Monday, 22 April 2013

The Comic Book Shoppe

(It's a busy world, so I'm going to start providing carefully crafted executive summaries on my blog posts.  Today's executive summary is: "I heart the Comic Book Shoppe.")

When I first moved to Ottawa more than a decade ago, I looked for my new "geek outlet" store.  Where one buys their comic books and geek ware can help make or break their love for a city, after all.  It was made clear to me by other geek girls that the Comic Book Shoppe was *the* place to shop in Ottawa.  I heard things like:

  • "They actually have girls on staff."
  • "They carry titles by girl artists and writers."
  • "You don't feel like you're on display while shopping."
  • "You can browse comic books without wondering who's browsing you."

All stellar reviews, if you ask me. Over the years, I've shopped there on and off, but recently, with way too many cool things to get, I'm there at least once a month. Roomy and I enjoy our comic book nights.  I've always believed it was a great place to shop, but lately they've become a shining star for the Ottawa geek community, at least in my books.  A few reasons:

  • The Comic Book Shoppe 2, located on Bank Street, is in Ottawa's "LGBT Village." (I don't know if it has an official name - please let me know if it does!)  When DC said that a well-known aggressive homophobe would be penning the next series of Superman, Rob Spittall, co-owner of the Bank Street location, said he would not carry it, out of respect for the community he serves and the ideals the geek community strives to achieve.  He would still order it for the fans, of course, but he wouldn't put the money forward to carry it on his shelves. It was professional, thoughtful, and well-executed. Some people called it a breach of freedom of speech, but Rob has that right, too, and he supported it with grace.  I was impressed.
  • Last month, they hosted the Masked Mosaic: Canadian Super Stories book launch, and it was one of the best venues I've worked with in town. They were friendly, accommodating and professional. We packed the place and they cheered us on.  What more could we ask for?
  • Last night cinched it for me.  They hosted their second Geek Girls Night, and it was a ridiculous amount of fun. They had a mini concert, vegan treats, manicures, grab bags and massages, and some great discounts. The event sported a relaxed social atmosphere.  They had pulled the female staff from both stores, making sure customers had plenty of assistance to find the cool they were looking for (or were hankering to discover!)  I supported the event by spending way too much there...

It strikes me how lucky we are to have the Comic Books Shoppe.  There isn't an establishment like this in every city, or not one that's such a beacon for the community.  I can't thank Rob, Cherry and everyone else enough for all of the work they put into maintaining such a great establishment.

Ottawa is better for having you in it.