Three new businesses are located on the corner of 92 Street and 118 Avenue: Mr. J Comics, Square One Merchandise, and Woodwill Gifts.

Queen Mary’s Market, formerly Super Flea Market on 111 Avenue and 120 Street, has been home to numerous vendors selling collectibles and paraphernalia, artisan goods and local goodies, and more. Joe Parent, Darwin Evilla, and Bob Williams met while selling their respective goods at Super Flea Market. 

“I have been doing this business for 12 years with my wife,” says Williams. Parent and Evilla sold items at the market for over 10 years. However, for the past five weeks, the three have been sharing a space together on 118 Avenue, promoting one another’s businesses, and grinding each other’s gears about the upcoming playoff results. 

“Bob is always yelling at us from his shop,” states Parent. His mother Ilona, an avid volunteer, chuckles and agrees.

“I have loved comics since I was six years old. Reading comics is how I learned to speak English,” says Parent. Parent, with the help of Ilona, runs Mr. J Comics. The two moved to Canada from Germany, and Parent, after settling, fell in love with the characters, stories, and illustrations of comic books. He is a classic comic lover in that his superheroes of choice come from Marvel Comic Books and DC Universe. His shop, Mr. J Comics, sells more than hard-copy comics. They also carry action figures, posters, graphic novels, stickers, and other aesthetic paraphernalia. 

“I aim to become the largest and most visited comic bookstore in Edmonton, [and] hopefully, Canada,” says Parent. Ilona adds, “I support him. This work calms him and makes him happy.”

Directly to the left of Parent is the office of Square One Merchandising, run by owner Evilla. Evilla has been in the printing business for over 15 years; however, he now owns one of the only UV DTF printers in Edmonton.The UV DTF (Direct-to-Film) printer prints directly onto film.  Darwin can print custom designs or customers can choose what they want from an inventory of designs. “We can do a lot of things. Our most popular stuff is t-shirts and transfer printing. It is a bit more on the down low, but we also do traditional, mass printing of documents, though it is not advertised.” 

Across the hall from Parent and Evilla is Woodwill Gifts. Williams and his family specialize in “a unique shopping experience for scented wax, oils, and incense.” Currently, they stock just over 70 scents for incense. Another trendy item is their touch lamps/wax warmers. “They were very popular at Christmas!” says Williams, “and soon we will get the moose, beaver, and bear lamps back into stock.” Bob also says that their backflow incense cone burners replicate waterfalls using the smoke from the incense. “We started this business from my grandson and still have a satellite stall at the new Queen Mary’s Market.”

The three men agreed it would be most beneficial to mirror one another’s hours. They are closed Sundays and Mondays and open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 10 a.m. All three are working on improving their internet presence, so the best way to get to know these unique businesses is to visit their shops. They are located at 9142 118 Avenue. 

Molly Staley is a journalist and communications specialist in Edmonton, Alberta. More than writing, she loves her pug, Garry.