Jay Aaron Roy enjoys educating about superheroes and gender identity
After winning the Silver Best Of Comic Shop award from The Coast, Jay Aaron Roy says his secret is listening to his customers.
“Just basically listening to people and giving them what they want is what i’m all about,” he says.
This is the second year in a row Roy’s won the award for his store, Cape and Cowl Comics. Gold was awarded to Strange Adventures, and Giant Robot Comics earned bronze.
The award is a welcome change of events after having to face several challenges this year, including the risk of closure in January. Roy says the community helped in several different ways, including a cash mob organized by locals to visit his store in February.
“There’s been some blows over the year, but definitely, the community has come together in several different ways.”
Roy is the only paid employee in the store, accepting help from over 40 volunteers, most of which are part of the LGBTQ community. While volunteers receive some incentives, Roy says they help because it’s a place that’s fun and accepting of their gender identities.
“I think they do it because they love it,” says Roy. “I think it’s a fun place for people to volunteer. They know they’ll be safe and respected, and that’s something that draws them in.”
Roy believes the store is also a good place for kids to learn about the LGBTQ community, believing to teach them about gender identities in a gentle and patient manner.
Roy is also proud to admit he has customers of all ages come into his store. From kids who enjoy the latest pop vinyl figures, to adults getting the hottest graphic novels, to seniors enjoying the Christmas craft fairs.
“I can’t even put a finger on what my demographic is,” says Roy. “That means I have whole families that come in. That’s the point of this. I want there to be something for everybody.”
Roy says he has a lot of ideas, urging to stay tuned to his social media for updates.