Friday, November 8, 2013

In the top left panel I wanted to show how Queen St. West in the mid-80's was becoming the trendy fashion area it is today. The zeitgeist was changing - Club Monaco and other chain fashion stores were displacing book stores and cheap eateries like Barney's. In the late 70's the area was still an affordable place to live for Ontario College of Art students like us, and a haven for local bands like the Diodes, Johnny and the G-rays, the Viletones, the Dishes, the Cads, and Martha and the Muffins, who all played at local taverns like the Rex and the Black Bull, and of course in the infamous Crash 'n Burn Club (which was managed by Ken's oldest friend Ralph Alfonso, who was also our room-mate for a time). 

The biggest comic store in town was the Silver Snail, which remained in the area up until recently when the store was sold and the building was torn down. I took the photo above of the empty space were it stood for so many years. During the mid to late-80's alternative comics were coming on the scene and the Beguiling was attracting a new crowd, opening near Honest Ed's just as we were leaving Toronto to start our new life in Victoria.

The bottom panel shows us returning from an evening downtown - Ken's studiomate Paul Rivoche babysat for us and often drew bedtime stories  for Alex and Raymond. We did the same, which the guys just loved - and it got me drawing more. 

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