JD Korejko, better known as Johnny Destructo, recently opened up his Hero Complex shop in Manayunk to sell his collection of comics, action figures, T-shirts and personal illustrative art. He has been an avid comic book fan since he was young lad and loves to share his geekery with others.
Korejko started his alter ego – Johnny Destructo – when he began making illustrations at a young age. He attended Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and worked as a graphic designer for fifteen years before opening his own shop. The shop features years worth of personal memorabilia including comic classics, new releases and action figures.
Korejko’s newlywed wife, Su-shan “Shan” Lai, encouraged him to open up shop at the Manayunk location she was currently leasing for her business, Starshine Hair Salon.
With JD’s extensive collection and Lai’s lease ending soon, it was an easy transition. Main Street business neighbors, family and friends helped the couple open up Johnny Destructo’s Hero Complex. Lai’s hair salon moved a few blocks down, maintaining a strong support system in the neighborhood.
Korejko has a special talent with illustrative art, using his skill for customers searching a special gift for their loved ones.
“Customers usually ask me to make something up for their son or nephew,” he said. “I incorporate them into the art by drawing them as their favorite hero or villian, and involving them in the story.”
T-shirts and framed art hanging on the wall show some of Korejko’s past favorite work, commissioned projects and daily inspirations.
In his spare time, Korejko teams up with his friends and creates weekly pop culture podcasts. “Spoiler alert” for comic reviews, and “The Cannibal HorrorCast” for horror movies. One collaboration includes teaming up with friend Leonard Webb from the Black Tribbles meeting every Tuesday night to discuss their latest releases and hinting out spoiler alerts. Both podcasts can be found on streaming sites poptardsgo and aintitcoolnews.
Korejko believes that his shop will help geek culture.
“It invites people from all walks of life,” he said. “No matter your race, gender, economic background or level of education.”
– Text, video and images by Colleen Campbell and Steven Taytelbaum.