Today’s post is, and will probably always be, the most local post I will put out. Back a couple months ago, I had written about a comic store that was closing here in Ottawa that has recently re-opened under a new name. As much as I liked that shop, it was out of the way and I didn’t frequent it often. Instead I go to a great comic store that is much closer, Wizard's Tower.
In the early days when Wizard’s Tower opened up, I remember dropping by to see the store being set up. The store was the third and newest location for the owner Dave, but has since become the one and only store that he owns and manages. From the get go, Wizard’s Tower had a welcoming and bright atmosphere. With a big open space and tables laid out for gaming, Wizard’s Tower was set up from the start to be a nerd hub. Back before comics were ever an interest for me, I would pick up packs of Magic: The Gathering boosters and feel the rush of cracking them open right there in the store. Magic was and continues to be the bread and butter of the store, drawing in big crowds of geeky patrons every week to meet up and play some games.
When I finally did pick up my comic obsession, it was an employee at Wizard’s Tower that helped recommend amazing books to feed my interest. It was here that I learned the basic tenants of introducing comics to new readers as they were taught to me:
- Find a character the person likes.
- Find out what kind of genre the person is looking for. Comics are a medium, not a genre.
- Start with a low continuity story arc.
- Suggest following writers that a person likes as opposed to just the characters.
- Point readers in the direction for highly acclaimed runs as opposed to personal favourites.
Of course, there is more to it than this, but these are the main considerations that were taken to stoke my passion for comics. This of course led me to writing my own comic which I self published here in Ottawa.
I have had a lot of support with my comic when I first released it. I was lucky enough to get some humble media attention and shelf space for my comic early on. Wizard’s Tower was no exception to this and Dave gladly threw my book up on his shelf with no hesitation. What was exceptional, however, is that my book is still on his shelf over a year after release. Shelf space is limited at any comic shop, so I am very grateful that my book was given such a good chance to sell over the past year. It should also be noted that I have sold more copies of ‘Son of God’ at Wizard’s Tower than anywhere else.
I know that this seems like a big commercial for my local shop, but I assure you it is done with gratitude and sincerity. Though I’m not a super regular, I do drop by pretty often to browse board games and D&D supplies on top of ordering my monthly comics. The store has changed for the better over the past couple years, and hopefully my son and I can frequent it as he gets older.