I’ve been meaning to write a few posts about my new hometown of Victoria, but other more worldly things keep coming up. There’s a bizarre retail phenomenon in downtown Victoria that deserves mention. On Johnston Street, a busy shopping street in the centre of town, there are three comic book shops within a block of each other. In fact, two of them are next door to each other. Check it out:
I was reminded of this unlikely confluence while in Legends Comics and Books buying the final issue of Y: The Last Man (a truly superb series). I should have asked the guy behind the counter what the deal was (maybe somebody owns more than one of the shops?). I’ll do so the next time I’m down on Johnson Street.
I know there’s some retail theory about assembling a group of similar shops, and a tide that raises all boats. But this doesn’t feel sustainable. Still, if I remember correctly, there have been three shops on Johnson for years. Weird, eh?
LoJo: Really, You’re Going With That?
Incidentally, there’s a City of Victoria-backed effort to rebrand a few blocks of Johnson Street with the heinous epithet ‘LoJo’. It feels like an awful, desperate attempt to associate that area with the SoHo’s of New York and London.
Informal neighbourhood names shouldn’t come from City Hall–they should be devised by the people in the neighbourhood. Maybe that’s what happened here, but I’d never heard the term before I saw it on a silly banner on a lamppost.