Shades Of Grey Tattoo Inc
By YP Contributor

Edmonton Comics and Geek Culture

Open since 2010, Shades of Grey is Edmonton's go-to place for geek culture—from tattoos and toys to comic books and art. Founder Shane Turgeon noticed there was a gap in businesses serving this community and decided to take a chance in filling it. “If you go to the traditional tattoo shop, they might not be so receptive to doing a Spideran tattoo,” Shane says. “Geek culture has exploded in recent years and it keeps getting bigger. There is a huge crossover between geek culture and tattoo culture.”


Shades of Grey
was the logical next step to Shane’s entrepreneurial career. In 1999, he had started a website dedicated to Star Wars and geek tattoos. Lucasfilm took note and hired Shane to write a book entitled The Force in The Flesh: Star Wars Inspired Body Art. He's also been deeply involved in organizing collector and geek culture expos since 2003. He serves as the general manager for the annual Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo, which he co-founded, and he's also the director of the Edmonton Collector Con.

Geek culture has exploded in recent years and it keeps getting bigger - Shane Turgeon, owner
Tattoos, toys, comics, art, Star Wars, GI Joe, Transformers, art exhibits, art fusion

Star Wars Tattoos

It wasn't smooth sailing right from the start for Shades of Grey. The usual start-up costs and unexpected surprises kept Shane's first few years interesting. “There are always obstacles, unexpected things like financial expectations, that prove to be very challenging,” Shane says. “But I wanted to continue to offer the best selection of vintage toys and comic books in Edmonton.”

Shades of Grey seems more like an art gallery than a toy store or comic book shop. While there is dedicated space for the tattoos, the toys and comics have their own display cases and the open atmosphere is bright and uncomplicated. “We showcase vintage toys from the '70s and '80s, and a bit from the '90s,” Shane says. Visitors to the shop will find pop culture favourites like G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Masters of the Universe. Shane feels these complement the central tattooing aspect of his business.

Shane is 's constantly looking for different ways to engage his customers through their culture. “We had a showing of the art of Akira, which was awesome. As fans of animation and the historical significance of Akira in regards to animation, it was great. We also had a chance to bring in Bruce White, who has become very popular with his black velvet paintings.”

Tattoos, toys, comics, art, Star Wars, GI Joe, Transformers, art exhibits, art fusion

Supporting Local Charities

“We try to help out any charity that comes by looking for donations,” Shane says. “We give gift certificates, prizes, and hold tattoo fundraisers.” Recently, Shades of Grey held a successful fundraiser for Pitbulls for Life. They are also a regular contributor to Second Chance Animal Rescue Society. It's yet another way Shane is engaging the community around him. The result is a customer base that can't wait to see what he's working on next.

Tattoos, toys, comics, art, Star Wars, GI Joe, Transformers, art exhibits, art fusion
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