with Legends Comics & Books
Name: Gareth Gaudin
Shop: Legends Comics & Books
City: Victoria, BC
Year Established: 1992
QRD – What the one comic book that would be the crown jewel in your collection... the comic equivalent of the holy grail for you?
Gareth – Well, I do have a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 signed by Stan Lee. That’s pretty cool. Um, the first 30 issues of Mad Magazine too. Everything has come through my store at some point. I’ve amassed a pretty good collection over the years.
QRD – What is currently your favorite comic on the market & why?
Gareth – I’m loving Afterlife With Archie. Why? It’s beautifully drawn, masterfully written & sells like the dickens. Saga is the same. I love anything by Chester Brown, Daniel Clowes, Grant Morrison, & Alan Moore so I get excited when something new comes out by them.
QRD – How long has your comic book shop been in business?
Gareth – 22 years.
QRD – Have there been any particular trends in the comic book market that you’ve found especially exciting &/or troubling since opening your shop?
Gareth – “Trade waiting” has become a troubling aspect. People giving up on monthly comics to just pick up the collected editions later. I’m fine with it except when single issues get ordered by customers yet lie lonely on the shelves. Meh. What can you do?
QRD – Have you always focused on comics exclusively or do you find it a necessity to stock toys, games, etc. as well?
Gareth – Always comics. 20 years ago we dabbled in vintage Star Wars toys, but our heart is in comics.
QRD – Would you be interested in diversifying your inventory or do you think your store has successfully developed a personality that needs preserving?
Gareth – No way. Comics, comix, vintage & new. Graphic novels, art books… That’s it. There are plenty of amazing things to allow us to keep our doors open. 75 years of comic books are all in print right now. It’s a Golden Age again.
QRD – How much of a factor do you think the personality or atmosphere of a shop plays in establishing a customer base?
Gareth – I think it’s pretty huge. Our customers should feel comfortable coming in & maybe hanging out for a while.
QRD – How active of a role does your shop take in social events like release parties, movie outings, etc.?
Gareth – None. We have families to get home to after we close.
QRD – Do you do in store events with local comic creators or ones doing a book promotion tour? What do you feel has to be done for those events to be worth it to you?
Gareth – We love having in-store signings. Every time a creator comes in, we get a huge line forming around the store. David Lloyd was a great example of that. His following from V For Vendetta alone could fill an auditorium.
QRD – Do you believe these types of events create new readers?
Gareth – Certainly!
QRD – Have the comic book summer movie blockbusters & Free Comic Book Day been a boon to your store?
Gareth – Yes & no. Free Comic Book Day is always busy but this year was our first year to not participate. Way too many people stealing books from the shelves & thinking EVERYTHING was free. Yikes. What industry gives their stuff away for free? It got too crass & weird for us.
QRD – What advice do you have for publishers, writers, artists, & distributors that you think would create more sales?
Gareth – Make good comics. Stop trying to make mediocre ones?
QRD – Do you do things to try to cultivate local comic talent?
Gareth – Of course! We publish comics, showcase local art on our walls, have in-store signings, push young authors’ works on other customers. Yes.