Skip to content

Pursuit of childhood dream leads to new comic shop in Cambridge

With great power comes great responsibility; new comic book store in Preston aims to create an inclusive space for comic lovers
Andrew Salter, owner of Hero's Tale in Preston, stands in his soon to be comic shop

Preston is quickly becoming a place where genre fans don't have to go far to get their fantasy fix. With hobby and game stores a few steps away on King Street East, a new comic book store that aims to create an inclusive space for anyone will soon open its doors. 

The Hero's Tale located at 634 King St E, in downtown Preston is planning a soft launch on March 3 that will see owner Andrew Salter realize a childhood dream of owning his own comic book store. 

"I've always wanted to open one of these and the opportunity came up and I knew I couldn't pass on it," an excited Salter said. "I've been away from the region for a while and I'm happy to be back doing what I love. This place is home for me."


Salter, who spent some time living in cities across Canada over the last few years, travelled back to Waterloo region for good year to put roots down in Cambridge.

He left his job in the energy sector to take a chance and follow his dreams of opening up his own comic shop and introduce the next generation to the heroes many of us have come to know and love. 

The former power grid specialist and current part-time energy professor at Conestoga College says he's been in love with comics for as long as he can remember, with a particular affinity for Spider-Man. 

"I actually bought my first comic back in 1978 and ever since then I've been hooked," Salter said. 

Now with the keys to his own shop, the power is in his hands to help others discover a love for comics; but with great power comes great responsibility.

Salter is of the opinion there is a lot of "gate-keeping" at other stores, and that can be intimidating to some who are new to the comic scene or for someone from a minority group. He wants to change the culture in the comic world and make sure his shop is accepting to anyone who walks through their doors. 

"This place will be a fully inclusive space for readers of all kind," he added. "Whether that be for black and indigenous comics or readers from the LGBTQ+ community, all will be welcomed and celebrated." 


This idea of inclusivity is something Salter takes seriously. He wants everyone who picks up a comic in his store to feel like they belong.

Stocking the shelves with comics with characters of varying backgrounds and communities is something he hopes will help him stand out among other shops. 

"Another thing that I think is very important is being able to pay our workers a living wage," Salter said. "My success is their success and they shouldn't have to just scrape by from working here." 

Salter has been looking at the living wage in Cambridge which is currently around $20/hr according to the Ontario Living Wage Network. 

"Hiring people who are local and who love comics just as much as I do is so important and I can't wait for these doors to finally open," he added. 

The Hero's Tale will also be running various community events to help give kids of all backgrounds a chance to get into the world of comics and learn along the way. 

"Something we are going to do is run workshops with community groups to help teach English to new Canadian residents through comic books," said Salter. 

The comic shop owner has many other plans for community engagement, but will need some time to get acclimated to the daily operations of the business. 

"All I can say is I'm happy to be home and I'm happy I can live my dream by sharing comics with the community. We have exciting things planned for this year and I cannot wait to open those doors." 

The Preston comic shop plans to open with a soft launch on March 3, followed by a grand opening on April 15. 

Reader Feedback

Joe McGinty

About the Author: Joe McGinty

Joe McGinty is a multimedia journalist who covers local news in the Cambridge area. He is a graduate of Conestoga College and began his career as a freelance journalist at CambridgeToday before joining full time.
Read more