Meet your Neighbour: Owners of L.A. Mood Comics & Games are moving, but not leaving!
Gordon Mood and Carol Vandenberg stand in front of their store, L.A. Mood Comics & Games (Source: Carol Vandenberg)
LONDON, ONT. -- Owners of L.A. Mood Comics & Games, Gordon Mood and Carol Vandenberg may be relocating, but thankfully they're staying in London.
Perhaps once a nerd always a nerd, Mood recalls when he was in high school and had to do a review of his favourite television show. Everyone else picked Welcome Back Kotter but he chose Star Trek.
Mood introduced Vandenberg to Wonder Woman back when she was a dedicated volunteer at the store. She quickly began to appreciate independent comic book creators and artists.
"I had started collecting comics early in elementary school. Then we discovered that City Lights sold comics and soon after the Comic Book Collector…for a couple of years we would ride our bike and pick up comics. I also was a Star Trek fan and I then I saw Star Wars, and that placed me forever in the nerd camp," recalls Mood.
When someone can turn their hobby into business, it's always a good thing – and that's what Mood and two partners did when they started Bid Time Return in 1985. From there, Endless Adventure was born with locations on Richmond Street and in White Oaks Mall.
As the partnership ended in 1990, so did their business.
A year later, Mood and his father started selling stamps, comics, and games in their store, L. A. Mood, located on King Street. The business officially became L.A. Mood Comics & Games in 1998.
Vandenberg says they are now 75 percent games and 25 percent comics. "Magic the Gathering and board games are our biggest sellers."
More than comics, L.A. Mood Comics & Games offers toys, games, and more (Source: Facebook - L.A. Mood Comics & Games)
The pair also participated in community events like Free Comic Book Day, International Table Top Day, Free RPG Day, to name a few.
Events within their store like regular Friday Night Magic and Magic tournaments have changed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but they found ways to continue.
"COVID-19 has made doing Magic tournaments in person a risker proposition, but we host on-line through Discord. Our regular RPG sessions have also ceased, but our monthly Graphic Novel Group continues to meet on Zoom."
With the success of Free Comic Book Day events, people were beginning to ask when London was going to have a comic convention of their own.
Together with Johnathan Houghton, Emmanuel Guerro, and Margaret Pajak, Mood and Vandenberg formed Forest City Comicon Inc., which boasts six successful conventions to date.
Guests will have to wait for June 2021 to attend Forest City Comicon, barring any COVID-19 restrictions, but it's worth the wait.
Forest City Comicon was postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Source: Facebook - Forest City Comicon)
With success comes change, and one is about to happen for L.A. Mood. After 15 years in the same location, as of November 2, the store will relocate to 100 Kellogg Lane.
"We could see a new look and feel to the store that would work in this amazing environment. Our customers have only expressed excitement and encouragement for the move, as many have stopped coming downtown," Vandenberg says.
Their plan is to have a limited edition, COVID-19 aware grand opening the week before Black Friday, with details to be announced.
With the move comes a renewed commitment to sharing their love of nerd culture for decades more.