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Heroes Aren't Hard to Find 2019. Photo by Logan Cyrus.

HEROES AREN'T HARD TO FIND is one of the largest and most well-known comics retailers in the country. We carry a wide selection of new comics, graphic novels, and manga; as well as back issues, Silver and Golden Age comics, statues, specialty items, and our own line of comics collecting supplies.

Located #UnderTheWaterTower in the heart of the historic Elizabeth neighborhood, near uptown Charlotte, we work hard to foster a family-friendly atmosphere while carrying an incredibly diverse stock of comics from every genre.

Heroes was started in 1980 by a then 26-year-old Shelton Drum who had been selling comics at area flea markets for several years. A comic collector since childhood, Shelton began aggressively seeking out his favorite comic issues during the mid-60's, after noticing that Amazing Spider-Man #1 was selling for the then-unbelievable price of ten dollars. "I knew right away that something was up, that these books were going to be worth money someday." Perhaps a tad more motivated than the average ten-year-old, young Shelton immediately began purchasing three of every Marvel comic being published, using the extras to trade for holes in his collection. By 1968, Shelton was buying out the entire comic stock of Newton's City Pharmacy each month; and by the early 1970s he was setting up once a month at the Metrolina Flea Market, where he built up a clientele of regular customers.

The Secret To Shelton's Success:  Never Forget To Try And Make Money At It.In 1977 Shelton took his knack for salesmanship and his growing comic collection one step further by hosting Charlotte's first comic-book convention, the Charlotte Mini-Con, at Eastland Mall. The event was a huge success and, though he took a break from the smaller show in the mid 80's and 90's, the Charlotte Mini-Con resumed its role as an annual vintage-comics show in 2009.

In 1980 Shelton rented the first space that would become Heroes Aren't Hard To Find near the corner of Central and Pecan Avenue in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte. The store was just as much a place to contain his ever-growing collection as a place to potentially sell anything. Within a few months, Heroes Aren't Hard To Find -- the name adapted from a Fleetwood Mac song title -- was open 6 days a week and doing a brisk business. The store also provided a place for Shelton to market his custom-made line of comic collecting supplies, which he had begun having manufactured to his specs back in the 70's. The store soon expanded and moved a block over to Thomas Avenue, with nearly a third of the interior devoted to warehousing comics and supplies.

Stan Lee Signs At Heroes Circa 1984--note Peter David between Stan and Shelton!In 1982 Shelton graduated from the smaller "mini-cons" into the big leagues by launching the first Heroes Convention -- more on that elsewhere -- and in 1983 expanded the business to open a second location of Heroes Aren't Hard To Find in Winston-Salem.

Just a year later, he opened a third store, this time in Greenville, SC. Throughout the decades Shelton has owned Heroes Aren�t Hard to Find stores in Chapel Hill, NC, Charleston, SC, Jacksonville, FL, and a second Charlotte location in what was then the new Carmel Commons shopping center. The flagship store would also relocate, this time opening a few blocks from Thomas Avenue to a new location in the Midwood Corners Shopping Center on the corner of Central Avenue and The Plaza.

With Mr T At A Store Appearance--One Of The Coolest Heroes Stories Ever.Stormy times were ahead, as the mid-90's brought about the "crash" and near ruin of the comics industry. Fueled largely by rampant speculation, inflated print runs, and a preponderance of comics featuring special covers and "collector's item" events, fans turned away in droves from an industry that seemed more concerned with "FIRST ISSUE SPECTACULARS" than with story or continuity. Comic book stores all across the country were going under, and, against his will, Shelton was forced to begin pulling in his resources, selling off his stores one by one. Fortunately he was able to leave most of those stores in the hands of conscientious buyers who continued to carry on with the same level of quality their customers had come to expect.

Stan Lee Signs At Heroes Circa 1984--note Peter David between Stan and Shelton!In February of 2002, Shelton moved his Central Avenue store once again, this time to the corner of 7th Street and Pecan Avenue in the Elizabeth neighborhood. "Upfitting the space cost an embarrassing amount," Shelton says. "It was just months after 9/11, and all signs pointed to a real tough time for small businesses. I just felt that I had to be proactive and put my absolute best foot forward." And so he did, completely renovating the entire space. With an open layout, track lighting, unified fixtures and showcases throughout the store, that version of Heroes became recognized as one of the most attractive comic stores in the country. The larger-than-life statues of Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus fighting over the front of the store (especially Doc Ock, whose arms double as electrical conduits, bringing power to the register, computers, and sound system) becoming the stars of many visitor's photos.

Shelton and his Heroes Crew would spend fifteen great years in that 7th Street location. Hosting a slew of fantastic events, from artist signings and Free Comic Book Days, to an exclusive meet and greet with the one and only Stan Lee during his 2012 and 2015 appearances at the Heroes Convention.

However, 2017 would see one last move for Shelton and Heroes Aren't Hard to Find.

The building that had housed Heroes Aren't Hard to Find on the corner of 7th Street and Pecan Avenue was sold to a developer in the fall of 2016, and thus the search for a new location began once again. Not wanting to leave the neighborhood he had been a staple of for 37 years, but having few available options, a move to the NoDa neighborhood of Charlotte looked to be the best option.

With Mr T At A Store Appearance--One Of The Coolest Heroes Stories Ever.Fate had different plans though, as the building that had served as the warehouse and storage facility for the 7th Street location was made available for sale in July of 2017.

Just 150 feet behind the 7th Street store, it was an ideal opportunity to OWN the next location, and never again be at the mercy of a landlord's whimsy. Shelton and several members of his dedicated staff took on the immense feat of gutting and remodeling the former warehouse into what is today the FINAL location of Heroes Aren't Hard to Find.

Shelton and his Heroes are still in the heart of the Elizabeth neighborhood, and located at 417 Pecan Avenue just across the street from the beautiful Elizabeth Neighborhood water tower!

The little comic store that Shelton Drum opened in 1980 has grown into one of the most talked-about comics shops in the country. "It has been worth every penny and every drop of sweat to build this store over the years," insists Shelton. "Every time I see a little kid's eyes light up when they walk in and see Spidey and Doc Ock slugging in out across the ceiling, or parents reading with their kids, or even an older reader re-discovering comics, I know that all my work is paying off in spades now."

A dream that started in a space not much bigger than a broom cupboard in 1980 has since celebrated its 40th Anniversary in January of 2020, and looks forward to celebrating MANY MORE right here #UnderTheWaterTower.


Shelton Drum
owns the place. Ask him about most anything you like, including selling your collection of old, really valuable, still-in-great-shape comics; if you can't manage to catch him in person, feel free to ask by email.

  Seth Peagler practically lives at Heroes. His duties as Operations Manager include taking care of supplies, shipping and processing new acquisitions. (He is a comics sorting machine!) On top of that, Seth assist with our monthly orders. When he isn't at the shop he is helping Shelton at conventions!
When he DOES take a moment to himself, he is a gifted writer of prose, poetry and music! You can occasionally find him playing guitar and music at local haunts, or catch his work on display at the GoodYear Arts!
Email him here to order supplies or test his knowledge of the alphabet. But beware! He knows it backwards and forwards.

  Karla Southern practiced for the position of Event & Creative Coordinator for the Heroes Convention her entire life (she's been present at EVERY HeroesCon since 1982)! Now she handles ALL THINGS HEROESCON related!
If you are an Artist or an Exhibitor looking to set up at HeroesCon, Karla is your lady!
She also handles our all of our Social Media, Graphic Design, Website, and blog updates!
She is happily married to a fella that she picked up at Heroes back in 2004, and they live in Charlotte with their FOUR cats!
You can contact her here!

  Winslow Drum is our new Inventory Manager, but he's NO NEWBIE! A chip off the old block, Winslow handlies our monthly orders as well as taking Special Orders and requests. You can also find him working the store a few days a week, and catch him on the road at conventions!
Email him here with your special orders, or variant requests.

  Marley Stowers was a Volunteer for the Heroes Convention for years before we tricked them into working in the shop full time! They know their stuff and they certainly know their way around the comic shop! Don't be afraid to ask them for a recommendation!


Justin Crouse splits his time between backing up the Heroes in the shop and working in the warehouse, helping sort through the ever-growing backstock of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Modern Comics. He has a Pomchi named F�tbol and loves a broad range of comics, especially Savage Dragon and Howard the Duck! He has also been known to write and draw.

  Will Martin may be the newest member of the Staff,but he has been shopping at Heroes for most of his life!
Will is a huge DC fan, but he has lots of other interest as well! He's a huge fan Masters of the Universe, and naming his pets after Country Music Legends!

  Phil Southern is a Heroes institution. Heroes without Phil would be like cake without icing. What's the point?
Phil's comics knowledge is rivaled only by his wit. Phil helps out behind-the-scenes, even if he's not in the store as often as he once was. He's also the better half of Karla Southern, our Event & Creative Coordinator, and uses his wide array of talents to assist during the HeroesCon!

Heroes Staff Illustrations by Bridgit Connell©