ComicImpact Store Spotlight: Heroes & Villains

Published on January 26th, 2010

Hey comic guys and girls!! It’s a new year and with that comes a brand new feature!! So I give you our newest kid on the block C.I. Store Spotlight

Every month we will turn our magnifying glass on a local store (local can mean local for you the listener as well!). We then contact the owner  and ask a few questions and even throw some pictures up on the site!! Sweet! Right? Well wait it gets better. We also decided that every POW  for that month that we record that we will mention the store of that month.. for the entire month! Now here is the important part where you, the reader  can get involved. We want to know about your store! We want to know what stores in you area  there are that you feel deserve to be spotlighted! Send us some suggestions as well as some reasons why you feel your store deserves it! We will pick from those at the end of the month to get the new store each month!!!

The store I chose was Heroes & Villains in my hometown of Warner Robins GA. I have been collecting comics since I was about 6 or 7 years old and the only place in my town was Comics Castle. Me and my best friend Patrick used to go here and it was always considered a treat by our parents to take us here. That is actually where I met Mike McDaniel (The current owner of Heroes & Villains) who at the time was older and hung out there. Well Comics Castle closed many,many years ago but it seems Mike took the spirit of Comic Castle and transplanted it in his store. I walked into Heroes & Villains sometime in 2004 and Mike actually recognized me from back in the Comic Castle days and I instantly became a fan. The store is always clean and well layed out and the people are always super friendly and very knowledgeable about comics.So If your in the Middle Georgia area stop by Heroes & Villains and tell them you heard about them on Comic Impact!!

Heroes and Villains Comics and Games
1245 Russell Parkway
Warner Robins, Georgia 31088
(478) 322-0004

Store Hours:
Mon. – Sat. 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sun. 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Heroesandvillainscomics.net

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1.Tell us a little bit about your store ?
Heroes and Villains was opened in January of 2004. We set out to fill a niche in this area of a friendly neighborhood comic book store with a great subscription service.

2.How long has your store been open?

We have been open 6 long years….It seems like a great deal longer though…I owned a store before which was open from 1993 to 1997 located in the same city that we are in. I sold it to return to college. When I re-opened my new store, the old one was still open so I had to compete against a store that I founded. I must have done something right because they closed in 2006.

3. Do you have any special event? ie, Magic the Gathering, Pokemon etc.
We host in store tournaments on the weekends such as Friday Night Magic and Sunday Magic Tournaments. We have Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh on Saturdays as well as hosting a role-playing group on Saturday night.

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4.Do you have any special store deals? ie, buy one get one free on a specific day, or a certain % off if you purchase a certain amount.
The best deals in the store can be had via our subscription service. We offer an minimum 10% discount to all of our customers.

5.As a retail store owner what is the most difficult thing that you wish you could change in this industry?
As this is my second store, I remember what it was like before the Diamond Comics Distribution Monopoly. I wish there were alternatives to the current system. At the very least it would keep Diamond on their toes.

6..How long have you been involved with comics?
Last year, I turned 41. I have been reading comics since I was eight…so I have 33 years of comics reading and there’s not much I haven’t seen. This might be the reason that I’m so synical towards comics companies and the “next big, must-read event with stuff sooooo shocking you won’t want to miss it!!!!” Why not just put out a solid comic that comes out on time?

7.How do you feel about CGC and graded books? As a fan are you for or against it? As a retailer do they sell in your store?
I’m a comics reader. I don’t buy them or suggest that others buy them for investment. Although I see the desire of people to protect their valuble comics, slabbing them behind some thick plastic really defeats the purpose in my mind. I love cracking an old comic open and sticking my nose right in it and smell the decades that have passed since the comic was printed. Its almost orgasmic…

8. Where do you see the comic book retail business in five years?
That’s a really tough question considering this economy. I hope there is a strong recovery and we (the country) can look back on this and say “It might be slow but at least it’s not 2009 slow!”. What I’m telling myself right now is “It might be slow but at least its not 1997 slow.”

9. How does your store deal with collectibles such as statues and figures? Is it more of a special request item or is the average fan still interested in them?
We carry those items but only by special request or special orders. If I am positive a certain set of figures will sell, I will carry them in the store.

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10.What is the average age of your customers?
My customers average age is between 19-30.

11.As a retailer do you still have the luxury of being a fanboy and do you still get giddy when you read your favorite books
I’m not much of a fanboy…but certain books still hold my fascination like anything by Geoff Johns and Robert Kirkman. Its been a long time since I’ve been able to say that about a Marvel book.

12. What is the number one question you get from new customers?
“What’s good right now?”

13. If someone walks into your store and say’s, “Hey, I want to get into comics.” What would you recommend to them?
Two words: Walking Dead. Then I point them to the trades…all 11 volumes!

14.What are some of your favorite current books? Does it influence sales in your store?
I’ve been a fan of Geoff Johns since this store opened so I tend to push what ever he’s writing. This has turned a great deal of people locally on to his projects and its snowballed locally. The aforementioned Walking Dead is another example of my tastes affecting my customers.

15. What is the best storyline in comics history and what is the one book you never get tired of reading?
My two favorites are Uncanny X-Men  126-138  and Kingdom Come. The X-Men arc is the Dark Phoenix storyline. Chris Claremont was at the top of his game and John Bryne and Terry Austin were near perfect with the art and inks. The Kingdom Come series is AWESO-FRIC-O-LICISOUS and contains my favorite line in comics. The line comes when Bruce Wayne figures out that its not Captain Marvel but a grown up Billy Batson that everyone is terrified and decks hims. Bats puts his foot on Billy’s throat and says “Hello Billy!”. Man, that’s was so cool.

16.What is the oddest thing any one has ever asked in the store?
Some one has actually came in and asked “Do you sell comics?”. Our store is located next to a bar and once a tipsy bar patron screamed “Yo! Can I get a crazy check?!!!” while pounding on our window.

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So make sure to check out Heroes & Villains if you are in the Middle Georgia area.

Sheldon Lee
Shledon@comicimpact.com