Comic store closes

Comic book store Words and Pictures will leave the MacEwan Student Centre later this year after over 20 years at the school.

“We’re going to miss the place,” said store owner Rob Clark. “Over the time we’ve been here I’ve known so many people, students, staff and all that.”

Clark said the economy was a big factor as to why he was closing the store, despite a loyal clientele who would visit on a weekly basis.

“People don’t just seem to have the spare cash to put on comic books right now,” said Clark. “There seems to be more online stuff too. The age group is more online than paper, that is affecting us also.”

Clark has a second store on 25th Ave. and Centre St. where he plans to consolidate stock from the U of C store and “ride out the economy.”

Negotiations with university lawyers are still taking place but, according to the Students’ Union, the plan is for an optometrist to take over the store’s lease.

“We’ve had interest from an optometrist to come into the building largely because the Students’ Union health plan covers the services he would offer,” said vice-president operations and finance James Delaney. “He would find a large market here with people who have the insurance to cover it.”

The optometrist wants two offices in the space but there is not quite enough room in the location according to them.

The SU suggested extending the optometrist’s office into the top area of the adjacent nickel copiers.

“We could move two [copiers] down to the lower level,” said Delaney. “We would be reducing from 10 to six nickel copiers.”

Delaney said students wouldn’t see a decrease in service with the reduction of copiers. According to the SU copy machine usage has gone down every year for the last three years.

“We took it to our student legislative council, to make sure this is something the students wanted, reducing the copiers, and they said yes,” said Delaney, who touted the potential for revenue in renting the space. “It would add about $12,000 extra to our revenue per year and that will go straight to our bottom line.”

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