Magazine addicts on the west coast have lost their most reliable (and revered) source of supply. Magpie Magazine Gallery on Commercial Drive in east Vancouver went out of business in spring 2008, after fifteen years of catering happily to a multifarious range of cultures, subcultures, factions, sects and wily individualists. The operation began to suffer a few years ago as more and more readers shifted to the web for news. Magazine distribution “consolidated” as well, and a couple of dozen distributors became three or four. Credit tightened up and then disappeared. Kevin Potvin, the proprietor of Magpie, kept the shop running with an imaginative move to—of all things—books, and for the last few years you could find a wonderful selection of literary, political and cultural books mingling with the zines and the magazines that you might not find anywhere else. It was a good solution but it came too late. Commercial Drive is haunted these days by former magazine readers: gaunt, desperate, staggering up and down the block, hoping against hope for another fix.