Most people these days have heard of the evolution of comic books. Marvel movies have hit an all-time high in audience reach. There are more female characters, more ethnically diverse characters, and more queer representation.
Local comic-book stores even go one step further, not only selling books that represent all types of people, but also providing a place for other avenues of community-building. They provide spaces for card games, role-play games, and good old-fashioned board games.
Some assume comics stores serve only a modest niche market. For those of us who grew up in the Eighties, some of these games can conjure up old ideas. Who are these kids and adults that play games at comic-book stores?
Dungeons & Dragons in the Eighties was depicted as a game for anti-social nerds. Now according to the New York Times article “Who’s Playing Dungeons & Dragons These Days? The Usual Fans, and Then Some,” the game is played by an ever-increasing audience that even includes celebrities like Tiffany Haddish and Anderson Cooper. According to this article. it isn’t that D&D isn’t nerdy, but more that being nerdy has become kind of cool.
So really, if you were wondering, are these games nights open for everyone? The answer is yes!
I talked to the owners of POW! Card Games & Comics, October Country Comics, and World’s End Comics. The owners of these stores all have a similar mission: to create a safe and fun space for kids and adults of all ages to come and play games. The more the merrier. and everyone is welcome!
What I also found out was that these owners love what they do. They are the definition of a small, local, independent business. They have a wealth of knowledge about all things related to games and comic books.
They work to provide an inviting space not because they will make millions but because they really, really love what they do. They welcome new players, people with questions and conversation, and seasoned oldtimers, so stop by one of these locations and get your game on.
POW! Card Games & Comics
175 Broadway in Port Ewen, offers the following game nights:
Wednesdays: Magic The Gathering Draft at 6 p.m. Entry is $15, which gets you three booster packs! All ages and skill levels are always welcome.
Friday: Yu-Gi-Oh! Advanced Format Tournament at 6 p.m. Entry is $5, which gets you a promo pack. All ages and skill levels welcome!
Saturday: D&D at 1 p,m. Free to play. Sign up only, ages 14 and up unless accompanied by a guardian. Please contact the shop to sign up.
Sunday: Magic The Gathering Commander Madness from 1 to 5 p.m. Entry fee of $6 gets you a promo pack. Commander pods fire all day, so entries until 4 p.m. All ages and skill levels always welcome.
October Country Comics
246 Main Street, Suite #5 in New Paltz. October Country is owned by Devon Sprenger and Kiel Ferris.
Wednesdays: Youth Dungeons & Dragons for 8-to-15-year-olds from 5 to 7 p.m. $5.
Fridays: Graphic Novel Club forming now for ages twelve and up. Call for more information.
They offer Magic the Gathering games for pre-release whenever a new set of Magic cards are coming out, They have games using these new cards one week before their actual release.
World’s End Comics
319 Wall Street, Unit 1 in Uptown Kingston. Owned by Michael Humiston and Christopher Livecchi.
Last Sundays: Game night 5 to 7 p.m. $5
Fridays: chess club 4 to 6 p.m., 8 years and up. Free.
Alternate Wednesdays: Learn/play Magic the Gathering 3 to 6 p.m. $5.
Sundays: Commander 2 p.m.
D&D games are done on a flexible schedule without a long-term commitment. Email or contact them through social media in order to sign up. You can sign up for one game or stay in touch about the schedule.
They have a huge space in the back with a games library. They encourage people to come use the tables. They would also be happy to host any game that you would like to set up. They ask for $5 per hour during store hours and a little more for after-hours.
They will announce game night for various occasions. For example, they had a Pride game night in June to help celebrate pride month. Stop by any time to check out the games available or bring your own and enjoy their space.