Calgary comic book fans know Phoenix Comics as a great place to go for the latest releases and one of the few places in town willing to buy used comics and graphic novels.
Its third location in Inglewood is 900 square feet and carries books, comics, cards, toys and T-shirts. It quietly opened on October 18 with a grand opening scheduled for October 25.
Phoenix has big plans for this location, drawing inspiration from the Drawn and Quarterly store in Montreal and The Beguiling Books & Art store in Toronto. Both are home to large selections of graphic novels as well as for having an independent bookstore feel. Drawn and Quarterly is a publisher of independent graphic novels with a catalogue including works by Kate Beaton, Jason Lutes and Guy Delisle with a flagship store in Montreal. The Beguiling store has the largest selection of “alternative, underground and avant-garde graphic story telling in the country.”
These stores are less the den of nerds joked about on television shows and more about open and inviting spaces with a wide selection of great work, which is what Phoenix is going for in its Inglewood space. The new store has an abundance of natural light courtesy of the large front windows as well as shelves with comic books, graphic novels and collectors items.
Whether you are a dedicated comic book fan or someone who has yet to read their first graphic novel here is a list of superb reads that you can find on Phoenix’s shelves.
By Craig Thompson
Set in the Wisconsin countryside Blankets is a memoir about growing up in an isolated country house and first loves. This coming of age tale follows Thompson as he falls in love, questions his faith and struggles to figure out who he is.
By Guy Delisle
When Delisle’s wife is offered a position in Burma working with Doctors Without Borders the couple and their young son move to the country. Burma Chronicles follows his adventures, walks and boredom in the country using his characteristic drawing style and wit.
A Contract with God
By Will Eisner
Eisner is the godfather of graphic novels and the industries top awards (think Oscars) are named after him. He decided to pair images with words to tell compelling and intricate stories and used A Contract with God to show off what the new genre had to offer. As far as classics go this one is hard to beat and is a great starting point for anyone looking to get their feet wet.
Swamp Thing, Vol. 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing
By Alan Moore
Alan Moore is famous for Watchmen but got his start with the revamp of the horror character the Swamp Thing, part man part vegetation. What makes this book exceptional is Moore’s moving character development and story arcs. He includes environmental, political and social issues ensuring the stories have multiple layers.
The Spirit, Vol. 1
By Darwyn Cooke
You can tell from page one that Darwyn Cooke is setting out to put his own spin on the classic Spirit character created by Will Eisner. He takes the best parts of the original characters and pushes them as far as he can while still working within the format of a comic book.
1325 9 Ave S.E., 587-352-9870, phoenixcomics.ca