Shane Turgeon

Top 40 Under 40 2014

Photography Curtis Trent

Age: 36

Job Title: Owner, Shades of Grey Tattoo; Co-Founder/General Manager, Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo; Director, Edmonton Collector Con

Why He’s Top 40: For creating a supportive and inclusive community for those who collect comics and toys.

Guilty Pleasure: “Bon Jovi. And I don’t even feel a little guilty about it. I embrace it. I’m ‘Wild in the Streets’ and ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ for life!”

As children, we were warned not to judge a book by its cover. Shane Turgeon, owner of Shades of Grey Tattoo and twice-published author, knows this value all too well, largely because of the many comic books he owns, whose covers can either spoil the stories or mislead their readers.

He’s a muscular man with a warm smile and limbs covered in tattoos. The muscles come from a dedication to martial arts, which helped provide him with inner peace to overcome the depression with which he struggled for most of his life. And the tattoos? Colourful works of art depicting scenes from his favourite films, books, comics and cartoons.

Nearly nine years ago, Turgeon signed up for a jiu-jitsu class at the Inukshuk Bushido Kai School, and he’s now a second-degree black belt and one of the school’s head instructors, working to set up a martial arts program specifically designed to help bullied and depressed youths. The program would include counseling as well as physical and mental training.

Turgeon’s true passion has always been comics and collectibles, and he’s made every effort to provide those in Edmonton who share the same interests a medium to interact and connect.

He ran the Edmonton Collectible Toy and Comic Show (ECTCS) for 10 years, until he partnered with the Calgary Expo, rebranding it the Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo. During seven of the ECTCS’s 10-year run, he raised over $5,000 and nearly two tonnes of food for the Edmonton Food Bank. He also co-founded the Edmonton Collector Con this year.

Through these shows, he makes every attempt to create an inclusive and supportive community. He knows from personal experience that for many people, collecting toys and comic books can be escapes from whatever they’re having trouble dealing with in their lives.

“Being different is exactly how you excel in life … I want to keep finding ways for people to see that and understand that.”

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