The Best Comic Shops in Toronto
The best comic shops in Toronto might be among the best in the world, a fact that was well-known long before Scott Pilgrim made this city a comic Mecca. Yes, we were the birthplace of Superman (sort of,) but it was when comics got ambitious, dark and literary, that Toronto's geek subculture began making a very palpable mark in the four-colour world.
Comics fans live under a big tent, and while there might possibly be some crossover between Seth and Chester Brown fans and cosplay enthusiasts, it would have to happen after striding through the territory of many tribes, each passionate about everything from Pekar to Cerberus to manga to yet another exploration of the twisted psyche of the Batman. It's a wild world, but it's a robust one, with a persistent knack for attracting new generations of very different kinds of fans every year, thanks mostly to the city's varied comic shops.
These are the best comics shops in Toronto.
There was a day when shopping at the Beguiling meant running the gauntlet of founder Steve Solomos' withering criticism as you paid for your purchases. Since Peter Birkemoe and Shane Chung took over from Solomos and co-founder Sean Scoffield over a decade ago, the Markham Village store has become friendlier while maintaining its world-famous reputation for promoting comic art and graphic novels and showcasing the thoughtful, non-cape-wearing potential of the medium. More »
Rising out of the ashes of venerable comics institution The Dragon Lady, this upstairs College Street space is as much a hangout as a shop, gallery or reading room; all of which it might be, depending on where you're standing. Its brave ambition to make itself a place where readers and creators can come together (and perhaps evolve from the former to the latter) is both worthy and potentially possible, thanks to on-site partnerships with the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop and Guerilla Printing. More »
This Annex shop casts its net wide, past Marvel and DC to the places where comics intersect with cartoons and movies in manga, anime, Pixar and Disney. With shelves full of art books, French bandes dessinees and graphic novels, it makes for essential shopping for the Fan Expo crowd in all their cosplay glory. More »
Tucked under the awning of the Kingsway Cinema, Excalibur has been a mecca for west end comic nerds since the late '80s, surviving lean years by selling collectible sets of Pokemon and Yu-gi-Oh cards while keeping its tightly-packed bins full of new and used titles. More »
A pre-teen offshoot of The Beguiling, just around the corner on Bathurst, this kid-friendly comic shop caters to a very young crowd whose shopping budget comes from allowances and birthday money. Colourful and as impeccably stocked as its Beguiling connection would imply, it's a storefront as happy as any magic kingdom. More »
With two locations on Bloor West and in North York, Red Nails caters to the polyethylene bag and card sleeve set; collectors of comics and cards, who know the value of everything and live for the possibility that their investments will pay dividends. It makes for a wary relationship between clerk and customer in the aisles of their very well-stocked stores. More »
Out on the Danforth at Pape, and sharing a space with a pet-grooming business, this friendly comic shop tries to make itself a second home for customers, with reasonable prices, kid-friendly titles, and regular tournaments for role-playing Magic fans. More »