LOCAL hero Alby Grainger is set to hang up his cape at Little Shop of Heroes.

Speaking to the Press this week, he assured comic book lovers that the business will remain open and Dunfermline Comic Con will still go ahead next year if funding is secured.

"It's been a massive decision for me and my family," he said.

"The shop has been a huge part of my life and it's going to be hard to have to walk away from the day-to-day running of the business.

"It's a family business but every customer that's come in and bought something has felt like family.

"It's a place I love to be."

The decision comes as the cost of importing comics from the USA rose by 25 per cent after the UK's vote on Brexit saw the pound plummet in value.

The strain has been felt across the UK with numerous comic book stores closing, and to avoid Little Shop of Heroes facing the same fate, Alby made the tough call to remove himself from the payroll.

He said: "The comic book industry is hard to be in.

"In order to keep the shop going, we have to reduce the running costs and that unfortunately means I have to step away.

"Little Shop of Heroes is more important than me. It's more important that the shop exists than me taking a wage.

"I'll still be in helping out when I can but I'm now on the hunt for full-time work elsewhere."

The 51-year-old has run Little Shop of Heroes since December 2012 with wife Louise and daughter Sinead, who will both continue to work in the Maygate store.

And the three of them will still endeavour to organise next year's Dunfermline Comic Con through corporate sponsorships and public funding.

"We're very passionate about the Comic Con," Alby said.

"It's a huge party held once a year that brings top artists and comic book fans from around the world to the town.

"It's now an internationally-recognised event and we'll do everything we can to ensure its future."

It is testament to the store's charm and role in the local community that when horrendous weather conditions forced last year's convention to be cancelled, generous West Fifers and international comic book groups helped raise more than £14,000 to ensure the Grainger family were financially sound.

"It's been a delight working in the shop for seven years and the customers who have supported us are a huge part of that," Alby added.

"The shop has been the passion of my working life and I've loved being here."