Nfld. & Labrador

When COVID-19 closed this kid's beloved comic shop, he got creative and made his own superhero

Meet Super Thomas, the crime-fighting dog, written and created by 10-year-old Brycen Crowley.

Meet Super Thomas, the crime-fighting dog, written and created by 10-year-old Brycen Crowley

This is Super Thomas in action, in the first issue of his three-part miniseries, The Adventures of Super Thomas. (Submitted by Amanda Skinner)

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused shops to close their doors, 10-year-old Brycen Crowley was disappointed to realize that included his favourite local comic book shop.

That meant no new comics for an undetermined amount of time for the avid fan of Heroes and Hobbies, a comic book store in Mount Pearl, N.L.

But like plenty of artists before him, with hardship came inspiration.

"I was really sad, so I thought I should make a comic," said Brycen.

Enter Super Thomas, the crime-fighting dog and titular character in Brycen's three-part miniseries comic, The Adventures of Super Thomas.

Issue 2 is the Attack of the Pops! How will Super Thomas defeat them? (Submitted by Amanda Skinner)

"Super Thomas is about the shop dog of Heroes and Hobbies taking on a bunch of supervillains, like giant robots who eat comic books, and evil scientists who bring Funko Pops to life," Brycen said.

Thomas the character is based on the real-life shop dog of Heroes and Hobbies, Thomas. Owner — of both dog and shop — Amanda Skinner said the comic was a special surprise during a tough time.

"I thought it was excellent, it was so sweet. I cried when his mom sent it to me because it was in a time of darkness, and Brycen was this little light at the end of the tunnel," said Skinner.

"He shed so much joy with this little comic and it reached so many people."

Skinner posted The Adventures of Super Thomas on Facebook, and said the response was lovely, with dozens of people commenting and sharing to show their support and appreciation for Brycen's comic.

"It's nothing but positive vibes. It's a little bit of joy in these dark times," said Skinner.

It was so well received, in fact, that Skinner had Brycen's hand-drawn comics sent to a printer. Brycen will be at the Mount Pearl shop on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. signing copies for anyone who has ordered one.

"I gathered up a few people who would be interested and it just blew up from there," Skinner said.

Super Thomas's sidekick, Hedgy, is inspired by the real-life Thomas's favourite toy. (Submitted by Amanda Skinner)

All of the proceeds from The Adventures of Super Thomas sales will be donated to Rescue NL, the animal rescue group where Skinner got Thomas.

As for what's next for Thomas the dog, Skinner said he will continue to be the star of the shop, as well as the comics.

"Thomas didn't have a good life before he came here, but now he comes to work with me every day and he loves meeting new people," she said.

As for Super Thomas the comic book hero, Brycen said there may be more comics to come.

"I might start another one."

The real-life Thomas patiently waits at the shop to greet customers. (Heroes and Hobbies/Facebook)

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Weekend AM

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