South Tampa now has its very own comic book shop thanks to Francisco Toro. The marvelous comic book shop, South Tampa Comics (Instagram), has soft opened at 5823 S Dale Mabry Highway. A grand opening is planned for April 1. “I started reading comics in the very early 90’s, said Francisco. “I loved the stories and loved the art…at the time I wanted to be an artist and would copy the art from the comics I read.” Francisco notes that co-owner Randall is a diehard reader of comics, and has been since the early 2000s.
The pair started talking about opening a brick-and-mortar shop in September 2021. “I met My business partner Randall through a mutual friend at a welcome home party,” said Francisco. “We got to talking about comicsand he mentioned that he was doing comic sales online independently and it kind of snowballed from there.” It took just 6 months for the pair to open South Tampa Comics’ doors.
South Tampa comics makes a splash in the city
South Tampa Comics is just under 1000-square-feet. The shop features a main sales floor where visitors can browse current comic selections, graphic novel back issues, comic trading cards, and their higher valued key issue comics. There’s also a separate room for low cost back issues.
If you want to stock up on comics and collectibles, then we highly recommend you make it out to the April 1 grand opening. During the grand opening event they will have storewide savings such as 25% off current comic book issues, 25% off graphic novels and trades, 20% off packs of classic comic trading cards, and 50% off back issues. Giveaways will also be a part of the festivities.
The events calendar doesn’t end there. On May 7 South Tampa comics will participate in “FREE COMIC BOOK DAY.” This nationwide promotion includes major publishers such as Marvel and DC in addition to indie publishers.
Author and artist signings, and comic book launches could also happen at the space in the near future. Toro says many residents in Tampa would be surprised at the number of creators that live here.
Celebrating indie comic publishers in the shop
In case you’re wondering what a comic book store owner reads, here’s what Francisco has on his shelf:
“Right now I’m enjoying Batman comics but some of my favorite comics to read are the old independent comics from the 90’s from Image publishing and Dark Horse publishing. Especially Dark Horse’s licensed properties like The Terminator, Aliens, and Predator. Randall is a big Superman fan.”
Keep up with South Tampa Comics by following them on Instagram.
This blogger also happens to be a voracious graphic novel reader. A few recent favorites include Snow Angels by Jeff Lemire, Wendy Master of Art by Walter Scott, anything published by Fantagraphics, and My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris. The shop’s recent gallery dedicated to Backlash from Image Comics also sent this fan down memory lane.