Watchtower Heroes Comics is a boutique comic book shop in Downtown Columbiana that believes comics give people an opportunity to be their own hero.

Owner of Watchtower Heroes Comics, Eric Walker, spoke to us about his history with comic books and what the medium means to society now that it’s gone mainstream.

Where did your love for comic books start?

My first memory of reading, in general, was a Flintstones comic book at Denny’s. After that it progressed and, actually, the death of Superman really got me into comic books. The idea that somebody like Superman could die really intrigued me. So from that point on I was just reading constantly and I have a lot of really good memories going to comic book stores with my father and brother as a child.

What drove you to want to start your own comic book store?

You get to a point where you want to share [a love for comics] with other people. That actually is by far the most rewarding part. The main thing that I enjoy about comics is the community that they create and the bonds you can share when talking about them with other people. Just to witness people experiencing that is extremely rewarding.

How do you feel about the proliferation of comics into mainstream pop culture?

I couldn’t be happier with what’s going on in the comic book industry right now. The comic industry has expanded to beyond books, and that’s so important because there was a time where there was a certain stereotypical subset of people who read comics, liked comic book characters. To see those people finally have their heroes projected on screens, is just really impactful. Now everybody can just be themselves and that, to me, is one of the most beautiful things in life. And the fact that it inspires people to be their own hero, or to be comfortable enough to just be who they are is actually really inspiring. And I love that that started with comic books and I hope it continues to stay within the genre of comic books.

Watchtower Heroes is located in Downtown Columbiana, along with these other amazing local businesses: The Down Low on Birdfish’s New Taproom, Generations Cafe is Bringing Generations Together, Reclaimed RosePark Avenue Marketplace is a Reflection of Life in Columbiana