Shop Local: Comic Book Shop Appeals to Young and Old

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – Eric Walker grew up reading comic books. Seven years ago, he turned that passion into a business.

He opened Watchtower Heroes Comics at 6 S. Main St. in downtown Columbiana.

“I like the downtown walking atmosphere,” Walker says. “I like the idea of kids being able to walk in after school or ride their bikes here.”

The many antique shops downtown also seems to be good for foot traffic, he says.

There’s cross interest. If people are into other older collectibles, they’re sometimes also into older comics. They may have older collections they want to sell, too.

“I’m always buying,” Walker says.

The store gets new releases every week. “But I do specialize mostly in the older collectible comics too.”

Customers range from kids to adults, and he’s seen new interest among younger people who are interested in collecting older comics.

“As far as selling goes, usually the older generation are the ones who have the older collections from when they were kids,” Walker says.

New superhero movie releases like “The Marvels” and “Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom” scheduled for Dec. 25, generate interest, too.

“Usually that kind of sparks interest from noncomic book people,” Walker says. “It gets them interested in the character.”

Sometimes they become comic book converts. That’s especially true if the movie proves a hit.

“There’s a new set of people who come in because they’re introduced to certain characters in the movie that they wouldn’t have necessarily researched on their own,” he says. “They’re excited about it so now they want to learn about it and read the comic books associated with it.”

His regulars are local customers but he also sees patrons from western Pennsylvania and other communities who come to Watchtower Heroes to shop for collectibles and to sell.

Pictured at top: Eric Walker, owner of Watchtower Heroes Comics, opened his store in downtown Columbiana seven years ago.