BALLARAT comic book store Heroes HQ has been named among the top 37 comic book stores worldwide.
They were nominated for the Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, with the results announced at the weekend during the San Diego Comic-Con.
Owner Garry Fay said it was the first year the store was eligible for the awards and he still doesn’t know who they were nominated by.
“We’re absolutely stoked to be nominated,” Mr Fay said.
“It’s pretty much the Logies or the Oscars for comic books.”
The awards require stores to have traded for at least two years, with Heroes HQ passing that milestone in April.
Mr Fay first found himself interested in comics at only six or seven.
“I found Batman, and that was the start of a lifelong relationship,” he said.
He opened Heroes HQ with his wife in April 2012, after previously working as a primary school teacher.
He said the store had taken time to get involved in the community through working with people with autism, author signings, a comic art display space and launches.
“We’re quite different to other comic book stores as we’re a bright and friendly space, we’re family friendly and have a dedicated room for young readers.”
He said comics had become slightly more mainstream with the release of lots of comic-based movies and shows such as The Big Bang Theory.
“Even now, I’m blown away with how popular the store has been,” he said. “We’re still catching our breath from when it opened. We have to pinch ourselves most of the time.”
He said he hopes to expand the store over the coming years and plans to work on improving the store for next year’s Eisner Awards.
With Melbourne comic book store All Star Comics taking out the top prize, Mr Fay doesn’t yet know if Heroes HQ placed third or 37th.
“I know Troy and Mitch from All Stars quite well, we’ve modelled a lot of what we do on them.
“I’m really happy for them and have sent them a congratulations message on Facebook.”