With ConnectiCon 2011 right around the corner, one comic book store owner is preparing for the business that the event brings with it.
Eileen Albrizio and her husband, Wayne Horgan, have been running the comic book shop on the Silas Deane Highway for 22 years. Horgan and his wife have a life long love of comic books and during college, Horgan managed a comic book store. So after college, he decided why not own a comic book shop.
"We opened on June 29, 1989, the same day as the first Batman movie opened," Albrizio said.
Super hero movies and the comic book industry have been linked for sometime now and the films are helping get children back into the stores.
"It is bringing children back into the mix," Albrizio said. She added that women are also picking up comic books more and more. However, women are more often choosing non-super hero comic books.
ConnectiCon 2011 starts friday and is an annual pop culture convention that features the latest in comic books, board games and roleplaying games. Albrizo said Heroes & Hitters will not have a booth at ConnectiCon 2011, but the event will help generate revenue for the store.
"ConnectiCon generates a lot of interest in comic books, which helps generate business for the store," Albrizio said.
Heroes & Hitters has over 100 weekly subscribers, mostly male, but Albrizio said owning a comic book store is more a "labor of love," not survival.
"We just keep riding out the trends," Albrizio said. The current trend is trade paperbacks, which is a bound book from one comic based on a general theme or storyline. The most popular trade paperback is The Walking Dead, which is a story about the survivors of the zombie apocalypse.
"The popularity of The Walking Dead is through the roof," Albrizio, who is a fan herself, said. She added that the graphic novel is more about the human condition than zombies.
"It is the biggest trade paperback seller in 22 years," Albrizio said.
ConnectiCon 2011 is at the Connecticut Convention Center from July 8 - 10. For more information, visit the convention center website.
Heroes & Hitters is open seven days a week. Monday through Friday noon to 8 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5 p.m.