Worlds Collide Comic Shop in Oshawa has been fueling the imagination since 1998

By Glenn Hendry

Published on February 10, 2022 at 2:14 p.m.

Tim Simms, owner of Worlds Collide

After 40 years in the comic book business, it takes more than a global pandemic to shake Tim Simms, the owner of downtown Oshawa’s iconic comic book shop, Worlds Collide.

Comic book fans and gaming enthusiasts have flocked to the Simcoe Street store since it opened under the Worlds Collide banner in 1998 and Simms has maintained that must-have status, even under two years of varying levels of capacity restrictions.

The store was locked down — like all other Ontario retailers during the early months or so of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 — but has been operating as usual for the most part since then.

“I haven’t had the pandemic stories that other retailers have,” Simms. “The only real difference was the lack of in-store play.”

Worlds Collide would have a regular table playing pre-pandemic pack – Magic the Gathering and the like – but that was mostly ditched for health and safety protocols. “We just started it again and we had to stop last month.”

World Comics Day is another annual event that has been scaled back since capacity restrictions were put in place.

“We have to order the books in January and we will display them, but I am not promoting the event,” said, adding that he was unsure if the event – ​​normally scheduled for May – would return to its original state this year.

“I don’t know if I’m comfortable having 100 people here, even if we were allowed.”

Other than these inconveniences, Simms hasn’t faced any major issues and business has been steady throughout the pandemic.

“Maps have been a little slow but they’re selling out and people are still buying comics,” said the man who described comics as the “greatest form of mass communication ever created.”

Worlds Collide offers all new releases and has an extensive catalog of back issues on the comics side, as well as graphic novels, manga, and assorted merchandise. Regular customers benefit from a Comic Club, where titles are reserved, and game fans can pre-order new releases of games, cards, figures, and more.

As for what happens next, that will depend on Queen’s Park, Simms said.

“When the government says it’s okay to have full capacity and my staff say they’re comfortable with that, then we’ll open,” he said. “But I’m not sure I’m comfortable with it yet.”

“Hopefully we won’t see another variant.”

Worlds Collide is located at 80 Simcoe Street North, directly across from the Holiday Inn Express.

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