Happy Canada Day!

Captain_Canuck_Day_AnnualPlease note that the Comic Book Lounge (but not Temple of Toys) will be open on Monday, June 30. We are normally closed on Mondays.

Both the Comic Book Lounge and Temple of Toys will be closed on Tuesday, July 1 because of Canada Day.

Anyone that comes in today gets a copy of the FREE Captain Canuck Canada Day Special.

Wishing everyone all the best on this Canada Day.

Please note: our Canada Day(s) sale continues until July 10 – buy any two older graphic novels or back issue comics and you can get one more of equal or lesser value for FREE!

 

Please note: hours advisory and an apology re: Sunday, June 8

The Comic Book Lounge is generally open from 12-7 every Tuesday through Saturday, as well as 12-6 on Sundays. Both the Comic Book Lounge and Temple of Toys are closed on Mondays.

On occasion we will stay open later on weeknights – if you would like to come by after hours please contact us during working hours at 647-345-1035 or email info@comicbooklounge.com

We also exhibit at a lot of Toronto and area conventions, so on some weekends that coincide with these events we may close because we cannot staff both the retail shop and the convention. We will do our best to notify you in advance when this is the case.

On Sunday, June 8th we had to close early (2:30 instead of 6pm) because I (Kevin Boyd, the owner) had a personal matter to attend to and I did not have an available staff member to cover the store for the remaining 3 and a half hours we were advertised to be open. This is a special apology for Patrick and anyone else who was inconvenienced by our closing early that day. We strive to maintain our advertised hours, and will do our best to notify our customers and the public if an emergency comes up that requires us to close early or if a convention is on where we choose to close the retail shop.

Debra Jane Shelly (1974-2014)

DebbieLovesHerBalthesarMany thanks to everyone for their support during these tough weeks. As many of you know, on Saturday, January 25th,  some time in the afternoon my partner of five years – Debra Jane Shelly, passed away suddenly in her sleep, with no visible cause of death.

She was 39 years old, and since she had epilepsy since a teen and there was some evidence of a seizure, it has been determined as probable SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy).

SUDEP is actually a lot more frequent than anyone in our family knew, and the stats are deceiving. Some say it’s rare, others say it affects as many as 1 out of 5 young epileptics (i.e. under the age of 40).

Full of laughter, love and life it is inconceivable to those of us that knew and loved her that she is no longer with us.

The Toronto Star

More information on SUDEP can be found here.

Tributes

There were many online tributes to our amazing Debbie.

Ty Templeton did an incredible tribute to Debbie in his Bun Toon for February 2nd.. We also wish he never had to have drawn it.

Richard Evans

Sequential Spiltink (Rachel Richey)

Ad Astra Comix (NM Guiniling)

The Joe Shuster Awards (Jenn Haines, Tyrone Biljan, Allison Covey, Andrew Walsh)

The Comics Cube

Hasslein Books

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The National Post (Steve Murray)

Andrew Walsh (Facebook Note)

My Eulogy for Deb (Facebook Note)

Comic Book Daily (Leigh Hart)

The Comics Reporter (Tom Spurgeon)

Salgood Sam

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Art by Chris Yao

Kev’s Choices for the 5 Best Reissues/Collections of 2013

They say we are in the Golden Age of comics reprinting, and 2013 was certainly a banner year for this, and publishers like Fantagraphics, Dark Horse and IDW are out there doing an amazing job in representing the classic strips and forgotten comics of the past. From the Ditko Library, the American Library of Comics, Yoe Books, the EC Library, Artists Editions, Masterworks, Archives, the Simon & Kirby Library and more. One wonders if the well will ever run dry, but then there will be an announcement of another archival collection to remind one of how much material is actually out there left to be unearthed.

Here are the ones I really enjoyed:

june17-paul-joins-the-scoutsPaul Joins the Scouts (Conundrum Press) By Michel Rabagliati

The original French publication is only a year old, so it’s great to see Conundrum keeping on top of these books as they are released, and I hope they have a chance to reissue the earlier volumes in the Paul series that were originally published by D+Q. While I can read French, sometimes the context is lost, so reading them in English helps – and the ending to this particular entry into the series is very powerful and quite sad.

pv72Prince Valiant Vol. 7: 1949-50 (Fantagraphics) by Hal Foster

The first of two Foster books on my list, Prince Valiant is lush and vibrant, more powerful than ever in these remastered volumes. The detail that Foster put into this strip is astounding, and it’s great to be able to view these pages at the larger sized 11 x 17 format of these collections.

STK529609Tarzan: The Sunday Comics 1931-1933 (Dark Horse) by Hal Foster

Edgar Rice Burroughs personally selected Canadian artist Hal Foster to be the illustrator of the comic strip starring his famous Ape Man, one of the first of the 20th century’s pop culture star adventure heroes. Novels, movies and more were turning Tarzan into a household name but it was his comic strip that brought the adventures right into every home and made him a sensation. In turn, it would make Foster one of the most well known and well admired adventure strip cartoonists in the world, and his turn on Tarzan gave him the clout to be handed his chance at a character of his own making a decade plus later by the most powerful publishing figure of the print era (Wm. Randolph Hearst). Dark Horse presents these pages for the first time in tabloid format and the results are spectacular, if only they had been able to retain the extras that were featured in the NBM versions from the 1990′s. This book is massive, about the size of an IDW Artist’s Edition (~12 inches by 18 inches).

best of ec cover  CONVERTEDBest of EC Comics Artists Edition (IDW) by Various

Probably the standout volume in a very good year for the Artists Edition program, with the MAD AE, Jack Davis EC Stories, Mark Schulz Xenozoic Tales and more all being amazing collections of craft. On the other hand, 2013 was a bit of a shark-jumping year for the program with a couple of duds (Bone, Tor) and some fans of the series telling me they are taking a break — but for a select group of collectors (including myself), these are real treasures. Hard to sore treasures, but treasures nonetheless. One collector picked up three copies of this edition so that he could slice up two and frame the stories and covers around his home and keep one safe to read.

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Scott Pilgrim Vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together HC (Oni Press) by Bryan Lee O’Malley and Nathan Fairbairn

If you are avoiding these remastered and coloured hardcovers, thinking that the original black and white trade paperbacks are good enough then you are WRONG. Just plain WRONG. Nathan Fairbairn’s colours are transcendent and the books are a revelation in this new format. Do yourself a favour and reconsider. Plus, the extras are fun.

colorboxMany honourable mentions like the Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson hardcovers – especially the two color sundays volumes, the Flash Gordon/Jungle Jim collections from IDW, the EC Library collections from Fantagraphics, and Titan’s Marada the She-Wolf.

Marvel has done a great job in getting their Marvel Masterworks out in both hardcover and softcover format, it’s unfortunate that the pool of collectors for the hardcover collections is shrinking, but there has been growing interest in the softcover volumes at the Lounge this year.

DC Comics – get your Archives program up and running again. At the very least, get more volumes of the Golden Age Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel/Shazam and Wonder Woman comics out there along with more silver age Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman. Would love to see collections of the Silver Age Spectre and one of the Bat Lash comics. The Legends of the Dark Knight spotlight collections are fun, but pricey.

Kev’s Choices for the Top 5 Graphic Novels of 2013

bbBattling Boy (First Second) by Paul Pope

Remember when comics used to be fun? Paul Pope sure seems to, and he channels the same kind of energy Lee and Kirby did in the early days of Marvel with this adventure of a young boy, son of god-like beings, sent to earth to become a man and battle the monsters that have been running amok. Good fun for everyone, young and old. Available as both a hardcover and a softcover.

cooke-slayground-croppedRichard Stark’s Parker: Slayground (IDW) by Darwyn Cooke

Parker’s heist goes wrong and he gets trapped in an amusement park with only one way out and an army of criminals out to get him. He has two things on his side — 1) his wits and 2) the inventive art of one of the industry’s top cartoonists, Darwyn Cooke. This volume also includes “The Seventh” a short adaptation of another Parker novel that was only available previously in the Parker: Martini Edition.

fifth-beatle-bannerThe Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story (Dark Horse) by Vivek Tiwary, Andrew Robinson and Kyle Baker

It’s been over 50 years since the Beatles arrived and changed the face of pop music and rock and roll, and we are now getting some of the final stories of those early years in the form of this amazing graphic novel as well as the recent documentary Good ‘ol Freda, the recollections of the Beatles’ secretary and fan-club president Freda Kelly who worked for the band for 11 years (the Beatles were only around for 10). Central to both is the figure of Brian Epstein, the man who took the Beatles out of the Amsterdam bars and Liverpool Clubs and set them onto the path to superstardom. The graphic novel makes full use of the form’s ability to manipulate time and space to tell Epstein’s story. Pus, the artwork by Robinson and Baker is stunning. Multiple versions exist – hardcover, special edition hardcover and limited edition signed hardcover. At $20 you can’t go wrong.

timthumb.phpBandette Vol.1 – Presto! (Dark Horse) by Paul Tobin Colleen Coover

A bit of a cheat since these were comics first, but the graphic novel is an accessible way to find these stories. As with Battling Boy, these are fun and accessible comics. There are lots of extras in the hardcover collection.

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Sabertooth Swordsman (Dark Horse) by Damon Gentry and Aaron Conley

If you haven’t picked up the theme yet, it’s that comics should be fun. And this gem, which got very little fanfare is exactly that. Combining bollywood, hong kong samurai films, and avant-garde cartooning, the Sabertooth Swordsman is definitely worth checking out.

There were some others worth checking out — avewPacific_Rim_Tales_from_Year_ZeroAvengers: Endless Wartime (Marvel) by Warren Ellis and Mike McKone is a book you can give to a fan of the Avengers movie without bogging them down in Marvel continuity. Pacific Rim: Tales from the Outer Rim (Legendary/Marvel) is a standalone graphic novel that sheds some light on the years that led up to the world of the cult hit moview. Nemo: Heart of Ice (Top Shelf) by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil, part of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series – takes the daughter of Captain Nemo (last seen in LOEG: 1910) on an adventure to the Mountains of Madness.nemo

Kevin’s Choices for the Top 5 Monthly or Semi-Monthly Comic Books of 2013

SS 0392013 was an interesting year for comics. I’m not going so far as to say it was my favourite year for new comics – I think there have been better years, but it was a very good one nevertheless. Since I opened the Lounge in 2012 I have had a chance to sample many, if not most, of the titles that walk through our front door so that I’m up on the majority of the titles coming out and can properly answer any questions that our customers may have. These are the ones I enjoyed the most and highly recommend – as usual, with any list it’s subjective.

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East of West (Image) by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragonetta.

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Fatale (Image) by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

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Hawkeye (Marvel) by Matt Fraction, David Aja and friends.

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Batman 66 (DC) by Jeff Parker, Jonathan Case, Ty Templeton, Joe Quinones and friends.
 
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Superior Spider-Man (Marvel) by Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos, Ryan Stegman and friends
 

From the sheer nostalgic fun of Batman ’66 (especially when illustrated by Ty Templeton and Joe Quinones) to the chance-taking Hawkeye to the high concept and often aggravating directions of the Superior Spider-Man — 2013 showed us that there is room for mainstream comics to take chances and create fun comics and not more soulless cash grabs. Marvel in particular had a good year with other titles like Brian Michael Bendis’s All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men, Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers, New Avengers and the Infinity series, Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Thor God of Thunder. DC had fewer titles that I really cared for, but Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s Batman and Robin, and Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s Batman, Incorporated were two that were high on my must read pile when an issue came in.

Image Comics continues to generate the most interesting original content in monthly and semi-monthly comics and while East of West and Fatale are my personal choices, there are many others that could also be on this list such as Saga, Sex Criminals, Lazarus, Velvet, Walking Dead, Invincible, Revival and more.

The Top Monthly Comic of 2013 as selected by the customers of the Comic Book Lounge + Gallery (by buying and supporting it so enthusiastically):

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Saga (Image) by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

Saga outsells most mainstream comics and has become the comic you will mostly give to your non-comics reading friends to try out. Saga is also our most requested trade paperback, easily surpassing the Walking Dead and Fables.

BONUS:

After reading the list above aloud to my girlfriend Debra, I was severely chastised for not including her favourite comic of 2013, so as a bonus here’s Debra Jane Shelly’s Top Comic of 2013:

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Sex Criminals (Image) by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

“Why? Because it’s so awesome!” ~Debra

Coming Soon: THE GRAPHIC NOVELS

Welcome to the future! 2014 is here

We are getting ready to start our third official year as the Comic Book Lounge + Gallery and many exciting things are in the works.

Item! Temple of Toys is sticking around. Thanks to everyone who has made the fine folks at ToT feel so welcome at 587A College — they were happy enough with the results in November and December that they are going to stay on for the winter. They continue to offer the best in vintage and collector toys. From Masters of the Universe, TMNT, Star Wars, Marvel Legends and more… if you can’t find what you are looking for at Temple of Toys they will be able to find it for you! Temple of Toys BannerItem! Old Man Winter is blowing hard across Southern Ontario at the moment but that doesn’t mean that the comics aren’t hot at the Lounge. With All New Marvel New, new offerings from Image Comics and the 75th Birthday of the Batman (in Detective Comics #27 – out January 8th) there’s lots of great stuff coming out. detective27-leeItem! MIRACLEMAN is back! Yes, on January 15th the lost classic is back in a series collecting the long out of print stories from Warrior and the Eclipse comic series, and Neil Gaiman will be back to finish the Silver Age storyline when the series runs of out the older material to collect. Each issue includes interviews, designs and extra features and is sure to be a must-have for fans and collectors alike. Miracleman_1_Cassaday_Variant

Item! On Saturday, January 25th from 8pm-11pm it’s Ladies Night V - the night we kick the guys out and make the Lounge an exclusive place for female fandom to meet and network.

Item! Unfortunately due to space issues we will not be able to host a 24 Hour Comic Book Marathon at the Lounge as originally announced.

Item! On Sunday, January 19th the Comic Book Lounge + Gallery will be exhibiting at the Burlington Toy Show

Burlington Toy Show – January 19, 2014
Holiday Inn Burlington
Hotel & Conference Centre
3063 South Service Road
Burlington, ON
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 3:00 PM
Early Bird is $10, General Admission is $5, Children under 5 admitted at no charge