In disappointing news three time Shuster Award Nominee Elfsar Comics out of Vancouver has announced that the popular retail store is closing in late May 2010 due to rent increases cutting into profitability.. This is right on the same day that they were nominated for another Harry Kremer Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Retailer Award.

According to the letter left on their website:

The fact is the “modern age” of comics is changing at a rapid pace. With one million in sales through mobile formats such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle, and PSP formats in 2009, I believe that in the next 5 to 10 years we will see the most significant changes to the comic industry as a whole. Heck the biggest threat, known as the iPad has not even hit Canada yet and we have already seen the ripple effect in our business.

This is interesting stuff and while I try not to fear for the age of brick and mortar shops, this doesn’t exactly bode well. Ethan, the owner of Elfsar – however – wants everyone to know that the store will continue – only this time as a online retailer:

Is this the end of Elfsar?  Not entirely. We are restructuring and will be switching to a more e-tail based business.  www.elfsar.com will be changing over the next year to a site that is focusing more on the art of comics, fine art and other digital formats.

So there you have it. Could this be a sign of things to come, or is this just a tiny blip? You can read the entire letter over at the Elfsar homepage.

So what do you guys think? Let us know in the comments below.