April 28 is National Superhero Day, but we’re not talking about Captain America or Batman. Instead, we’re spotlighting Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy, a local comic and gaming shop in Tomball, TX that recently fell on some hard times. When owners Christine and Robert Prohl put out a call for help, the community came to their rescue proving that not all heroes wear capes.
“Dragon’s Lair is over 10,000 square feet of nerdy goodness,” said Robert. “We have a huge collection of both current comics, backstock comics, graphic novels, [but] what I think makes the store really special is the gaming space.”
The back of the shop is filled with tables and private gaming rooms for patrons to engage in all sorts of tabletop games, miniature painting, and more.
“We can seat over 100 people at a time to play any number of games. We host tournaments, we do learn to paint, learn to play, we do kids summer camps,” said Robert.
The other aspect of the store that the Prohl’s are proud of is the highly anticipated onsite cafe, which will open in late May or early June.
“The Tabletop Tavern will have good coffee, beer, wine, and gamer fair,” said Christine. “I think it’s going to bring everything together.”
Dragon’s Lair was previously located in a smaller space within the same parking lot that they quickly outgrew.
“When people started coming back out, it was with a vengeance. So, it soon became standing room only every night of the week. We were running out of room, and it became pretty evident that we needed to seek a larger space,” said Robert.
After securing the new lease and lining up contractors, Robert and Christine ran into some issues, including a vendor who was paid but didn’t render services and an incident of theft, which put them in a tight bind.
“We lacked a budget then to finish out a lot of the little touches we wanted to do in here. So, we had the idea, ‘Let’s just reach out to the community,’” said Robert. “And people really came out to support us.”
The Prohls put a request on social media for anyone who had experience in carpentry, running security cameras, painting, etc. and the response was overwhelming.
“The back mural here was done by Manuel [Castillo], who is a graffiti artist,” said Robert. “He came out on nights and weekends over the course of about a week and a half to do that entire mural.”
Robert and Christine knew their customers were loyal but were still blown away by how many people took up the call to action, volunteering their free time to help their local comic shop.
“The fact that they were willing to help so generously - I don’t know, it’s just really heartwarming,” said Christine. “It just makes me feel like we’ve really built a great community here. Everybody feels welcome, and they feel like, you know, this is their home.”
Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy is celebrating Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 7. The event is happening at their shop from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Guests can grab free comic books and enjoy fun family-friendly activities like lightsaber lessons.