by Glen Downey, Comics in Education, www.comicsineducation.com
Yet Another Great Comic Book Shop that Is So Much More...
In one of my first posts on this blog, I talked at length about Strange Adventures, The Beguiling, and The Dragon--three of the best comic book stores in Canada. From that post, you probably gathered that I like few things better than losing myself in a good shop for the better part of an afternoon.
Another gem in this regard is Happy Harbor Comics, an Eisner-nominated store in Edmonton whose reputation as both a comic book store and a community builder is second to none. Happy Harbor is a great store in its own right, but it does considerable work in the community not only to raise the profile of comics but support local schools and libraries. A recent example of this was the appearance of owner Jay Bardala and two professional artists at a school in rural Alberta. Here, they shared with students the complex process of how a comic book goes from the mind of a writer to the store where you purchase it through a whole team of talented people that help bring the story to life.
But Happy Harbor does so much more. They help to support Alberta Literacy through their 24 hour Comics Day in October and work with Edmonton Big Brothers and Big Sisters through their 12 hour Comic Challenge each March. They're an annual donor to the Edmonton Public School Foundation and fund raise for the Edmonton Food Bank through a variety of activities, like movie nights and a Free Comic Book day. They've even recently started a Cover Artists for Charity program.
So, if you live in the greater Edmonton area or happen to be visiting, you'd do well to pay Happy Harbor Comics a visit. After all, there's nothing better than spending an afternoon in a comic book shop...
...Especially when you know it's one that really cares about its community.
Dr. Glen Downey is an award-winning children's author, educator, and academic from Oakville, Ontario. He works as a children's writer for Rubicon Publishing, a reviewer for PW Comics World, an editor for the Sequart Organization, and serves as the Chair of English and Drama at The York School in Toronto.
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