Redd Skull Comics & CD's
By YP Contributor

Every Superhero has an Origin Story

Redd Skull Comics owner Kelly Dowd remembers the first comic he ever read, Spectacular Spider-Man No. 27, as if it was yesterday. The Frank Miller-penned issue featured a temporarily blind Spider-Man aided by Daredevil. It got Kelly interested, but it wasn’t until he attended university that he became a life-long fan. After visiting a comic book shop with some friends, he started picking up issues of Mike Grell’s classic, Warlord. “The love of comics came back,” says Dowd. “It just went from there.”

Kelly moved to Calgary in 1993 and bought Redd Skull the year after. The small shop is full-to-bursting with comics, everything from DC and Marvel to Image, Dark Horse and smaller indie presses. Super-hero figurines line the shelves, packed with graphic novels, toys, posters, T-shirts and more. If you’re looking for a rare back issue, shoot Kelly an e-mail — he has 300 boxes packed full of comics (each holds up to 200 issues) stashed in a warehouse.

That’s what I do – I’m here to help you, and find the comics you enjoy. - Kelly Dowd, owner
Comic books, graphic novels, collectibles, toys, apparel
Redd Skull Comics is jam-packed with everything a discerning pop culture fan needs.

Comic Fans’ Fortress of Solitude

Kelly says he worked a couple of different gigs before making Redd Skull his full time job. The comics market was experiencing a downturn in the mid-’90s when he took over the shop (this was the time of multiple variant editions and Marvel going into receivership), and it took a couple of years for it to recover. That said, for those looking to enter the comic-sales game, Kelly has some advice. “I would tell them to think long and hard about it,” he says. “It’s long hours, you’ve got to have a good customer base — that makes or breaks you — and you’ve got to have a decent amount of capital for inventory.”

Kelly has since become one of Calgary’s key figures in comic culture, as one of the founders of the wildly successful Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. You can always find Redd Skull there, and at different festivals where the medium is represented. “I try to meet people as much as I can,” he says.

Comic books, graphic novels, collectibles, toys, apparel
Get your next comic fix at Redd Skull.

Never Miss Another Issue

While TV shows like The Walking Dead, and Marvel and DC’s cinematic universe have brought a lot of new readers to the medium, comic book shops often have a reputation as exclusive havens for nerdy culture that cast a suspicious eye on outsiders. Redd Skull strives to do the opposite, including the recent addition of Geek Girls Night, a thrice-yearly event held at the store that aims to offer a more inclusive space for women who are interested in comics.

Redd Skull appeals to both avid readers and newbies. If you want to be sure that you don’t miss an issue of your favourite comic, you can create a subscription file that ensures each one gets stashed away for your next visit. “Anyone and everyone can get involved,” says Kelly, adding that he likes to meet with customers as much as possible, recommending new titles and hunting down requests. After all, he’s a fan, too. “That’s what I do — I’m here to help you, and find the comics you enjoy.”

Comic books, graphic novels, collectibles, toys, apparel
This small shop is full to bursting with comics and pop-culture paraphernalia.
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