Comic Connection Oakville has been a landmark on Kerr Street for over 15 years. Almost a decade ago I wondered into it and picked up Transformers: War Within #1 by Simon Furman and started my addiction. Comic Connection became my default place for whenever I needed somewhere to relax outside of my house. In the past month, the Local Comic Shop has gone through a radical change for the better.
One of the core elements of the Comic Connection business model is card tournaments and similar games. Magic: The Gathering, Yu-gi-oh!, HeroClix, and Pokémon. Two years ago demand for gamer-space necessitated a store expansion into a neighbouring location. More players meant that soon on Wednesdays, people grabbing new comics off the shelves would have to dodge player’s chairs to grab the latest issue of Batman. While the store started as a haven for comic fans by last January it felt like every day there was a herd of eager gamers flipping cards in complex formation.
Over May 2012 Comic Connection began the fast-tracked relocation of all their assets to a newer location 2.5 Km away. Their new Address at 490 Speers Rd. is a space once occupied by an outlet for Royal Mattress Manufacturing Co. The new location has three times the floor space and much higher ceilings, allowing for tournaments in the back room while the front half of the store holds all the comics and comic book memorabilia, and plenty of room to move around.
June 1st was the soft opening of the location, when most of the shelves were officially in order and most of the garbage left over from the relocation was cleared away. I camped out on a stool reading comics, observing a moderate amount of traffic (considering the rain) arrive to check out the new location and everybody being surprised by the size of the new area. There was a lot of excitement over the potential of the new location but for the moment Rich and Pat were clearly just glad the stress of relocation was drawing to a close.
A quick primer on the staff:
• Rich: Owner and consummate businessman, he manages to keep track of all his regulars. Having the radio constantly playing music and Rock Band sessions has actually given him a pretty decent knowledge of music.
• Pat: Manages online sales.
• Morpheus: Power Ranger and card sorter.
• Mike Rooth: artistic talent and Nordic Fury.
• Rob: who actually knows all his writers and artists.
An additional plus to the new location is there’s no longer a basement, so back-issuses boxes which would have been held in the old location’s dingy cavern are now easily accessible to the public. When I was unable to find a trade paperback of Grant Morrison and JG Jone’s “Marvel Boy” on the graphic novel shelves, I was able to find all six issues from the series hidden among long-boxes. Had I not been able to find the issues, I’m sure Rich would have been able to order a copy of the TPB for me. At Comic Connection all comics and comic memorabilia are, unless otherwise noted, are at US Cover Price and there’s always a very large number of Marvel volumes in the half-off section.
It seems certain that the new location will, for at least another decade, be one of my more frequent hang-outs when I buy comics each week or just have time to kill and want to get out of my house. As time goes, the store will likely have tables and shelves re-arranged in different combinations and organizations and perhaps there will eventually be a bike rack. So if you’re in the Oakville area, stop by and see if they have some back issues to fill in holes in your collections (you won’t find them at Conspiracy Comics). If it’s Wednesday, there’s also a good chance you can find me relaxing reading the latest Batman.
If you’re into tabletop gaming, there are frequent tournaments for anybody with a deck or force of ‘Clix (and decks and ‘Clix for sale if you’re just getting in to the hobby). Check out the website for their exact schedule.
Soon the lights will dim on the now-empty Kerr St. storefront in downtown Oakville and an official Grand Opening date to celebrate the shift in venue will soon happen. Tdotcomics will cover it and I look forward to any other special things they’ll have going on now that they have the room.
|Next Saturday, (June 9th) is the Niagara Falls Comic-Con.There’s a lot of excitement for the Can’t Stop The Serenity Whedonganza on June 23rd at the Toronto Underground Cinema.
And July 6th to the 8th is Polaris 26, one of the oldest GTA fandom conventions.
-Michael Ryan, June 4th, 2012.
Ask Ricky about his cat named Moldy.