It’s not uncommon in this business to get invites to cover an event, or to check out a business, or to interview an interesting person. Well this is what actually happened as one our dear MtlBlog readers named Anna hit me up with an invitation to check out a funky comic store that’s been open for a year and it can’t be that bad, since it was part of a travel slide show on Montreal’s burgeoning St. Henri district in the New York Times this past May. They’ve also participated in Comic-Con.
Anna really got my interest into high gear when she mentioned that some of the other items for sale were life-size figurines of familiar heroes like The Wolverine and Spiderman. So seeing that January is a month to hibernate with those sub-arctic temperatures in the air and the chance to catch up some reading, off I went recently after Christmas to grab an hour to see what was new and different in comic book world, and check out some ideas for the comic book lover in all of you.
The shop is called Crossover Comics on Notre-Dame St. W just west of Atwater and a brisk ten minute walk from Lionel-Groulx metro station. Sure enough, there it was at the foot of St.Rose de Lima Street, and there they were in the front window, those figurines and Spidey, not surprisingly, hanging from the ceiling of this store proudly run by three down-to-earth gentleman named Paul, George, and Ray. Paul and George were present on this day.
Up a few steps, it wasn’t just comics, but other comic related goods. In the front window facing into the store there was a healthy rack of t-shirts but with a twist, such as the familiar “S” Superman motif but in hockey colors like Boston Bruin black and yellow.
Now getting into the meat of the store, my eyes were filled with color of all shades. There were all kinds of comics on wall racks and on table stands, including sections for those paperback type comic books and a section for some pricey stuff for the connoisseur setting your wallet back a few hundred dollars.
The left hand side of the store is what I kinda went gaga for. Blended in with more comics, there were comic themed mugs and glasses, those ever popular plastic figurines and continuing along and higher up there was comic themed baseball caps and masks and the famed Cat in the Hat red and white hat was there. For board game players, there are also games with various comic and non-comic themes such as Star Wars, and the Lord of the Rings.
Paul, my host at the store mentioned that board games seem to be making a return providing a fun social platform to get away from today’s digital interactions. Play a board game and read a comic afterwards. What a nice change! We also noticed one young lady wearing a canvas tote bag with a comic themed motif that conveniently holds a lot of comic books with maybe a t-shirt or two thrown in.
But this store also caters to the out-of-town comic lovers with a nifty online order service to appease those who want to get their comic fix on a tablet and they also keep people up to date with new arrivals coming in with a “What’s being shipped this week” section as well. Also, if available by their distributor, one can order back copies of older titles, but in store they try and keep a selection of current great titles as well as past favorites.
I was told by Paul, that besides the heroes and non-hero selections, older traditional favorites like the Archie comics are making a return. Can Jughead be far behind?
Crossover Comics, from time to time, also organizes unannounced board game evenings for its friends and customers, which I am told by Anna, get pretty intense. As you can see, this was a fun-filled hour to check out this unassuming little comic emporium.
I can just see this happening. Somebody walking out of the store wearing a comic-themed t-shirt and cap, holding in one hand a tote bag filled with loads of comics along with a mug or two for that hot chocolate and on the other arm walking out with that giant Spiderman, which would have looked insane hanging over somebody’s Christmas tree on the morning of December 25th. Now why didn’t I think of that? If you want to see what’s new at the store before heading out, you can check them out at their website at http://www.crossovercomics.ca/ Happy reading!