There’s dozens of movies that helped strengthen my love for the horror genre, but few did it as powerfully as The Lost Boys. By the age of nine, I was already well-versed in vampire lore and cinema. But once I saw The Lost Boys, I discovered how truly cool vampires could be. There wasn’t a need for gothic castles or Bela Lugosi imitators. The vampires could wear leather, ride motorcycles, and party all night long.
As such, it was an extremely memorable movie for me to see at that age. Although one of the best settings didn’t actually include the vampires. It was much rather a boardwalk comic book store owned by two teenaged vampire hunters – the Frog Brothers.
It was always a dream of mine since then to visit that store. I wanted to walk around like Corey Haim, point out where the comics really belong, and ask about a Batman #14. Sadly the original location used in the film was destroyed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, but we’re lucky enough to see the original business still surviving today.
The actual store is called Atlantis Fantasyworld, and resides in Santa Cruz, California. Upon entering the building I could only imagine meeting Corey Feldman’s Edgar Frog, where he’d be “scoping my civilian wardrobe” and urging me to listen about Santa Carla’s vampire infestation. Instead, I was greeted by a rather kind and helpful cashier who knew everything there was about The Lost Boys and its history with the store.
She was kind enough to produce a binder loaded with behind-the-scenes images and trivia about how the interior store scenes were shot. For example, the original location wasn’t actually located on the boardwalk. That was simply a facade and a little bit of Hollywood magic.
The next item she revealed, however, was enough to make any Lost Boys fan giddy. It was an actual Vampires Everywhere! comic, the same “survival guide” Edgar Frog handed to Sam Emerson when he warned him of Santa Carla’s vampire problem. As an additional treat, I was even able to take a photo holding the comic! It was surreal to say the least.
Finally, I got to look around the store’s actual inventory. There was actually a really cool selection and variety of comics, including a small area loaded with EC horror comics. I’m a huge sucker for Tales from the Crypt, and you can bet I was drooling over the possibility of buying as many Crypt comics as I could.
Although I decided on a more predictable yet admirable choice. There was recently a new line of Lost Boys comics produced, a series I’ve yet to read, and so I went with those. I simply couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to buy a Lost Boys comic from the actual Lost Boys comic book shop.
As you could expect, I was more than totally satisfied with my visit. It might’ve not been identical to the store featured in the original film, but being able to walk into the same business and see the authentic Vampires Everywhere! comic was an unbelievable treat for this Lost Boys fan.
If you ever make your way to Santa Cruz, I’d recommend checking out this store before anything else.