As with all great superheroes, the world of the ‘Heroes Haven’ comic book series has humble beginnings, much like its author whose origin story began in Pelham Bay.
Mario Simone, writer and creator, was born into a tight-knit Italian family living on Buhre Avenue. Simone often returns to the site of his childhood and has many great memories of living there.
“What I remember most is hanging out on our stoop with neighborhood friends inventing fun new games to play,” he said. “Back then, there were no smart phones or iPads, so we relied heavily on our imagination.”
A Fordham Prep graduate, Simone enrolled into Fairfield University; majoring in philosophy and film.
A self-described ‘doer,’ he is no stranger to taking risks. Traveling the world to hone his craft, Simone backpacked through Asia and studied the great Renaissance painters while living in Italy.
The Batman fan returned to Los Angeles to create the company, Gotham City Films for which he wrote films currently in development.
‘Heroes Haven’ began last year and Simone describes it as ‘a new and exciting world’ to explore. Wishing not to divulge too much, he hopes it inspires people to ‘awaken their inner hero,’ a mantra expressed in the series.
“My favorite character is Venus because of her traumatic experience,” explained Simone. “She focuses all of her energy on vengeance when her true power comes from forgiveness since she is a healer.”
Two issues are available. Print editions can be bought at The Spider’s Web Comic Book Store at 887A Yonkers Avenue. Digital copies can be read on comicfleamarket.com and amazon.com. The next issue will be released within the next few months.
To stay up-to-date, visit www.heroes-haven.com. Simone met and signed work for fans at the Yonkers store on Wednesday, October 22 and has been a featured artist twice at New York City’s Comic-Con.
“I’m still new to this world,” said Simone. “I premiered my first issue last year at NYCC because it was my hometown and felt it was the only place to begin this journey. I had this tiny booth nestled between this huge ‘Walking Dead’ Chop Shop and the Intel Interactive Virtual Reality Fan Experience. I thought I was going to be eaten alive, no pun intended.”
‘Heroes Haven’ will be featured at Saturday, December 6’s Winter Con at Resorts World Casino NY in Queens and he will be signing autographs.
Simone said fans not only support his books, but keep selling out the stores which carry them. Launching as a grass-roots effort, he faced challenges from mainstream publishers seeking to alter his work, but stood true by having his books independently published.
After the continued success of comic book films in recent years, there is no denying this film genre is a box office juggernaut. Simone hopes audiences will experience the world of ‘Heroes Haven’ in the future.
“My goal is the make this film,” expressed Simone. “There is no better medium where the audience can feel this heightened emotional connection. I feel like these characters want to live on the silver screen one day.”
His story’s purpose is to inspire all seeking to follow their dreams and who crave an emotional journey. Simone shared advice for anyone willing to undertake this adventure.
“Be honest with your art, create from your soul. Something that moves you, will also move others,” he explained. “Let the voice of the characters and story determine the path of its future. If you move even one person with your art, you are a successful artist.”