Too Close to Call: Comic book crusaders


Published:

From left: Peter Birkemoe, The Beguiling and Leon Emmett, Hairy Tarantula


In honour of Man of Steel, summer’s Superman flick, comic book purveyors Hairy Tarantula (Yonge/Steeles) and The Beguiling (Bathurst/Bloor) battle for the comic crown. Whose graphic novels pack more punch? You choose.

The Beguiling

vs.

Hairy Tarantula

Peter Birkemoe, 1987. Owner & year opened:
 
Leon Emmett, 1992.
I started reading the Saturday comics section in the paper and the little Peanuts paperbacks.  How did you first get into comics? According to my parents, my first word was an attempt at "book,” yet I've been looking at the pictures ever since. 
I often have comics that cost many thousands of dollars, but we focus on things that people want to read. Most expensive comic book you’ve ever sold? Probably Amazing Fantasy #15 — it was ballpark $1,500. Today it would sell for around $7,000 to $8,000!
I’d say half a million. How many comic books do you have on hand? I couldn't begin to tell you! Tens of thousands of trade paperbacks, tens of thousands more manga ...
We don’t really care about characters; we care about authors. Chris Ware is one of my favourites. I’m a real comic book snob! Favourite comic book character? That's a coin flip between Cerebus and John Constantine. I wonder if I simply have an affectation for characters whose names begin with "C." 
We’re trying to focus on the comic book — Scott Snyder’s Superman Unchained — as opposed to the movie. Are you carrying more Superman comics due to the Man of Steel release? We already have a lot of Superman but will reorder more if the movie causes a spike in sales. 

I’d suggest Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? by Alan Moore. 
What Superman story would you recommend reading? Superman: Red Son is a great place to introduce people.  
We have a much more diverse selection than most shops — we carry books about the history of comics, foreign comics, old comic strip reprints ... What makes your shop stand apart from the crowd?  We’ve always had a strong focus on independent comics and still carry all the popular (and not-so-popular) superhero and superteam books.
     

 

 

 

 

 

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Local intends to sue after scaffolding collapse at former House of Chan site

Local intends to sue after scaffolding collapse at former House of Chan site

Seven victims were wounded at the location of the future Forest Hill LRT station in April.
Posted 1 hour ago
Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez sounds off on the team’s recent bench-clearing brouhaha and his new book

Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez sounds off on the team’s recent bench-clearing brouhaha and his new book

Over the past six decades, Buck Martinez has been a baseball player, a coach, a commentator and an author. His latest book, Change Up, is part autobiography and part treatise on how to improve the game. Post City chatted with the former Blue Jays catcher about the state of the sport and why the bench-clearing brawl between the Jays and the Texas Rangers might be just what the Jays needed to break through into dominance.
Posted 6 hours ago
Amazon forest inspires T.O. novelist’s new work

Amazon forest inspires T.O. novelist’s new work

After three novels — including her Giller Prize shortlisted work, Effigy — and one collection of short fiction, Toronto writer Alissa York knew it was time to take a leap outside of her creative comfort zone, one that would take her all the way to the Amazon.
Posted 1 day ago
Our guide to five of Toronto’s best summer improv shows

Our guide to five of Toronto’s best summer improv shows

Improv comedy requires an attentive audience, so it’s not often found at open mics in pubs. There are several performance venues in Toronto that regularly feature improv, where performers come up with material by riffing off each other’s ideas — sometimes in unusual formats that challenge their quick wits. Here’s our top five.
Posted 1 day ago