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Monday, April 14, 2014

Cape and Cowl crusader

Comics and collectibles coming soon to Bedford-Sackville

Posted By on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 2:14 PM

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If you’re a nerd in Halifax, you’ve probably heard of Jay Aaron Roy. He’s the director of popular podcast and live comedy show Geeks versus Nerds. If you thought he couldn’t get any nerdier, think again: now he’s opening a comic book store.

The shop, called Cape and Cowl, is slated to open this summer in the Bedford-Sackville area—which currently suffers from a dearth of comic book and other nerdy collectible retailers.

Roy hopes he can cater not only to suburban customers, but that he’ll become the city’s collectible toy expert.

Although toys are what Roy really loves, he’ll also carry an array of comics, graphic novels and board games. “Of course I’m going to carry a little bit of what I like,” he says, “but the point of my business is that when you come in my door, I’m not selling you what I like. I’m helping you find what you like.”

But the exceptional thing about Cape and Cowl, says Roy, will be its involvement in the community. “Success to me isn’t just about money,” he says. He plans to organise literacy programs in his shop using comic books, a medium he thinks is ideal for getting kids interested in reading. He also wants to use his business to contribute to the Youth Project, a local organization which helps young people with issues around sexual orientation and identity. Roy has been involved with the Youth Project for many years, even serving as a councillor at their summer camp.

“With your own storefront you can do anything,” he says. “I could give support to those non-profit initiatives that I love…which includes Geeks vs Nerds, because we’ve never made any money off of that.”

The inception of Cape and Cowl is due to a lucky convergence of unemployment and nerdy interests. After working five years at Halifax institution Strange Adventures, Roy was laid off when it moved to a more expensive location near the Waterfront. That compelled him to open his own store in partnership with CEED, a government affiliated program that aids prospective entrepreneurs.

Through CEED, Roy was able to get a business loan and was paired with a mentor. He still needs to crowdsource about $5,000 before he can get on his feet, but he’s confident. “That’s one thing I have to say about opening a comic book store in this city,” says Roy. “Everybody wants to help you out.”

You can keep track of Cape and Cowl, Roy’s fundraising, and other initiatives on the store’s website or Twitter.

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