Much-loved Canadian comic book store The Comicshop of Vancouver, British Columbia, has had a tough few months. For reasons revolving the transfer of the store from one owner to subsequent owners, it has not been receiving new product from Diamond Comic Distributors.
And now current owner Brent-Nancy Stratichuk has announced the shop is closing – ironically as it is about to get a publicity boost as the filming location for the upcoming Deadly Class TV show for SYFY, transformed to look like this, renamed Lost Innocence:
Well, the news we hoped we'd never have to report is now upon us. The Comicshop's days are now officially numbered, though we've yet to learn what that exact number is. This probably won't come as a HUGE surprise to those of you who have been waiting – patiently for the most part – for any new product to arrive in recent weeks, yet we were STILL hoping for that "11th hour reprieve" that has kept the ball rolling here in the past.
Needless to say, the time for picking up any items you may still have on hold here is quickly running out, and we'd also suggest that those with consignment items here pick those up at their earliest convenience.
The reasons for this unfortunate turn of events are both numerous and not entirely pleasant to talk about, but this is neither the time nor place for pointing fingers (okay, maybe just ONE finger, but we digress!). Instead, we'd simply like to take this opportunity to thank all of you loyal Comicshoppers out there who have stuck with us through thick and thin these last 44 (and a HALF!) years! We're eternally grateful for your support and the chance to share the love of this medium we care so much about with you.
We'd also be remiss if we didn't take the time to recognize the numerous Comicshop staffers who have graced these hallowed halls since 1974. It's an overused cliche perhaps to describe co-workers as "family", but we still think it's a pretty accurate description when it comes to our Comicshop family here – a bit quirky, a bit dysfunctional at times, but at the end of the day I think it's safe to say that we ALL share a certain amount of pride that we've been able to be a part of such a fun and unique work environment. The fact that so many past employees still frequent the 'Shop (however infrequently!) is a testament to the love we still hold for these old yellow & red walls.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without those who started it all in the first place – Ken Witcher and the late Ron Norton. Prior to their fortuitous "team-up" in the summer of '74, the landscape for local aficionados of all things comics and sci-fi/fantasy could be described as "haphazard" at best – essentially used book stores and corner grocers. Their idea to gather ALL of their favourite hobbies under one roof (originally at 3638 West 4th Avenue) can be seen as truly visionary today, paving the way for future "brick & mortar" establishments, all sharing the same desire to impart their love of this special medium with others. We don't consider it an offhand exaggeration to say that Ron and Ken were true pioneers of the comic book business, not just locally but across North America as well.
With this in mind, I think I can safely speak for both Keith and myself when I say how honoured we both are to have been a part of The Comicshop for well over three decades each. When Ron essentially "passed the torch" to us back in 1999, we continued to strive to do everything in our power to keep his legacy alive, regardless of personal reward or recognition. We simply did it for the benefit of our loyal customers and the love of The Comicshop itself and the ideals it stood for. We can't possibly express to you just how sorry we are that it's come to this.
But again, we STILL ain't dead YET, so we hope to see you all at LEAST one more time before it's too late.