H&D Named Dark Horse Comic Shop of the Month

We were named Dark Horse Comics' "Comic Shop of the Month" for July!

Yes, we've long wanted to be a Dark Horse "Comic Shop of the Month," but this news took us all by surprise!  I want to thank our many sharp-eyed customers who spotted us on the web and let me know about it.

I'd especially like to thank Dr. David Bannon, who nominated us for this honor.  He was among the first to notice our spotlight at the Dark Horse web page, and he's now forwarded me a copy of his nomination letter, which swayed the Dark Horse judges:

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?

NOT 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!

David Bannon, Ph.D.

Dr. Bannon is the author and subject of the new book RACE AGAINST EVIL, from New Horizon Press.