| Founded in 1987, The Beguiling
has set a new standard in Canada for retailing comics and related
culture. Showcasing the largest selection of alternative, underground
and avant-garde graphic story telling in the country, The Beguiling
has a worldwide reputation for excellence. Among the many accolades afforded the
store, the most prestigious was the first-ever Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award for excellence
in retailing. The Beguiling has also sponsored many book signings,
conventions and poetry/prose readings with legendary and current comics creators
such as Robert Crumb, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, and others. In 2003, The Beguiling hosted
it's first itteration of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, bringing alternative and independent
comics creators from around the world to Toronto to celebrate the best of comic art. The next will follow in May 2005, and more information can be found at http://www.torontocomics.com/tcaf".
601 Markham St. Toronto, Ontario
Canada M6G 2L7
ph: (416) 533-9168
fax: (416) 533-7313
Mon-Thurs 11:00AM - 7:00PM
Friday 11:00AM - 9:00PM
Saturday 11:00AM - 7:00PM
Sunday 12:00PM - 6:00PM
The Beguiling also supports the efforts
of Canadian cartoonists, authors and publishers. It is the shop of choice
for Toronto’s comic book creators, such as Seth, Chester Brown, Joe Matt,
Jay Stephens and others. Much of the store’s international reputation is
due to endorsements from the various cartoonists who have visited over the
years, and mentioned it in interviews or in their comic books.
The wide selection of independent or alternative books is not the only reason for the store’s appeal among creators. The store is organized and stocked to promote comics as something to be read and appreciated like any other art-form, and not a commodity geared to the speculator/investor . Besides comics of all kinds (including a fair selection of collectible comics from the 40’s to the present), Japanese animation books and videos, alternative literature, photography, art and design books are featured on two floors in the heart of fashionable Mirvish Village. If you can’t find it anywhere else, The Beguiling probably has it, or can get it for you.
The Beguiling changed ownership on August 1, 1998. Steve Solomos and Sean Scoffield, the store’s founders, have moved on to other projects, and new owners Peter Birkemoe and Shane Chung have improved the organization and presentation of an already thriving outlet.
The store regularly buys old comics published from the 1930’s up to the present
day. New comic books come in every Wednesday, and new shipments of Japanese
anime every Wednesday & Friday. The comics are separated by subject
matter, and fan-base. There’s a section for manga, horror and fantasy books,
undergrounds and alternatives, with certain publishers spotlighted and alphabetized
in their own sections. Mainstream super-hero comics also have a section
of their own.
There are also art and photography books, both historical and avant-garde, on the main floor. Posters, art postcards, and various pop-culture reference books share space with newspaper strip reprints in both hard and softcover. Graphic novels, and reprint collections of alternative comics make up the main body of the stock on the main floor, and many also reside on the upper floor, alongside comics of similar interest. Anime videotapes and DVDs occupy an increasingly large section upstairs, and the walls are lined with art prints and posters, as well as original artwork for sale by many of the artists whose comics the store promotes.