This is a good thing for everyone, and here’s why…
Universe of Superheroes opened in Riverside more than 22 years ago, and for a long time it was the best, most adored comic shop in Jacksonville, well at least to me and a bunch of other fellow customers. Due to a variety of reasons Universe hit a bunch of snags about a year and a half ago, until Nick Wagner stepped in.
Nick took over the store because he didn’t want to lose his comic book store, and he didn’t want to see Riverside without a comic shop after more than 20 years. He decided to step in so that you the customers, and so that he himself would be able to have the service and the store he wanted for the area. Nick came to me occasionally and asked for advice, because a lot of the “new store owner” questions were things that I had recently found ways to successfully navigate. I also managed to provide a sounding board for Nick, Jonathan, and Amber for the various nitty-gritty bits of running a comic shop.
After a year operating Black Hive Comics, Nick decided that he wanted to put his focus back on his love of tattooing, essentially he felt like people waiting a year and a half for their tattoos wasn’t helping anyone. Nick and I agreed that Superhero Beach taking the reins of Comics in Riverside was the best decision for everyone. It gives the employees and the customers of the store an owner with a single-minded desire to do what is best for the comics industry and to provide you with the best comics buying experience in the city.
As Superhero Hive is now part of the Superhero family, your customer discount will extend to both stores, giving you a better opportunity to find that one issue that you just have to have but don’t want to pay full price on eBay (I know, I hate paying eBay prices too). Having two locations means you can take advantage of store transfers, meaning you may not have to wait as long to get something that’s sold out at your “home” store but not the other.
I also have lots of really great things planned for the future. Pull customers will all be getting “Member” cards so that you can flash them at one store or the other. We’ll be setting up several direct relationships with manufacturers so that we can carry a wider variety of specialty items that you can’t find anywhere else in the city. We’re working with the folks who create the “Short Box” podcast so we can host it right here on our website. And that’s just for starters, I have a lot of really fun ideas for the years to come and I hope that you all will take this awesome ride with us so that we can make Jacksonville a destination for comics.
So, who am I? For those who don’t know me, allow me to introduce myself: My name is Neil. I grew up in Jacksonville and have been a customer of the Riverside store since James bought it over 20 years ago. When I was a kid I biked to the store from Ortega, a 30 minute bike ride to get my comics, and then 30 minutes home to read them. On weekends and in the summers I would help out in the store by putting the books in bags and boards and alphabetizing them into the back issue boxes (the best job ever, am I right?). In high school I worked at Toys R Us, then went to college in Tallahassee (which made the commute to buy my comics 2 hours driving instead of 30 minutes biking, whew) where I lived for ten years after getting a job working in Computer Crimes at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Then my wife and I moved to Kansas for three years (really not a decision I would repeat) to follow a job opportunity. When the job opportunity didn’t work out, we moved back to Jacksonville and we opened Superhero Beach in Jacksonville Beach. My wife, Diana, has a PhD in Fashion design and now works in a totally not-related field of research marketing and we have an almost 4 year-old daughter who loves the “My Little Pony” Comics and anything to do with Frozen (pretty typical 4 year-old actually).
As a business owner I believe in being completely accessible so to that end you can always contact me via either of the Facebook pages, facebook.com/superherohive or facebook.com/superherobeach or through either of the store email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. All of these avenues will alert me on my phone. If you need to talk you can call one store and if I’m not there, there’s a good chance I’m at the other store. And in the few hours per week that I’m away from a store, one of our awesome staff will be happy to send me a text so I can get back to you if the issue is urgent.
I’m sure there are questions left unanswered. And I will do my best to answer them all as they come up. But for now, rest assured that this change is meant to benefit everyone in the long run, and we will continue to strive every day to provide you with the best comics and related items, and the best customer service around from now until forever…