Ferrous helps owners Barry and Stacy VanDenHeuvel cut the ribbon at the grand opening of Xpanding Universe in Aberdeen. (November 4, 2013)

Xpanding Universe opened in September but celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 19. At the west end of the Aberdeen Marketplace, Xpanding Universe sells comic books, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, collectibles, role playing games, board games, dice and more.

With materials of interest to all ages, Xpanding Universe is a family destination. Interested in promoting literacy, Xpanding Universe recently participated in the Comic-Con sponsored by the Harford County Public Library Aberdeen branch. In addition, it participated in the national Halloween ComicFest (www.halloweencomicfest.com) event Oct. 26 and 27.

During the grand opening celebration, Ferrous, the Aberdeen IronBirds mascot, greeted customers as they walked in and waved to all passersby. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with Ferrous and owners Barry and Stacy VanDenHeuvel. Local independent comic book artist Bob Garr was on-site signing one-of-a-kind fliers and promoting his new book coming out soon. Ken Hunt, a local DC Comic cover artist, was also on-site sketching custom pieces and promoting his upcoming issues of popular comic books. Refreshments were offered that highlighted eateries within the mall. Gaming demonstrations were held in the dedicated game room where demo games are available for trial. And hourly door prizes were given away that highlighted the breadth of items sold at Xpanding Universe.

Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. More local artists and repeat visits will be planned for the future. Gaming demonstrations, MeetUps and tournaments will also be held in the game room. Updates can be found http://www.xpandinguniverse.com and http://www.facebook.com/xpandinguniverse.