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Citing a slumping Canadian dollar, venerable comics retailer Silver Snail will shutter its Ottawa store after more than 25 years in business. The flagship location in Toronto will remain open.
“With the economic downturn, this location was not receiving enough traffic to bolster the steadily flagging sales over the past few years, and we had to make the difficult decision to close its doors,” the retailer wrote Tuesday on its website. “We appreciate all of the hard work put in by the staff at our Ottawa location, and give thanks to the many loyal customers who have supported the Bank Street shop over the years.”
Toronto’s Silver Snail is celebrating its partnership with The Black Canary Espresso Bar (located inside the comic store) by giving away limited-edition “cup masks” to the first 200 people who stop by today for a comic book and coffee.
As you can see from the photo above, the cup sleeves feature close-ups of such characters as Wolverine, Captain America, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man. And they’re not all Marvel characters, either: You can get a look at Catwoman and Harley Quinn below.
Publishing | The direct market experienced another decline in March, with comics sales slipping 2.43 percent from the same month in 2010, and graphic novels plummeting 10.01 percent. For the first quarter of 2011, comics fell 8.57 percent while graphic novels dropped 7.24 percent, for a combined decline of 8.14 percent.
John Jackson Miller notes that DC Comics’ price rollback appears to be having an impact on the overall bottom line: “While unit sales for comics were up by less than 1% in March, led by FF #1, they were down 2.43% in dollar terms. The quarterly unit-to-dollar gap in periodicals was wider, with a sales loss of nearly 1% in units versus a 5% loss in dollar terms. In the past inflationary periods, we always saw the dollar category doing better than units. Now, the reverse is happening.” [ICv2.com]
Publishing | Following widespread criticism, The Village Voice Editor Tony Ortega acknowledges that not paying cartoonists who contributed to the paper’s Comics Issue “was not the best way to help out the cartooning industry.” So he’ll be paying the artists. [The Village Voice]