BY LUIS SAYO
When you think of comic book stores, the first image many of us think of are the small, cramped, and quite frankly, uncomfortable stores of yore. One store defies that thinking, along with other stereotypes people may have about the comic book store.
Nestled in an all too familiar looking strip mall in the San Fernando Valley, is We Can Be Heroes Comics. Easily accessible off the usually busy Devonshire Street, you can’t miss the gigantic banner emblazoned on the storefront. The store specializes in all sorts of pop culture goodies – from comics to trade paperbacks, to collectibles like Transformers and rare Lego sets. The store itself is huge, plastered wall to wall with rare and graded comic books. They have enormous shelves housing hundreds of trades paperbacks from practically every publisher, going back from the 80’s to the present. The first thing many ask is where the name of the store came from. Owner Julio explains that as huge (HUGE) fans of David Bowie, it was only natural for them to name it after one of Bowie’s most popular songs. The homage doesn’t just end at the store’s name, as the store is decorated with awesome original artwork homaging the superstar.
What makes the store different is not just the great selection and awesome prices, but the service! Starting from the top, owners Julio and Reza are incredibly hospitable, funny and welcoming! This is what differentiates their store from the rest. I was lucky enough to walk past their store when they were just opening earlier this year. I was curious and walked in while Reza, Julio and a few others were still stacking books, putting down flooring and labeling merchandise. Even in a surely stressful and difficult time, both owners took time to greet us, walk my wife and I through the store, and shoot the breeze. The owners and their staff told us that their goal isn’t to just sell great stuff, but to run a place that people would want to come and hang out at. A neighborhood spot where people know you and you can just hang.
The owners have a robust online presence, with almost weekly Instagram live feeds, an Ebay shop and almost daily posts highlighting their newest swag to store regulars. On Wednesdays, the store hosts All Elite Wrestling (AEW) watch parties for wrestling fans and casuals alike. I highly recommend following them on their social media accounts, as they’re almost always having an event or doing something fun.
The heyday of comic book stores has unfortunately come and gone, but the presence of heroes has never been more prominent. If you’re a fan of pop culture and ever in the Chatsworth area, We Can Be Heroes is a definite destination.
We Can Be Heroes Comics
20936 Devonshire Street, Chatsworth, CA 91311
Instagram: @wecanbeheroescomics eBay store: ebay.com/str/wecanbeheroescomicbooks