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Support Your Local Comic Book and Collectible Store!

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7 minute read

The full ramifications of the Covid 19 crisis are just beginning to show in our society.

If we disregard the incredible impact upon social mores, work ethics and rampant fear, and focus on one of the key industries in human history, we come to a potential end game that threatens to eliminate an incredibly vital sector of our human experience.

Comic book, book stores and collectible stores.

Now, there are those of you who are reading this who may think, one less comic book store or book store is no big deal. However, at the same time, someone is also thinking, where can I get my comic books, books and magazines, graphic novels and collectible items.

If you have lived under a rock for the last 30 years, the comic book industry has become a main stay in Hollywood! Actually, the impact of comic book related films and TV shows began in the late 1930s! Take away the Avengers, Spiderman, Batman, Thor and Even Men In Black and the modern celluloid empires are shells.

Comic book retailers have had to adapt over the years with the addition of used books, collectible statues, posters and a large variety of other items to survive. Main stream publishers have changed their properties into more adult, more violent, more troubled characters when once Archie, Casper and simple one issue story arcs ruled the spin racks.

Star Wars trade paperback

The addition of digital comic books and graphic novels into income streams has been a boon to creators in terms of exposure. Readers can now ‘own’ full runs of every book DC or Marvel has ever published for a fraction of the price real books would cost.

Publishers have dug into their archives and reprinted key issues in trade (better cover), prestige (better cover and paper) volumes so, once again, readers and collectors can own key books for a larger fraction of the price.

Book stores used to be a vital part of our country. Every mall had a Coles, used book stores were common and authors could count on good support from their country and community.

Local authors could do signings and actively be encouraged by fans of all stripes.

On a bigger scale, the comic book convention business model that has been prevalent for a decade has provided an excellent venue for socially challenged collectors, literature readers and artists. Careers have been forged with such opportunities.

As a published author with comic book, fiction, non fiction and magazine credits I have personally benefited from such a platform and the support I have received.

Creative people need creative people; writers, artists, and publishers need to work WITH each other and meet face to face.

However, no matter the decade or publisher, behind the pages and presentation, a whole industry of writers, editors, artists, publishing employees, distribution staff and local comic book store owners and staff have relied on readers reading, buyers buying again and again.

Like any business, this cycle has negatively impacted them. Stock costs money, and when customers order items and books in, the store pays upfront. When customers stop coming in, and cash flow stops there is trouble.

Throughout North America, DC Comics (now owned by AT & T), Marvel Comics, IDW and Dark Horse have ceased distribution, publishing and payments in some cases to their creators. This impacts the whole industry.

Distributors have shut down as well.

How does this impact Red Deer you ask?

Amazing Fantasy

In our community, there is a vibrancy of comic book fans and collectors that have patronized our local stores: Amazing Fantasy, Chronicles, Triple A Collectibles and Comicsource. As of this writing, Chronicles is now closed. Comicsource operates at shows and conventions largely. Triple A is a mall based location with good stock and traffic. Downtown, Amazing Fantasy and its future is likely uncertain. DJs Cards and Collectibles dabbles in comic books but its main line is sports cards.

Close one of these and customers may go to the others when they open, or they may go online and order from the various internet dealers. Another dealer may rise into replace the missing store.

The world of franchise characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, The X Men, Avengers, Black Panther and others were based on comic books. Their origins and early tales were sold and enjoyed on news stands then in speciality stores.

In the United States, there is a movement to support creators and many top writers and artists have contributed.

In Canada, nothing.

In Red Deer, nothing from the industry. Government loans and CERB help, but just delay a closure or ensure a future with more debt.

How can you help?

If your local store has a pull list, pay it off! Buy those items you want. Donate to them if you want to. Keep those creative people busy. If you like art from a local artist, buy a commission!

If you are a well heeled collector, buy collections from folks online.

Support what you love because you love it. Don’t just watch the comic book/auathors/creative industry die in front of you.

With great resources come great responsibility….

Looking back to the Gutenberg Press with great affection and admiration.

Tim Lasiuta is a Red Deer writer, entrepreneur and communicator. He has interests in history and the future for our country.

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Southside Dodge donates new van to Ronald McDonald House

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Matt Swainson (Vice President & General Manager, Southside Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram) -left , Lori Rechlo (General Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta – Red Deer House) – right

Submitted by Sarah Heibein, Stakeholder Relations Manager, Central Alberta Ronald McDonald House

We’ve received a donation of use of a Dodge Caravan from Southside Dodge- they’ve been an incredible support of us over the years.  Attached is the photo we took at the dealership when we picked up the keys on Friday.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta, Red Deer House is truly grateful to Matt Swainson and his entire team at Southside Dodge for their steadfast support of our work to keep families together during the unimaginable hardship of the need to travel for medical treatment for their sick or injured child. Our House is not a nice to have, but a need to have, and we are honoured to work with such an amazing community partner in Southside. The use of the 2021 Dodge Caravan will help us to keep our operating costs down so that we can focus on our work to keep families close.

We have operated in the city for over 8 years, ensuring there is a safe and comfortable place for families to rest while they focus on the recovery of their child(ren).

We are grateful to everyone in Red Deer who supports us!  😊

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Smiles Thru Lindsey reaching out with a new video message and urging Albertans to look out for each other at this challenging time

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The holiday season is well behind us, we’re heading into the coldest part of the winter, and although the days are starting to grow longer there’s still a definite lack of daylight in our lives.  The winter blues are a real thing and this year we have COVID, a whole new serious problem to add to our mental health issues.

COVID is also the reason the Smiles Thru Lindsey team has not been able do public events for many months.  Unable to reach out physically through school visits and fund raisers, Smiles Thru Lindsey is reminding Central Albertans to check in on each other.  Also, please follow the Smiles Thru Lindsey Facebook page .  They’ll lead you to the resources you or your loved ones need right away.

Meet Lindsey and the Smiles Thru Lindsey team in this powerful video.  …And remember to check in on the people in your life.

If you’d like to help Smiles Thru Lindsey with a donation please click here.

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july, 2022

thu14jul5:30 pm7:30 pmPregnancy & Loss Support Group - Zoom Session5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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