Dear Dark Horse:
Where's my HELLBOY?
Like many comic enthusiasts, I've been
collecting for years and have specific tastes. Among them, quality storylines
that are often found in unique titles only available at reliable comic stores.
But I could get those anywhere, right?
HARDLY! I need a staff that listens, responds immediately to customer
concerns, and knows the comic market and my tastes well enough to
regularly suggest alternate — but similar — titles that I might enjoy.
HELLBOY may be hard to find sometimes — and related titles may go unnoticed.
I'm a busy professional and rely on my comic shop to pick up on an Abe Sapien
one-shot or a new title from Mignola. Heroes and Dragons remembers, suggests,
and keeps me connected to the market so I can enjoy the hobby while they
do the work.
At age 39, I enjoy shopping with my wife and
daughter. I require a store that is large (12,000 square feet will do),
well-lit, clean, and offers not only the comics I enjoy, but also back issues,
games, figures (like Hellboy!), clothing, videos, and other merchandise related
to the hobby.
The negative stereotype of claustrophobic comic
shops with "creepy" owners and customers have no place in the real
world — and Heroes and Dragons proves that point with a shop that is
family-friendly. For example, they hosted a family Halloween
party with an art contest and prizes for the kids and a costume contest in
their huge store. Many of the regular customers brought our families — in some
entertaining costumes! Pictures
were posted online on their web site (http://www.heroesanddragons.com),
and the kids' drawings were displayed in the store until Thanksgiving.
The staff is community-friendly, too. After the
9-11 disaster, I was active in raising funds and support for the Red Cross
efforts. Heroes and Dragons generously sponsored a "Kung
Fu Day" event in their large store, with door prizes for the family,
author signings, and martial arts demonstrations — all in good fun, and 100%
of the proceeds went to the Red Cross.
I live in North Carolina — two hours away
from Heroes and Dragons — but ... I have business in Columbia, SC, and make a
point to hold my comic shopping until I'm there because only one store has
exceeded my expectations. They are worth the drive to enjoy the atmosphere. They
have inspired store-loyalty through community support, outstanding service and
an overall positive shopping experience. I want to enjoy my hobby — Heroes and
Dragons ensures that I do!