Feon Cooper has been obsessed with comics since he was in middle school, reveling in the superhuman, fantastical tales that, when it really comes down to it, deal heavily with the human condition. Even more, while educating kids and adults alike on heavy topics like philosophy and politics through the lens of art and pop culture, comics provide an escape—and that escape, for Cooper, led him to dreams of opening his own shop.
Enter Shoreline Comics, tucked away in the maze of Shoreline Village shops, had its grand opening this past Thursday to welcome comic lovers, Game of Thrones and Star Wars fans, Pop! vinyl character collectors, and those just wishing to nerd out.
Though Cooper signed his lease back in September of last year, the comic shop owner wanted to get his feet wet before hosting his grand opening June 30.
”I did a soft opening but never a grand opening—wanted to get my feet wet and establish myself before really getting the word out there,” Cooper said. “And now is the perfect time.”
Perfect time indeed. Now that comic films have garnered almost cult-like followings—Deadpool is the highest grossing R-rated film of all time while Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy lifted comics away from kitsch and into high-brow cinematic art—kids are flocking back to that old school thing that is an actual paper’n’ink comic. Pair that with summer on us and a prime waterfront location, Shoreline Comics is the quintessential place to get your comic on. Just ask Mayor Robert Garcia, a regular customer that you’ll often find perusing the latest comics.
Cooper’s store is part personal collection, part distributor. The Lord of the Rings and X-Men action figures? The stellar OG copies of Star Wars and Godzilla? Cooper’s. The brand new copies of Ms. Marvel, the tale of Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teenager who sneaks out one night, inhales a weird mist and wakes up with superpowers that let her change shape and size? Distributor. In other words, Shoreline Comics has a little bit of everything.
Cooper discovered Shoreline Village after grubbing down at Louisiana Charlie’s—the sole place in Long Beach where you can get fried alligator bites—
“I looked around and it hit me,” Cooper said. “I said to myself, ‘I think a shop would be really great here.’ There’s nothing like it in the whole Downtown area.”
In that, Cooper is spot on: Shoreline Comics is DTLB’s sole comic shop and for anyone who loves comics, comic shops are sacred places where their inner-nerd can never fear having to shine bright. In other words, Cooper’s small shop is a big part of many people’s hearts.
Time to get your comic on, Long Beach.
Shoreline Comics is located at 419-N Shoreline Drive in Shoreline Village.