MERCEDES — All your favorite comic book heroes can be found downtown.
But, they won’t be on the streets saving lives.
Instead, they’ll be at the new comic book store called Vahalla Comics and Collectibles.
Fans of Superman, Batman, Wolverine, Star Wars, collectibles and vinyl records have a new place to shop and browse around in Mercedes.
The store also offers game nights for role playing and fantasy card games.
“We want to bring style to a comic book shop as well as provide a nice environment so people can come and hang out,” said Ryan Moore, co-owner of the store.
He and his girlfriend, Amanda Lee Ramos, have been collecting comic books and other fun items since they were kids.
“It’s been a passion of ours to some day own our own store,” Ryan said. “So one fateful day back in January, we decided to make our dreams into a reality and create our own comic book store.”
They opened officially last week and are already stocked with recent issues of many comic book story lines and are adding more merchandise to shelves in the store.
“It’s the first comic book store in town ever,” Ryan said. “And the closest store equivalent to what we offer is far away.”
Their store is not just a regular comic book store.
“We want a store that offers a taste of everything we love,” Ryan said. “From art, music, comics, gaming, and beyond. Hence our store name Vahalla.”
In the Thor comic book, Valhalla is an enormous, majestic hall located in Asgard that he rules based on Norse mythology.
Ryan and Amanda are both Mercedes residents.
They said they have poured every last penny they have into establishing the store. And they have spent countless hours making the store an experience to remember.
Ryan, 35, is originally from Indiana and was in the National Guard.
Amanda, 36, dressed the walls with comic paintings she has made.
Amanda is originally from San Benito and attended college in Pennsylvania.
The two studied business in college and Ryan is currently completing a business management degree through the University of Phoenix online.
Amanda said they chose to open the store in Mercedes because they lived in Mercedes and it was a way of giving back to the community.
The two met on Facebook comic book page three years ago and shared the same dream.
“Our desire is to make a store for anyone with little to no knowledge of the comic and fandom world to have a comfortable experience,” Amanda said.