Comic book store builds audience in Batesburg-Leesville

Posted 12/8/22

Luis Campos turned to a familiar epithet when it came time to name his shop.

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Comic book store builds audience in Batesburg-Leesville


Luis Campos turned to a familiar epithet when it came time to name his shop.

Boomer Comics, which opened in May at 509 W Church St. in Batesburg-Leesville, is named after his dog. The shop aims to give people near the western edge of Lexington County the opportunity to explore a plethora of comic books, toys, Pokemon and Magic cards, among other items. 

Originally from Brazil, Campos came to the United States in 1988. When he arrived, he was unable to speak, read or write English. Comic books became a learning tool for the man who eventually became a 20-year Army veteran.

“My uncle gave me a comic book to help me read and write better because comics are very simple to read,” Campos said. “With the pictures and everything it helps you imagine the words.”

A majority of the shop's inventory comes from his personal collection, which he began in the 1990s. If not from his collection, the stock is bought and delivered by distributors and customers. Campos said many customers walk into the store to sell or donate their comic books.

The owner told the Chronicle he tries to read all the comics that come through his store, though finds it hard to keep up with them..

Campos said he likes to be involved with his customers, often having long conversations with those who walk in. Despite only being open for about six months, he said he has already established a set of regulars, including a 10-year-old girl.

“She was 10 and the book that I got out for her was ‘Spider-Gwen,’” the owner said, referring to the series that imagines a world where Gwen Stacy, the girlfriend who dies early in the original Spider-Man’s origin story, gets his powers instead.

The girl loved it, Campos said.

“She comes every week and buys the new part when it comes out,” he reported.

Walking into the shop, guests can expect to see shelves and tables, handmade by Campos, holding hundreds of comics, along with walls covered in posters and vintage comic book pages. There’s also a toy room in the back corner.

Customers can hang out and watch TV or read. Campos also rents out a back room for guests to play games in, with seating and a fridge. Campos plans to host tournaments in the future.

Boomer Comics isn’t Campos’ first business. Campos continues to own and operate Universal School of Karate in Irmo, where he and his wife previously resided. He and his wife moved to Batesburg-Leesville about three years in search of more space for their growing animal collection. The couple now has chickens, quail, ducks, pheasants, rabbits, goats, dogs, hedgehogs, a tegu and more.

According to Campos, his comics shop will never fully be finished and will remain ever-changing.

“I think it's good for the store,” the owner said. “I think it's good for people to see new things and get comfortable with it, but as always, try and make it better.”

The shop is open Monday-Friday (10 a.m.-7 p.m.) and Saturday (2-7 p.m.).


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