Stephanie Chan interviews Edmonton’s Jay Bardyla, owner of the Happy Harbor comics store. Bardyla won the Best Retailer prize at the Shuster Awards. The store does a lot for local creators and for charity, in apart as a publisher of the comics anthology Tales from the Harbor:
“Tales from the Harbor” was a slow building idea and I was afraid it wouldn’t work since I’ve had trouble in the past trying to coordinate people for events and projects. There were a few anthologies around Alberta that selected content and charged for submitting (which is perfectly fine) but I wanted to offer something to the true beginner, to give them a chance to create within a schedule, have their work edited by others and finally to have it seen in a finished volume of work. Currently there are 2 volumes of “TotH” and we plan to continue to publishing twice a year for as long as we can. The first book was about 280 pages and the second was 340 and we couldn’t publish all the material we had. Clearly there’s no lack of interest so we should be good for a while.
Our first books were based on the works from our charity events so there are 2 “12 Hr Comic Challenge” books and 2 “24 Hour Comics Day” books, a portion of the proceeds from each continue to go to their respective charities.
We also published a “Comic Talks” books after our 2005 sessions and are currently working a book based on the 2006 shows. And finally, one of our staff members has begun to produce an all-women’s charity anthology in support of La Salle, a long term women’s shelter based in Edmonton. We have gotten some strong support and feedback for the book so we are hoping to have it published by the end of the year.