Watchtower Heroes Shop Opens in Columbiana

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – Eric Walker admits it’s good time to open a store specializing in comic books and related pop culture items.

Films featuring the characters published in Marvel’s and DC’s comics regularly top the box office nowadays, such as this year’s Captain America: Civil War and Suicide Squad. And in recent years the small screen has become ipopulated with series like Fox’s Gotham (depicting the pre-Batman years of Gotham City) and the line of shows on the CW that launched with Arrow, now about to begin its fifth season.

“When I was a youth, it was a little weird to like comics,” Walker said. “Now it’s in the mainstream. Everybody’s going to the movies so it’s cool now that it’s cool!”

Walker, with his wife, Renee, celebrated the grand opening Saturday for Watchtower Heroes at 6 S. Main St., the day after the Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the shop.

The Poland resident, who began collecting comics around age 6, says he related to the characters in comic books. Talking to people while he was growing up wasn’t always easy and comic books “helped me open up and be myself. It’s just important for me to pass that along to other kids,” he remarked.

“Not everybody  loves reading a book but comic books are a great way to jump-start a healthy reading habit,” he added.

Watchtower Heroes offers comics, graphic novels, manga, science fiction and children’s books, as well as statues, art and other collectibles. A section of the store is devoted to small press, self-published and independent (not published by one of the major publishers) comics, books, crafts and art. Before opening the shop, Walker worked in direct marketing for 10 years.

“I had a chance to deal with people from a lot of different walks of life,” he said. “I enjoy interacting with people and being in direct marketing for 10 years helped foster that. I just felt like it was time.”

Saturday’s grand opening coincided with Batman Day, a promotional event in comic shops, bookstores and libraries spotlighting the popular DC character. At Watchtower Comics, Walker had individuals dressed as the Joker and Harley Quinn, two of Batman’s popular nemeses.

The timing of the store’s opening and the promotion was a coincidence, Walker said. “It worked out totally to our advantage,” he remarked.

More information about Watchtower Comics is available at the store’s website, on Facebook or by calling 330 502 8519.

Pictured: Eric Walker, who with his wife owns Watchtower Heroes.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.