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May 5, 2010

BD Specialist Fichtre Closes Shop


The BD specialist shop Fichtre, one of Canada's unique comics shops and an almost 100 percent reliable partner through which comics scholars, journalists, creators and fans facilitated their purchase of French-language comics, has closed its doors. The original web site has been closed down in favor of another site's devoted page carrying the store's stock, and the physical location has been closed since I believe the end of April. An article in Le Devoir seems to confirm the news, noting the store was open 14 years.

CR asked Bart Beaty, this site's longtime European comics columnist and someone who had an unsolicited endorsement for the store in the credit line to his article, what this means. He replied with a lengthy tribute to the store and its impact:
"This is a sad day, and a tremendous blow to fans of alternative French-language comics in Canada. Fichtre! was not only an important retail space, and one that I had been shopping at in person (when I lived in Montreal) and online (since moving to Calgary) for more than a decade, but it was a center of an entire comics community social scene in one of the most vibrant comics cities on the planet.

"Although it was an extremely small retail space, Fichtre! had a huge presence in Canada because of its work with Le Comptoir des Independants, the distributor for L'Association, Cornelius, Ego Comme X, Atrabile and dozens of other small publishers who otherwise might not have had distribution in Canada. Additionally, the store was really the hub of French-language zine comics and zine culture for many years, and that scene is likely to be really hurt by their departure. Fichtre's period of success came on the heels of the failure of La Mouette Rieuse, a famously well-appointed BD specialist that did not survive the 1990s. It will be interesting to see if now another new store rises in the area to take its place."
Rumors disseminated in this post at the Joe Shuster Awards site point to a possible second life for the store under different management or as an on-line bookseller.
posted 5:00 pm PST | Permalink

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