I’ve always been somewhat of a mild comic book geek. I read the usual; Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, The Hulk, Captain America. Some of the Dark Horse Comics are good too. So naturally when I wanted to find some new comics, I searched for a local shop in Grapevine. Honestly I didn’t really expect to find one, so I was quite surprised when I did.
Area 51 Gaming and Collectibles isn’t a Comic Book Shop, but rather a gaming shop that sells comics. But they have a really large selection in my opinion. I was able to find all of the new releases I was looking for, plus some new series issues that I wasn’t aware of. Inside of the shop there were several patrons playing board games, and there were scorecards setup on the walls around the shop. I could tell that they had other activities going on at this location, but admittedly I am not much of a RPG Gamer. I’ve never played DnD or Magic the Gathering and I don’t know much about them. However, I wanted to write an accurate blog post so I went ahead and emailed the shop to inform them of my intentions. I got a response the very next day. The owners of Area 51 seem quite interested in answering my questions and providing me with information about what they do. I posted below part of the email sent to me by Erin, one of the owners:
Area 51 opened in August of 2008 here in Grapevine (currently it’s only location.) The goal is and has always been to provide a unique game store that specializes in hobby miniature wargaming, collectible card games, board games and comic books. In our range of games that are both played and sold here are Flames of War (a 15mm historical World War II miniature game,) Warmachine (a miniature wargame with magically powered steampunk robots,) Magic the Gathering (the first ever collectible card game developed back in 1993) and Dungeons & Dragons (the famous role playing game that most people played in high school or college.)
We also offer a variety of non-traditional board games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Axis & Allies. Most of what we specialize in are games you can’t find at mass retail stores like Wal-Mart or Target. Our comic book selection has all the normal favorites like Spiderman, Batman and Superman in addition to a few others most people may not know. My manager Mike Stover has been in this industry almost 30 years and selling comic books for well over 10 years. If you want to know about something in a Comic he can probably tell you.
What you saw earlier when you came by were the gaming tables we provide to customers for use with any of the games they want to play. In the back of the store are the miniature wargame tables where both youngsters and elders play games that range from historically accurate all the way to aliens and spaceships. Most of those games are played with models the customer must purchase, assemble and paint before using them in the game which is why we call most of these hobby miniature games. The tables in the front with numbers on them are for a variety of games including D&D and board games. their main purpose however is for our gaming tournaments held throughout the week for some of our card games like Magic the Gathering. Our average attendance at our Friday Night Magic Tournament averages about 45 players weekly and grows during the summer time when school is out.
My plan is to keep in contact with Erin about some upcoming tournaments they host and post the information on this blog. If you are interested in this type of gaming, I would like to hear feedback from you on this post.