Scanned, recopied or Internet copy, if there are errors, please e-mail me with corrections:
Opening comments: More at the end.
Comic Den owner closes up the little shop of comics,
after 28 years in Mississauga.
It current or last location.
However it does still exist in some form on the Internet at:
An interesting phone number,
But all things come to an end;
When it all began the Comic Den was in walking distance of my home, very close to Cawthra Park Secondary School, on Arbor Rd.
It was in the left unit 28 years ago.
It was the last of three store units built in the area over the years, the oldest on the right.
Just off the beaten path.
I dropped in June 11 and was lucky to find not only the crew in but they were doing an recording -- talk about a Kodak moment if only there was film in my camera! These days trying to find film for cameras can be as hard as trying to find a good comic store in Mississauga. None-the-less, once that was taken care of, pictures were taken starting with a new kind of pop bottle - it has a marble in it that can stop the flow of pop if you are not careful how you drink.
It is a simple but very professionally done set up.
More about what is going on here and the recording being made here,
The Anime Roundtable podcast
Anime North’s Official Podcast
Where Proprietor Terry Visser spent most of his time - behind the cash register keeping the Comic Den happening as other similar shops in Mississauga came & went over the years.
The little old comic shop of modern mass media culture that most never heard of but their children likely had at one time or other.
A part of Mississauga culture from the early days of Mississauga even becoming a City. I only dropped by now and then to see what was newest in world of brightly coloured plastic and glossy paged books that was defining, if not adults mass culture, then their children's. Being an artist at heart took an interest in comics way back when they were 10 cents each and you had to collect bottles to turn in for their deposits. Remember the hardship when price jumped to 12 cents. Later, much later and to my great surprise but what should appear but a store that sold just comic (well there was some other stuff), opening right in front of me and on the way Cawthra Park Secondary School for many another student as well. Terry says he started when the price went to 30 cents and it is $2 or $3 plus these days (no wonder there is a smile on his face). Cheap compared to all the other flashy things that are on the market these days and the collectables - there is no end! Browsing is what I afford these days.
Over the years comics have become far more main stream as they became very closely tied into movies and other Hollywood creations. A way to market to youth that can become a habit (in one form or another), that can lasted a life time. If you wanted discover the details of a movies, actors, how it was made, etc., then that was where you started. A place for the curious mind and those wishing to give their imaginations a work out or to see how far others have pushed the envelop in story telling in whatever media they work in. It has become a growth industry over the years as the kids who grew up reading comics said to themselves, hey I can do that and soon underground comics were born. Most of which were too X rated for kids. So, soon enough, parallel publishers of comics or illustrated books, for all ages were in competition with the big names - which we all know as they are putting out their characters in BIG movies, year after year. So much for it just being kid stuff, kids grow up but something not old, before their time.
Other aspects or off shots from comics or its industry or its media, have become part of our every day lives, in one way or another but we just don't admit to it, after all we are grown up adults.
Shhhh, I will promise not to look too close and call it for what it is (because of where it came from), if you promise not to as well.
When we met on the 11th, I asked if in a store that sold stories of heroes battling against overwhelming odds, for so many years, if any real life heroes ever came through his door? He couldn't remember any - well I never talked much about my efforts to save the Cawthra Bush etc., etc., etc.
Mississauga News - Mar. 21, 2007 - By CHRIS CLAY Staff, email@example.com
Comic Den owner to close up shop
Store Closure - A series of back operations has forced Terry Visser to close the Comic Den after 28 years.
Staff photo by Fred Loek.
After nearly three decades, countless friends made and end-less hours of entertainment for superhero buffs, The Comic Den will close for good on June 10.
Proprietor Terry Visser, a Streetsville resident; cited several reasons for the closure, chief
among them a muscular degenerative disease he lives with called Charcot-Marie-Tooth. The illness robs him of feeling in his extremities.
With major surgery upcoming, and the Jour-month recovery time associated with the procedure, it wasn't feasible to keep the Cooksville store running.
"We'll all be sad when the day comes," Visser said. "I get a bit teary when I think about it, actually. This is my business, my baby, but what can you do? 1 think some the customers are more upset than I am.
Visser, who runs the shop with his brother, Anthony, and mother, Rita, called the store his "hobby gone crazy." It opened in the early 1980s and evolved out of a small comic business Visser would take to flea markets and bazaars while still in high school.
"I knew with my disability it would be hard to find a job, so I decided to create one for myself," said Visser, 43. "Now, it feels like I'm being laid off."
Located on Kirwin Ave., the cramped but cozy store houses about 8,500 graphic foreign-language novels, called trade paper-backs in the industry, and 4,600 DVDs plus the usual collection of comics.
Visser will miss all the friends he made. A group of them, who met at the store, still go out for dinner every Saturday after they've picked up their comics.
"Sometimes I felt like a bartender; people would spend the whole day here talking and telling me their problems," said. Visser, who created his own comic, called Paladin. "I feel really bad about closing the store, I like I'm stabbing them in the back. Some have been with us the whole 28 years and now I'm, closing the door on them."
However, he's going to continue on in some capacity, calling it a buying club for his devoted regulars.
The lure of comics and graphic novels, said Anthony, is that they transport readers to a different world, with endless possibilities.
"To (readers), comics. are a form of escapism," he said.
"Personally, I like escapism because life can be just too dreary sometimes."
Over the years, Visser has owned copies of valuable title such as The Amazing Spider Man #1, X-Men #1 and Uncanny X-Men #1. Still, he doesn't regret selling them to devoted collectors.
How serious are the store's regulars? Rita remembers when a couple, married earlier that day, swung the limo by and, still dressed in formal attire, hurried in to pick up a few issues before the honeymoon.
Visser said he plans to take a vacation and wants to continue writing for Quantum Leap and Star Trek fanzines, among other publications.
For more information, visit www.thecomicden.com.
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