Heroes Haven: beer and comics are a great combination

We all have some way to escape reality, some way to imagine the world differently. Some people inspire their imagination through action movies, romance novels, etc. When I was younger, I read comic books. It has felt like ages since I opened up a comic book, which is why it was a treat for me to attend “beer and comics” at Heroes Haven, the comic book store at 14743 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. in Tampa formerly known as WonderWater. When I walked into the store, I realized that I did have a special skill – time travel.

Everything has its own unique qualities and comic books are no different. The way comic books smell when you open them for the first time, or the way the glossy pages feel across your fingers, unearthed childhood memories for me as it did for everyone.

“Beer and Comics” was an event that Bubba, the owner of the store, decided to throw Wednesday night. It was a way to introduce comic book fans to the store and more importantly it created an environment for discussion; it became a place where readers, writers, and artists could all hang out together and share opinions about the newest stories coming out or just remember the old ones. I shared a beer with Mike Perkins, who is one of the artists for the comic book adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand. I also got to chat with Drew Geraci, an artist who has worked for both Marvel and DC comics.

An event like this reminds you how much comic books really do affect our culture. Movies alone are a great example. Everyone I know wants to see the new The Watchmen movie. And I have to admit, when I found out that Obama was going to be on the cover of Spider-Man I had to get one…actually I got two. Maybe comic books are influential in our culture because they remind us to that we can overcome struggle, maybe because they draw a distinct moral line between good and evil, or again maybe we just like to escape reality once in a while and use our imagination.

While you may think that an event like this would attract only the usually geeky suspects (and it should because its not complete until at least one guy dresses up like a superhero) it actually drew in a crowd of school teachers, college professors, and yes even some girls. It was an event that could be enjoyed by anyone and while we did talk about comic books, the discussion didn’t end there. Just like in a parlor or bar people talked about the news, philosophy, their job, their family. Old friends met up, new friends exchanged numbers.

If you used to read comic books but haven’t touched one in a while, you would be surprised at how fast you become hooked again. Yesterday I rummaged through my closet looking for some of my old editions. I stumbled across Dark Empire, a Star Wars comic that brought back Boba Fett and told the story from his point of view – awesome. If you read comic books or if you just want to recapture your childhood imagination, stop by Heroes Haven, it might have the same effect on you as it did on me.

By Ben Luongo

Daily Loaf contributor

Ben Luongo is a USF political science graduate student. He will be graduating this spring.

Everybody catches themselves daydreaming while at the office or at school, usually at some place where we’re supposed to be productive. You might imagine yourself on a great adventure, maybe some place exotic discovering ancient artifacts. You might be more creative and imagine yourself with special skills. For instance, if you were the fastest person alive you could finish all of your work at the office so you can go home early and enjoy the day.

Scroll to read more Local Arts articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.