Sorry for the late post. We’re both settling into our fall school schedules.
One Million Comix
531 Yonge St. Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 1Y5
This browser-friendly Yonge Street shop impressed us with its collection of superhero and sci-fi themed t-shirts, available in both men’s and women’s sizes. Although more spacious than many comics stores, One Million Comix has one step up from the sidewalk, so it is not wheelchair accessible. Windows at the front and back of the store mean that it’s got a generous helping of natural light–unusual in a comics shop and frankly, incredibly pleasant.
They make good use of floorspace to stock merchandise, monthlies, trades and manga, but don’t crowd the shelves with everything under the sun. One Million’s layout has more in common with a traditional bookstore, rather than some of the cramped LCSs to which you may be accustomed. For this reason, it’s ideal for new readers, and those who might be intimidated by more fanboy-friendly shops.
The store shows signs of aiming for a kid-friendly atmosphere, but falls a little short in execution. For instance a half-naked female figurine whose nipples were covered up by price tags, as well as those weird body pillows featuring pictures of anime girls on a high shelf. A sign behind the counter also indicates the availability of adult and hentai titles. However, they do have an area dedicated to kids comics and books.
Impulse buys and browsable merchandise are up front, to capitalize on the store’s proximity to Wellesley Station. Comics are in the back, but with a separate service desk where customers can set up pull lists and special orders, they don’t feel like an afterthought.. There are rows of back-issue bins, some featuring older comics (one of us picked up an old issue of Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane). Monthly issues span one wall, with trades on bookshelves opposite. One Million has a little bit of everything: superhero, romance, indie, manga, and more.
We were pleased to see several copies of Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia, which a friend of ours had long been searching for. Another thing which raised our opinion of the store was overhearing a couple of girls digging through back-issue bins for issues of Booster Gold. On a subsequent visit to the store, we walked out into the middle of a pro-marijuana parade. This has in no way influenced our review.
They have regular trade, back issue and US cover price promotions, and when we shopped there the first time, they gave us free buttons! The combination of a wide variety of monthly comics and trades make One Million ideal for both new and old fans.
The store has a very useful website, with detailed information on membership, events, new releases, and even online shopping. New releases are broken down by category, with separate posts for merchandise and comics, making it easy for loyal patrons to figure out when to drop by the shop. There’s a fall sale on back issues, merchandise and DVDs going on right now, so this would be an ideal time to check out One Million. The sale runs from September 9th to… whenever (we called to double check–they weren’t sure).
One Million Comix impressed us with their professionalism, and interest in growing and developing their business. Its relaxed atmosphere and location make it an ideal entry point for new and casual fans. We haven’t spent enough time there to assess the culture of the store overall, but the general absence of nerd elitism is nice. We like it.