Sunday, 09 October 2016 11:55

Cartoon Capers

Comic Book Paradise Owner Yiotis Comic Book Paradise Owner Yiotis

Limassol’s first comic book shop, Comic Book Paradise, which opened its doors in March 2016, was part of Comic Con, the annual comic convention held in Nicosia, earlier this month.

“It was great!” exclaimed shop owner Yiotis Pericleous. “Two days of fun, and the organisers had done an excellent job.”

The comic lover has been to similar events in the United States and found the quality of Nicosia’s Comic Con rivalled, if not surpassed, many of them.

Born and raised in Canada, Pericleous has always loved comics. He started collecting them at a young age and still has them all.

In fact, his first job was distributing newspapers in his local community as a child so he could buy his next comic. Since then, the comic fan has travelled the world, but finds fellow enthusiasts are the same everywhere.

Ageless appreciation

Apparently there is no specific age group when it comes to comics – fans range from young children to senior citizens. His clients at Comic Con ranged from three-year-olds to 80-year-olds and were extremely well-versed in the world of comics, according to Pericleous, whose personal favourite is Hulk#181.

“I always really enjoy being around like-minded people, to talk about our favourite characters, make friends and, of course, meet fellow collectors and future clients.”

It appears all the impressive costumes worn by visitors added to “fantastic” atmosphere. The favourite figure at the Comic Book Paradise stall – apart from the charismatic owner – was ‘Flash’ – known as the fastest man alive in the comic world. T-shirts of almost all comic heroes sold out, too, allowing fans to sport their heroes long after the convention.

Collectors’ oasis

Things are now back on the shelves of the spacious Limassol shop and Pericleous looks forward to talking more about “the stuff heroes are made of” there.

All comic book-related things are on offer, including T-shirts, collectible statues and figurines and posters, in addition to the treasured publications. There are complete series, mini series and single issues to complete collections.

Comics are mostly drawn from American pop culture and range from the silver age – the period from 1956 to circa 1970 – to the present day. Totalling about 50,000 issues, they also include valuable collectors’ items in glass cases, such as ‘Conan 1’ from 1970. The oldest comic book dates back to 1961. The shop, centrally located on Limassol’s Ayia Filaxeos road, has been doing, well thanks to social media and word-of-mouth publicity.

“Comics connect people – the world of comic lovers is a very special world,” explains Pericleous.

He feels that, through comics, one can learn about politics, science, the world… But most importantly, one gets to meet characters that one wishes were real. The huge fan base of comics around the world tends to agree.

After all, even real-life movie stars love comic heroes.

According to Wizard: The Magazine of Comics, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck spent their childhood riveted to X-Men cartoons when they weren’t flying around their neighbourhoods with capes around their necks. A young Nicholas Cage would go into his incredible Hulk mode, ripping off his shirt, screaming wildly to ward off bullies. Basketball great Shaquille O’Neal and TV superstar Jerry Seinfeld worship Superman, sporting tattoos, jewellery and even customised cars…

Thus, the world of comics brings people together. A world Limassolians are able to explore even after the Comic Convention has finished, thanks to Pericleous’ establishment.

Details about Comic Book Paradise can be obtained via their Facebook page.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of September 16th 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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