Business Lift Up: We Can Be Heroes
When Julio Galvez, owner of We Can Be Heroes Comic Bookstore, opened the doors to his shop in October 2019, he had one goal: to make sure that every customer who walks in feels welcome and can nerd/geek out as much as they want. And they absolutely do!
Located near the corner of DeSoto Ave and Devonshire St., the store specializes in everything pop culture—from comics to trade paperbacks, and collectible action figures and Funko POPs. Their shelves house hundreds of trade backs from every publisher from the 80s to present. It also houses a diverse collection of trading cards and a variety of games. As a huge fan of David Bowie, the store, named after one of Bowie’s most popular songs, is also decorated with original artwork paying homage to the superstar.
But it doesn’t stop there. The store holds meet and greets from prominent icons such as martial artist Ernie Reyes, Jr., WWE wrestler Rikishi, Jason Faunt—just to name a few. They’ve also had watch parties, weekly Wheel of Slabs which allows them to interact with their audience online, and card tournaments—from Yu-GI-oh! To Magic the Gathering.
2022 has been a big year for them with events and collaborations in and around the San Fernando Valley. In April, Julio and his team collaborated with the Chatsworth Porter Ranch Chamber of Commerce for BlockFest 2022/We CON Be Heroes. The event featured local PCW wrestling matches, multiple meets and greets at the store, local vendors, and even the Comic Convention’s Los Angeles Ghostbusters.
“We survived the pandemic because of our community’s support. When we were allowed to open our doors again, we saw at least a hundred people in line, waiting to come in. So, we wanted to give back and started to really think of ways to do that,” commented Julio about said event.
And that was just the beginning. In July, they were exhibitors at the San Diego Comic Con, the largest comic convention in Southern California. In September, Julio and the team worked with 8one8 Brewery and the Elks Lodge #2190 in Canoga Park to bring the first annual (818) Oktoberfest. Over the weekend, We Can Be Heroes was at the Sherman Oaks Street Fair, managing the comic con part of the festival. The fair holds a special place in Julio’s heart since it was the last event he organized, along with David Phelps, before he opened his comic bookstore in October 2019.
We Can Be Heroes has become something that Julio has always dreamed of–a neighborhood spot where people can come, hang out, and have conversations about everything pop culture.