6th Anniversary of shop opening – 2/2012

This week marks the 6th Anniversary of the opening of the Comic Book Lounge + Gallery at 587A College Street which opened in early February 2012, picking up from Dragon Lady Comics, which closed in late January of that year. The Lounge’s retail location closed on May 1, 2015. Incidentally, Marvel’s Fantastic Four title officially came to an end the day two days before that.

 

2018 Update

familyguyNot much is happening with the Lounge these days, our remaining customers transitioned over to ALL NEW COMICS inc. last year. We still have a fairly large inventory of graphic novels that we bring out for sale at local events like the Toronto Comicon in March and Fan Expo Canada in late August/early September, and Toronto Fan Days in December.

I myself am very active with my consulting work as the Comics Relations Coordinator for Fan Expo HQ and their family of shows. That keeps me pretty busy year round and I travel to places like Vancouver, Dallas, Orlando, Boston, Tampa Bay and in 2018 to Calgary and Edmonton. I also coordinate the Joe Shuster Awards for Canadian comic book creators.

Some people have asked if we would ever reopen the Comic Book Lounge + Gallery as a retail store and the answer to that is pretty easy: no.

While the CBL+G was a fun experiment on College Street with our partners at the location between 2012 and 2015 – Guerrilla Printing, the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop, Temple of Toys and Back Space Toronto the concept only works if all partners were doing well, and the realities of Toronto’s downtown retail situation – with high rents and traffic flow issues that ebbed and flowed due to construction, transit problems, Canadian weather and lack of downtown parking eventually caught up with us.  Good on those who are able to make it work, but I haven’t found a shop in Toronto that hasn’t had to suffer through variations of these problems and some other shops have followed us and also closed (or forced to close) or had to relocate and rethink their approach.

I think I was relatively lucky. Risk is high and rewards are low in this business. Unless you are playing the shell games associated with comics retail to try and generate revenues, people are buying less comics than they used to. Rather than analyze why that is, I’ll just say that the decline of sales meant shrinking orders, and shrinking orders meant less sales – to the point where you just have to focus on keeping your regulars happy, and even they start question their commitment and shift their orders or quit when the quality declines. This ultimately led to my decision not to try to relocate in the spring of 2015 and focus on maintaining orders – returning to Fan Expo HQ unexpectedly in the fall of 2015 meant making a decision that would ultimately benefit my loyal customers as well. I still look after them, but I don’t need to be active in the retail side and I could also end my relationship with Diamond, which was not positive in those final years.

And here we are, early 2018. The stock is paid for, there are no outstanding bills. I get to enjoy my comics each week.  All is good.

Kevin

 

 

 

 

Status update Spring 2017

Thanks for visiting the site.

As you know, our brick and mortar store closed two years ago (April 30, 2015). From May 2015 we provided orders and delivery/pick-up options to our existing customers who wanted to continue with us and continued to do conventions.

In October 2015 I was hired by Fan Expo HQ to be the comic relations coordinator and lead comics consultant for their family of conventions that includes FAN EXPO CANADA, TORONTO COMICON, Fan Expo Vancouver, Fan Expo Regina, Fan Expo Dallas, MegaCon Orlando and subsequently MegaCon Tampa Bay and Boston Comic Con. This necessitated a downgrade of what retail services I could provide so I struck an arrangement with Canadian online comics superstore ALL NEW COMICS to gradually shift new comics ordering services for our customers to their site.

This transition took a year and was completed in December 2016. I closed our Diamond account on December 28th, 2016. I still provide a pickup point for the old Lounge customers who purchase from All New Comics, Inc. at this time. We still have a lot of inventory, but this will be sold off gradually at conventions and online over the next few years. Since my time is limited this will likely mean just at events like Toronto ComiCON, Fan Expo Canada, Toronto Fan Days as well as the occasional Toronto Comics Show or Oshawa Comicon.

Thank you for your support of the years, we are very proud of what the Lounge accomplished in it’s five years.

Kevin Boyd

 

 

 

 

 

Books I’m currently enjoying – end of 2016 edition.

Glenn Gould (NBM)

Harvey Kurtzmann Library Vol. 2: Playboy’s Complete Trump (Dark Horse)

The 1964 New York Comicon

Michael Moorcock Library Vol. 4: Elric: Weird of the White Wolf (Titan)

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection Vol. 2: Great Responsibility (Marvel)

Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle (an older release) (DC)

The Art of Jose Gonzalez (Dynamite)

Ditko Unleashed (IDW)

The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood Volume 1 (Fantagraphics)

We Told You So: Comics As Art (The Fantagraphics Story) (Fantagraphics)

 

On Comics Retailing

A version of this post was posted on my FB wall in December.

Comic shop closures are a thing the community is discussing, as is usually the case when we end the year and start the next. The holidays can be a make or break time for many comic shops. We closed our retail operation in the spring of 2015, but the decision to close was made in January 2015.

Personally, I think we’re in for a few more shuttering in the GTA in the new year but it’s also a year of changes as we see some downtown stores relocating as their old locations are being renovated or demolished for new developments or current leases end. Continue reading On Comics Retailing

Best of 2016? Comic writers

gmruz3t4zfvzaa2c5xfz.pngIt’s hard for me to pick a best of comics list from those I read this last year so here instead are the writers I’m reading:

MARVEL:
5. Mark Waid (Avengers, Black Widow, Champions)
4. Dan Slott (Amazing Spider-Man, Clone Conspiracy)
3. Brian Michael Bendis (Guardians, Spider-Man, Iron Man)
2. Kieron Gillen (Darth Vader)
1. Jason Aaron (Mighty Thor, Unworthy Thor, Dr. Strange, Star Wars)

The single most satisfying comic Marvel published in 2016 was Darth Vader, in my opinion, but Aaron gets the edge for volume.

DC:
5. Grant Morrison (Wonder Woman Earth One)
4. Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman)
3. Peter Tomasi (Superman)
2. Tom King (Batman, Omega Men)
1. Scott Snyder (Batman, All Star Batman)

The single most enjoyable comic series for me from DC in 2016 has been Superman (post Rebirth), but the Batman guys get the edge from me for keeping it fresh.

Image:
5. Rick Remender (Black Science)
4. Jonathan Hickman (East of West, etc)
3. Robert Kirkman (Invincible, Walking Dead)
2. Ed Brubaker (Fade Out, Kill or be Killed)
1. Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Paper Girls)

Tough to rank this group.

Rest in Peace, Paul Rocchi

A long time customer of Dragon Lady Comics and the Comic Book Lounge, Joseph PAUL ROCCHI passed away on December 14, 2016. He was 54 years old. A reliable part of my week, Paul had been coming to visit me at the office every Thursday to pick up his new comics subscriptions since the College Street store closed. I was his stop on the way to 401 Games where he would moderate Heroclix games and tournaments. He would offen show up with cases of his freshly painted Clix creations and modifications to show me what he had been working on.

It was odd that he did not come to see me on December 15, but I had chalked it up to the bad weather we had that afternoon/evening, until I saw the email from his sister Sarah later that evening letting us know that her brother had passed the day before.

Everyone associated with Dragon Lady Comics and the Comic Book Lounge send our condolences to the Rocchi family. Here is the official notice:

727416_contentJoseph Paul ROCCHI

ROCCHI, Joseph Paul July 26, 1962 – December 14, 2016 Joseph Paul “Paul” Rocchi, of natural causes, suddenly at his home in Etobicoke; he was 54. Paul is predeceased by his father Joseph and mother Patricia; he is survived by his younger siblings, Ann, Sarah, Daniel and James and a large circle of family and friends. A loving and beloved older brother, a devoted son, a skilled and hard-working systems engineer, a true friend, and a volunteer blood donor for years, Paul was also a delighted and dedicated uncle to his nieces and nephews: Miranda, Natalie, Claire, Fiona, Weston, Siena and Caelum. A graduate of Cardinal Newman Secondary School in Stoney Creek, Paul went on to earn an Honours Degree from Scarborough College, majoring in Computer Science, with a minor in History. Paul worked as a systems engineer and programmer for a variety of companies on a vast array of corporate and infrastructure projects. A good neighbour and proud resident of Toronto, Paul received a commendation from the TTC in 1984, after coming to the aid of a driver who was attacked. Paul was stabbed himself during his efforts; it was, in its selflessness and civility, an action that in and of itself summed up Paul. Visitation will be at CRESMOUNT FUNERAL HOME, 1020 UPPER JAMES ST. in Hamilton on Tuesday, December 20th from 6-8 p.m. and Wednesday, December 21st from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. A memorial service and reception at Cresmount will immediately follow the Wednesday afternoon visitation. In lieu of flowers, feel free to donate to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation in Paul’s memory.

 

TORONTO, ON, CANADA * info@comicbooklounge.com

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