Truly one of the busiest men in comics, Chris Butcher has been leading a triple life for the last three years. Not only has he worked at the innovative, industry leading retailer The Beguiling, he’s been the show runner for the industry leading Toronto Comic Arts Festival. And in his SPARE TIME (!) he was the Marketing Director for UDON Entertainment, the art studio and publisher of many video game and manga art books. But…no more, as Butcher is leaving his post at Udon:

However, as of September 30th, 2014, I’ve unfortunately had to step down from that position. I’ve continued to work with The Beguiling and TCAF–The Toronto Comic Arts Festival–during my time with UDON, and recently those organizations have started to demand more of my time and attention. TCAF in particular has some big stuff on the horizon, and ultimately, something had to give (before I did!). I’m proud that UDON’s output increased significantly, to more than 30 books a year during the past few years, and I was happy to be there for some of the company’s greatest publishing successes. I’ll still be working with UDON a little at some of their convention appearances, particularly the two PAX shows, and helping to organize their presence at San Diego Comic-Con. I’m even maybe editing a special project for late next year…? But the day to day is pretty much done.

How any one could have done all that and remained (relatively) placid and calm is beyond us. Anyway, the growth of TCAF is exciting news. More to come.

[Photo via Open Book Toronto]


  1. Uh, since when is the Beguiling either an industry leader or innovator? It’s a standard comic store. It’s definitely got the standard dingy comic store feel. It’s most definitely got the standard comic store “creepy employees” and an owner who has the people sense of a brick.
    TCAF is a great fest…but the Beguiling as a store is bog standard comic store stuff.

  2. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but to call The Beguiling a ‘standard comic store’ makes me wonder where Alex has been shopping. Nestled in a three story Victorian home, The Beguiling is a treasure trove of high quality comic book literature from around the world. While an argument could be made that the store layout is tight, the use of the adjective dingy is highly suspect.

    Further the dismissive and derogatory description of the staff and owner is completely false. It is flippant negativity like this posting that sometimes makes the Internet seem like a very destructive medium.

    If you enjoy high quality comic work and a unique shopping experience then make sure you visit The Beguiling the next time you are in the Toronto area.

  3. Yeah, having shopped at the Beguiling many times I can easily say they are not a standard comic store. The ground floor is devoted mainly to “independent” comics. By comics I mean both trades and single issues. There are also art books, comic history books, non-English books, Magazines and more.

    The upstairs is devoted to Manga and Superheros with some more genre friendly independent stuff and more magazines.

  4. As JS and Jamie note, The Beguiling is nowhere near “bog standard.” The rest of the world should be so lucky!

    I’m fortunate to have one of the best comic book stores I know of (The Vault of Midnight) in my hometown, but I still make it a point to visit The Beguiling every time I’m in Toronto, because it’s great. Different from the Vault just like the Detroit Institute of Arts is different from the Royal Ontario Museum, but still great.

  5. How can a comic store be ‘bog standard’ and also found one of the best comic arts festivals..possibly the best comic arts festival in North America? I got to visit the store a few years back and found it nothing less than welcoming. As for Chris Butcher leaving Udon, he will be hard to replace. He’s a smart guy when it comes to marketing strategy. With the success of TCAF and the growing interest in cons, it’s surprising the guy will have time to even think about much else.
    Best of luck to you Mr. Butcher!

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