magic The Gathering than to run the store properly
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Posted by Silkcuts
@danhimself:  I know a few stores like that :(
I guess they are in it for the wrong reasons.
Posted by J1ml33
@Silkcuts:  I used to have a comic book shop in my small town a long  time ago . I used to back cheep and sometimes pricey back issues of old 90s comics and trades . I used to spend a good portion of my pay check on titles like spawn (the 1st 31 issues ) savage dragon (both the mini series and the first 50 issues of the ongoing series ) and also I bought a a lot of  select issues of the 90s uncanny x-men (Jim lee issues ) & the first 14 issues of the original 90s regular x-men title started by Jim lee , and I also have some 90s amazing spider-man and regular spider-man by mcfarlane the first 16 .so I spent my money well before they closed down for good 2 years ago I miss the good ol days ....awe
Posted by danhimself
@Silkcuts said:
" @danhimself:  I know a few stores like that :( I guess they are in it for the wrong reasons. "
well you would think that the primary reason (even above your love of comics) would be to make money...that's why anyone opens a business...but his store is at the far end of our local dying mall...there are probably around 15 stores left in our mall and about 20 empty locations...he can't be seeing enough business to justify staying in that location...we have a huge area closer to our "in town" that just started a few years ago that has a lot more business in and out of it a day than our mall ... the guy never promotes anything...the CV sticker being a prime example....but we had to beg and plead him to take place in the Green Lantern rings promotions and even then he didn't order ANY copies of Flash #1
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Posted by Silkcuts
@J1ml33:  That blows royal chunks! 2 years and not local comic shop :(
Posted by Silkcuts
@danhimself:  Money shouldn't be the reason.  It is for the jerks, but some of my fave stores are in the comic business for the.  With online shopping and the internet, comics really are not profitable. I guess that is why there are so little left.  But the ones in Toronto are great, I guess I am lucky.  I know a few of the owners of the stores I go to and they know that they won't get "Rich" selling comics.  They sell comics because they love the medium.  Like the boys from Stadium Comics, they are the underdog in Brampton (City close to Toronto), but they are the best store in their area.  Francis Manapul does signings there.
 
I guess the problem is the comic culture in the smaller areas.  If the owners don't see the maximum potential of the culture, they just don't care because money can be made elsewhere. Such as toys and cards.  The shops around me that remind me of the story you speak, of I didn't even bother placing them on my list because they sell comics for the wrong reasons.
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

Both of the Comic shops I gave stickers to haven't put theirs up, the one store in my area  I con't normally go to is the only one I didn't recommend  and someone else recommended them. Guess what? They put theirs up.

Posted by Silkcuts
@Emperor Gonzo Noir:  So it looks like those stickers were a bad idea.
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir
@Silkcuts: I asked one of them why they didn't put theirs up, they said that it advertised the site and not them. 
Posted by Silkcuts
@Emperor Gonzo Noir:  I guess that they don't see it that, if the site gets action, it may trigger sales.... 
I would put it up personally if I had a store of my own.
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir
@Silkcuts: I almost asked for it back, it they wouldn't use it, I'd put it in my car. 
Posted by Silkcuts
@Emperor Gonzo Noir:  You should do it.
Posted by Amegashita

  ... 
 
   I only have Books a Million near me to buy comics.

Posted by fedspaz

When I travel for work, I like to pop into the local comic book store and check things out.  I frequent my local shop and they take pretty good care of me.  Can't complain on that front.  They do their best to find comics I need.