Owners Steve Conley and Kevin Stich are hoping that Heroes Comics and Gaming will be the “one-stop shop for all things pop culture and gaming.” The store, which opens today, will offer the most comprehensive gaming programming in the city and a stock of more than 50,000 comics, which they’ve collected over the years.
In the 6,000-square-foot space, former home to My Old Kentucky Homebrew on Baxter Avenue, an entire huge room will house tables for gaming. You can call ahead or sign up on their website to reserve a table for you and your friends for free or show up and join regularly scheduled games. There will be demo games on hand for people to try.
The store also will have a lounge with a flat-screen TV and couches. While most of the merchandise hadn’t been loaded in when Insider saw the store, it certainly seems like the space will be half lounge and gaming area, half store. “Doctor Who” fans should check out the business if only to visit its Tardis bathroom.
“If a kid wants to come in and spend eight hours sitting on the couch watching TV and reading comics,” Stich says, “this is the place.”
Conley and Stich talked at length about wanting the store to be “friendly to everyone.” They hope people who have been picked on or bullied will not have to worry while they’re there.
Conley is a former graphic designer who gave up his career to start Heroes; he says his passion for gaming comes from the fact that he “never grew up.” Stich owns several bars and restaurants around the region, including Siggy’s Pizza and Pub, and he’s the purveyor of the Haunted Hotel by Churchill Downs; his love of strategy games online led to his future as a business owner because strategy games are “like running a business.”
Stich points out that most comic book stores in Louisville are smaller, and if they have a gaming component, it’s usually geared toward specific games. Heroes will have a much more comprehensive selection, and there will be scheduled gaming every night.
They expect weekends to be the busiest days, although they hope to have a healthy crowd on Wednesdays, which is release day for new comics.
In honor of their grand opening, the store is giving away a CGC 7.5 copy of “New Mutants No. 98,” which features the first appearance of the character Deadpool. The comic is valued at around $250. You have to “like” the store on Facebook and share your favorite Deadpool quote.
At the grand opening party on Saturday, April 2, there will be crafts, candy, free comics for the kids and a costume contest. There also will be door prizes and, of course, a cake.
On Sunday, April 3, the store will host a free “Magic: The Gathering” draft tournament. First prize is $500, and second through fourth prizes split a box of Magic cards. Normally, for a draft tournament, you pay for the three packs of new cards you use to play in the tournament. For this event, Heroes is giving you the packs decks, and you get to keep them. The tournament is open to the first 120 people who sign up, which you can do on their Facebook page or by sending them an email. The tournament starts at 10 a.m. and runs until it is over, probably 8 or 9 p.m.
In general, the hours are noon-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. It is located at 361 Baxter Ave., and there is ample parking behind the store.