Too Close to Call: Comic book crusaders
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.
|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.|