Bat City Comic Professionals has a new home in Bradenton, FL.
Bat City Comic Professionals began as a delivery service in Austin, TX. Every month, the founding team of Matt, Shannon, and Stan would meet at local restaurant, Posse East with the Previews catalog to allow potential customers to browse and pre-order upcoming product. When the product arrived, Stan would process the books at his home in Temple before delivering them to Shannon and Matt in Austin, who would drive the entire Greater Austin area over the course of the night to deliver all the books. On weekends, the three would set up shop at conventions all around the state to sell backstock issues of comics that otherwise remained in a storage unit. Even still, the goal was to be a community-driven charity organization, so within the first few months, they gave away three college scholarships and began working with local libraries to teach Comic Creation Workshops.
By the Fall, Bat City had outgrown Matt and Shannon's apartment and the storage unit, so it was time to grow. The organization moved the shop into an old house on E. Cesar Chavez in Austin, and opened its doors as a full brick-and-mortar store in October 2019. Of course, it was only a few months later that Covid-19 hit, shuttering the doors of not only Bat City, but the entire comic book industry. Since, Matt and Shannon lived on-site, they were able to work non-stop to create a temporary online store, while Facetiming with customers to help them find backstock issues and trades that could be contactless delivered to their doors. When reopening was upon them, Bat City decided to take it slow, allowing households to book hour long appointments to shop the store without other guests around. It seemed to be a hit! People loved having the chance to really deep dive into comic bins to find what they needed.
September 2020 led to Bat City reopening to the general public fully for the first time. And by March of 2021, they had already been nominated for Best of Austin by the Austin Chronicle readers. 2021 was a great year that lead to dozen of in-house workshops, educator seminars, a partnership with the Girl Scouts of Central Texas for a comic creation badge, and over $10,000 in brand new trades and graphic novels being donated to area schools.
With all that growth, and another Best of Austin nomination in 2022, it was time for Bat City to find a new place to house the store. A place where comics, community, and charity could come together in a new way. Which led the team to Bradenton, FL where they now call home.
And while the location has changed, the mission stays the same.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Bat City works to create educational opportunities and resources for students, parents, teachers, and life-long learners through Comics Education. Our team of volunteers features Reading Specialists, Behavioral Therapists, and Educators who work to develop curriculum, workshops, and resources that can be used to help with Reading, Writing, Emotional Development, and Imagination Skills.
We are always looking for new and exciting ways to partner with our community whether it be through educational activities, cosplay appearances, community engagement, or simply spending time together in our shop talking about our favorite books of the week.
If you would like to speak with someone about how to get involved with Bat City or have our team provide educational materials or workshops for your educators or students, please contact Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org.