Saskatoon downtown comic destination Unreal City to close doors

After nearly eight years, Unreal City owner Theo Kivol has decided to permanently close his downtown comic book and collectable store.

Owner Theo Kivol says slow economy and low Canadian dollar are behind the decision.

Unreal City owner Theo Kivol plans to close his store permanently at the end of November. (CBC)

After nearly eight years in business, the decision to call it a day wasn't an easy one for Unreal City owner Theo Kivol. 

"We definitely put our mark on the comic book scene and it's sad not to be able to keep going," said Kivol during an interview with CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning

The 2nd Avenue comic book and collectable store is set to close at the end of November.

Kivol cites a number of factors leading to the closure, including a slowed economy and low Canadian dollar.
Thanks to the popularity of films inspired by comic books, Kivol says he's seen increased competition. (Disney/Marvel)

"Unfortunately the Saskatchewan economy is pretty terrible right now so that's had an effect, the Canadian dollar is very weak and almost everything we order comes from the U.S.," said Kivol.

Although as a fan, he's excited to see the rise of mainstream comic book culture, Kivol said in some ways it's also hurt business.

"I'm really happy I get to see a big-budget Doctor Strange movie this fall, but unfortunately instead of being the one guy carrying nerdy toys and stuff, I have competition from at least three stores in the mall."

Downtown changing

Kivol also said he's seen changes downtown that he feels have not been beneficial for businesses. 

"Just with things like cutbacks to the Lighthouse, downtown has kind of fallen off a bit. I think there are way too many vacancies; I don't think we can really say we have a vibrant downtown at this point." 

When reflecting back on Unreal City's nearly eight year run, Kivol said he's still proud of what the store was able to accomplish.

"We made a lot of people happy, we got a lot of people interested in a lot of different comics that they probably wouldn't have discovered otherwise. In that way, I think we were very successful."


With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning