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Bookstores

The Comic Pile

Posted by Robert Iveniuk / Posted on October 21, 2013

Comic Pile TorontoThe Comic Pile is a newer addition to the Kensington Market family. Opening at the beginning of August, this small and quaint ground-level store just south of College Street on Augusta Avenue serves to be another potential hot-spot for comic fans and tabletop gaming enthusiasts.

Johnny Marr's album The Messenger was playing on an Electrohouse radio and turntable as I entered. The first thing that struck me was the space. Considerably deep, the bowels of the Comic Pile were lined with shelves and clothing racks, but had very few displays across its floors. The other thing that caught my eye was that the back of the store was still under construction, with lines of unfinished tables covering the ground behind a wall of merchandise.

Comic Pile TorontoThis should not be a surprise for anyone planning to visit in the immediate future. The first few months of a comic store's birth are often cluttered, awkward times before the cocoon forms and the store emerges again as a magnificent, four-colour butterfly. Storeowner Dale Bryans isn't so much concerned about appearances. His focus is on the future of the Pile.

Comic Pile Toronto"This space is going to be used for table-top gaming. One wall will feature board games and figures," he explained, showing the careful arrangement of tables-to-be at the back. "The plan is to hold tournaments and casual games here on a regular basis. Magic the Gathering, the Star Wars tabletop, that sort of thing.

Comic Pile Toronto"Otherwise, we will have some back issues coming in. Honestly, though, I find trades sell better, especially since Marvel and DC rebooted all their comic titles back to Issue One. More people are scrambling for collected editions, rather than searching around for stray issues."

Comic Pile TorontoCertainly, one can find an excess of trade paperbacks at The Comic Pile. However, it wouldn't be a comic store in the twenty-first century without other kinds of items on sale. The front counter boasts figurines and vinyl Kidrobot statues, but also Game of Thrones drinking glasses, stylized bottle openers, and iPhone plush toys. One glass case by the register holds custom-made bowties designed by the owner's sister, 'Namouri.' More custom items are on their way.

Comic Pile TorontoAccording to Bryans, the real draw to the Comic Pile will be its aforementioned gaming room and the community he hopes to build and nurture with it. "There are lots of great game-and-comic stores in Toronto. Really, we just hope to be the next one."

Comic Pile TorontoComic Pile TorontoComic Pile TorontoThe Comic Pile is located at 254 Augusta Avenue, and is open from 11:00 AM onward everyday. For more information, visit The Comic Pile's official website and Facebook page.

Photos by James C Lee

Discussion

7 Comments

numbersix / October 22, 2013 at 05:42 pm
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I stumbled upon The Comic Pile last Friday. The layout is good and stuff is easy to find. I spoke to Dale who seems to be very easy going and approachable guy which is something a few other comic shops in TO are lacking.
I would definitely recommend this shop to others.
RexR / October 23, 2013 at 01:03 pm
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Great little shop!

Being a comic store almost makes the use of Comic Sans on the sign forgivable. Almost.
Bleep / October 25, 2013 at 02:03 am
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Nice place great customer service.
meh / October 25, 2013 at 07:58 am
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we went in here a few weeks ago. Dale was super nice and very easy to chat with. I like his plans. I hope they pan out.
Stargirl / October 29, 2013 at 04:52 am
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^_^ Epic
Mike Payne / March 3, 2014 at 01:11 pm
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This is my new favorite Saturday afternoon spot! Great selection of comics ranging from superheroes comics to mature graphic novels (not porn). The owner Dale is a genuinely nice guy who doesn't mind taking the time to chat about comics and tends to recommend some great reads! Love this place!
Ben / March 25, 2014 at 10:39 am
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I've been to the Comic Pile a few times now and it's great. Dale is really friendly and helpful. The prices are very reasonable. And the layout is simple.

On one occasion, I walked into the Comic Pile to find a group of people at the back of the store playing a very intricate looking board game. After picking out the comic book issue I was looking for, I approached the group to get someones attention. What I got was a 20 minute demonstration on how to play the game. It was really fun!

Can't recommend the place enough. Keep up the good work.

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