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Bookstores

The Comic Book Lounge and Gallery

Posted by Staff / Posted on March 20, 2012

Comic Book Lounge TorontoThe Comic Book Lounge and Gallery is a new edition to the world of hobby shops. Founded on February 8th of this year by owners Sean Menard and Kevin Boyd, the idea was not to simply create another store. After taking over the stock from Dragon Lady Comics, which shut its doors earlier this year, Sean and Kevin sought to take a different direction.

"We want to build a community," Sean Menard told me, "and we want to support local artisans and promote their work."

Comic Lounge TorontoSimilar to a Japanese manga cafe, The Comic Lounge and Gallery provides an area for fans to read their purchases with a drink of their choice and socialize with their peers and friends. There's more to this place than being a nerdier version of a Starbucks at Indigo, however. Sharing its space with The Toronto Cartoonists Workshop and Guerilla Printing, the ultimate goal of TCLG was to create a haven for comic creators and aficionados alike.

"We see this as like a co-op opportunity, with three businesses under one roof," Sean explained, "Here, you can learn to draw, read comics for reference, and then get your work printed. Then maybe, just maybe, you can get it displayed and sold here."

Comic Lounge TorontoAnother key part of The Comic Lounge and Gallery is the fact that it also doubles as an art gallery. Each month, a new comic artist will display their works for sale or simply for viewing. Marvel artist Mike Del Mundo, for example, is expected to exhibit and sell some of his works throughout April.

Comic Lounge TorontoThe store is still fairly new, but there are plans to expand within its walls. Menard states that customers can expect anything from extra couches to WiFi, coffee machines, and game tournaments over the next few months. It's too early to say whether or not The Comic Lounge and Gallery will make any big waves in a comic community, but you can still see the ripples forming in the water.

Comic Lounge TorontoComic Lounge TorontoThe Comic Lounge and Gallery is open from 12 Noon to 7 PM every Wednesday and Saturday, and open from 12 to 5 PM every Sunday.

Writing by Robert Iveniuk. Photos by Morris Lum.

Discussion

21 Comments

Kevin Boyd / March 21, 2012 at 08:02 am
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Just a quick note we are also open 12-7 on Thursdays and Fridays as well as Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Ian Daffern / March 21, 2012 at 09:24 am
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A really exciting new space and welcome addition to College Street! Combining an art gallery with a home for comics and graphic novels is definitely a new step for Toronto comics.
Dennys / March 22, 2012 at 09:33 am
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Awesome! I will check it out. Why is it not open everyday though? :(
Kevin Boyd / March 26, 2012 at 03:47 pm
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Mondays and Tuesdays were slow during the winter months, but since the weather is getting nicer and there's more walking traffic on College Street we are looking into opening on Mondays and Tuesdays as well by May.
Timothy Goldmansteinski / March 30, 2012 at 12:02 am
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What a fantastic review of a new store! Well written!
Jonathan / September 5, 2012 at 12:24 am
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I just started a blog on the international comic book market. Could I possibly interview someone from you store?
Jonathan replying to a comment from Jonathan / September 5, 2012 at 12:25 am
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If you want to take a look its http://transnationalcomicbooks.com but its just in its infancy.
Liam / September 20, 2012 at 09:02 pm
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Papa Joe makes this place worth going to. Best comic store in TO hands down.
Philip McAiney / September 22, 2012 at 03:56 pm
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Thank you for your web site and info. I am having a comic-book published here in Windsor, based on my screenplay of the "Billy Meier" story. My book is not finished but the first instalment is nearing completion. It is being drawn and written by Tony Gray and Mike Michalski here. I am always interested in meeting artists and writers in the comic-book field, and will stop in the next time I am in Toronto.
Miroki / October 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm
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Terrible experience. I had actually been excited to finally visit the place, but was quickly deflated by the horrific experience I had with Joe. Doesn't even matter what the back story was, no customer should be made to feel humiliated and also a laughing stock for other customers, and then have personal remarks made on her character. As far as I'm concerned, clearly the store acts more like a clubhouse considering how little care was given to any sort of customer relations. Blacklisted.
lion / October 20, 2012 at 08:49 am
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I was very excited to see this place after numerous reviews. I had expected a space comparable to silver snail but once i got there it looked like a going out of business set up. There were many boxes of comics laying on the floors, and a couple of bookshelves of DC. With what appear to be three employees, I was not greeted. Prices were US cover, and I had found a couple of Batman HC which weren't available at the other retails. Overall, a very generic store with zero experience. I would have gotten more from wal-mart. I had hoped that a community comic shop would be more engaging.

Overall, satisfied with my find but would not go out of my way to visit again.
Kevin Boyd replying to a comment from Miroki / December 26, 2012 at 06:51 pm
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I'm sorry to hear about your negative experience, and I have spoken about it with Joe. From what I can gather, it arose out of a disagreement over what to do with an expired Living Social voucher, and Joe was not in the position to give you the answer you were looking for and that it escalated beyond that when the matter was pressed. You are correct in that no one should be humiliated and I appreciate that you have brought this to my attention. I wish that you had contacted me directly about it at the time.
Kevin Boyd replying to a comment from lion / December 26, 2012 at 06:59 pm
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Dear Lion, in late October/early November the store was renovated and upgraded with new comic racks, a new counter a revised storage/office area, and unfortunately that required some shifting around and the boxing of some merchandise as we prepared for the changes and the rewiring required, but the store looks AWESOME now, very bright and open and hopefully welcoming! I do take your comments about not being greeted and welcomed by our staff to heart, so I will speak to the staff about this and we will strive to do better in the future. I hope you'll give us another shot in 2013 as we have a lot of exciting things planned.
Kevin Boyd replying to a comment from Liam / December 26, 2012 at 07:00 pm
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Thanks Liam!
Kevin Boyd replying to a comment from Jonathan / December 26, 2012 at 07:00 pm
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Email me at kevin@comicbooklounge.com
Kevin Boyd / December 26, 2012 at 07:04 pm
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Since the article was written (shortly after we opened) we have grown a LOT and we've made a number of changes to improve overall customer experience. We hope BlogTO will come by and update this article and we really do appreciate their continued support of small retailers like the Lounge.
sara / May 16, 2013 at 11:46 am
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Fantastic Store- selection is superb, location is second to none! WOW well done!
Mike Crellin replying to a comment from Philip McAiney / March 19, 2014 at 11:50 pm
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Will the comic be one of those Ron Hubbard stories?
Kevin Boyd / April 8, 2014 at 08:11 am
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Ch-ch-changes at the Comic Book Lounge + Gallery. In November 2013 we were joined at the location by TEMPLE OF TOYS a new and vintage toy dealer. In February 2014 we celebrated our 2nd Anniversary at 587A College Street. In April 2014 Guerilla Printing restructured and has relocated to 413 Spadina Avenue. Starting May 1, what was once GP will be transformed into THE BACK SPACE, an exciting first in Canadian comics retailing - a multipurpose event space that will be used for adult classes and workshops, after school and summer programs for kids and teens, parties, book launches, geek swap marts, trivia nights, gaming tournaments and a whole lot more. Come check us out on Saturday, May 3, 2014 for the official launch of Back Space Toronto with a full Artist Alley of comic book artists and creators!
Patrick / June 8, 2014 at 05:34 pm
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Yeah...really wanted to like this shop but when the website says open Sundays 12-6, you make the trek down there, and it is closed, it kinda leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

Hope the management either updates the website, or has staff in there to man the operation when it is advertised to be open.
Kevin Boyd replying to a comment from Patrick / June 13, 2014 at 01:32 pm
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Apologies Patrick --- we are open 12-6 on Sundays, but I had to close at 2:30pm on Sunday, June 8 because a personal situation had arisen. We did send out a notification to all of our regular customers and send out a notification on our social media on Saturday evening to that effect.

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