Wolverine Comics brings the world of superheroes to Kelly Square
For nearly a century, the tales of superheroes and their countless exploits have been told in the pages of comics. From Superman and Batman to the X-men and Fantastic Four, these stories have entertained geeks and comic book fans for generations.
Now, the world of comics has a new home in downtown Sherman.
Wolverine Comics opened its doors earlier this month in a small storefront tucked it back back corner of Kelly Square. This marks the first time that Sherman has had a brick-and-mortar comic book shop since about 2017.
"We have spent the last eight years saying, "Oh, that would be an awesome place for a comic book store," whenever we would see an empty storefront somewhere," said Beth Ward, co-owner of Wolverine Comics.
The small storefront is easy to overlook between the mixture of boutiques, restaurants and other retailers in Kelly Square, however the comic book shop appeals to a slightly different clientele. The central focus on the two-room store are the nearly 12,000 back issues of comics, ranging from recent issues to books from the 1960s, that fill nearly 40 long boxes. Meanwhile, current run comics, DVDs, statuettes and other comic-related items line many of the walls.
The shop is owned by Wayne and Beth Ward, who moved to Sherman nearly a decade ago to escape the constant rush of the DFW Metroplex. Bath Ward said she and her husband originally lived in Garland where they owned a comic book shop until 2013. Meanwhile, she worked in The Colony.
"The traffic between Garland and the Colony was horrific every day," she said, noting that her then-job was only an hour away from Sherman.
Despite the original store closing many years ago, Ward said always looked for possible locations. A recent coffee stop in Kelly Square led Ward and her husband to consider it as a possible location. Three weeks later, Wolverine Comics was opened to the public.
"It's got a cool vibe because everything is joined together. It has the benefit of the mall except everything is unique and everything is not a cookie cutter," she said.
"That's what we like, because all the other places that are here ... those are all potential comic book customers," she added. "Everyone knows someone who has comics, loves comics or both. Everybody knows comics."
While there are countless numbers of costumed heroes and villains, Beth Ward said Spider-Man is and always has been a fan favorite. Meanwhile, there has been a renewed interest in Black Widow and Vampirella due in part to the upcoming movies.
"Spiderman will always be a thing for all ages," she said. "Harley (Quinn) and Birds of Prey are big as people are wanting to explore more female characters."
Beth Ward said Wayne was the comic expert of the duo while she tends to prefer sci-fi. A television at the front of the store can often be seen playing anything from vintage Star Trek to the X-men movies.
"I would say that Wayne especially has been into comics since the 1970s and we've always loved everything sci-fi our whole lives," she said. "Wayne is definitely the comics guy where I am probably more into movies and sci-fi."
Wayne Ward said his love affair with comics was started in the 1970s when a family friend brought along a bag of about 50 comics to weekend card games.
"I hadn't been introduced to comics up to that point outside of the funny papers," he said. "I really didn't have any knowledge of comics."
One of the long-running appeal of comics is that it can transport readers to another fantastic world quite unlike their own. This brings some level of escapism from the the stresses and tedium of the everyday, he said.
"They allow you to take the point of view of someone telling the story," Wayne Ward said. "If your job during the day is being a coal miner in complete drudgery, you can pick up a comic and it will take you to a different place."
Speaking for himself, Ward said that Ironman has always been a personal favorite hero. However, the store is named after the X-men character Wolverine for a reason.
"I think a lot of people relate to Wolverine," Beth Ward said. "He has a lot of personal issues, but I think he is the person a lot of people would like to be when they are angry."
Both agreed that the world of comics has been expanded in recent years by the popularity of superhero movies, including those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has broken box office records.
However, Beth Ward noted that the movies are just an introductory point and the two mediums have their differences. Still, the films have done a good job of bringing renewed attention and have attracted a new generation of fans, both new and returning.
"I remember we had some young girls come in after the first Avengers movie came out because of of Hawkeye," she said. "I think then they realized there is a difference and it wasn't Jeremy Renner."