By Esther Rubio-Sheffrey | SDUN Reporter
Villainous Lair Comics is one step closer to world domination through comics, mischief, mayhem and fun with the grand opening of their new gaming center.
Villainous Lair Gaming, which opens at its 3342 Adams Ave. location on April 1, is less than a block from Villainous Lair Comics, at 3371 Adams Ave.
Having catered to the comic and gaming community for nine months, owner Alison Flynn credits their success to the customers, the neighborhood and her employees’ genuine love for the industry.
Flynn began her love affair with comics when she was a teenager. Her grandparents lived near a comic book store managed by Chris Mitchell in Sherman Oaks, Calif. “He knew what I was interested in, what would appeal to me and helped me explore new horizons,” Flynn said. “Chris became a friend outside of the shop, a part of my ‘nerd herd’ buddies.”
When Flynn inherited the necessary capital to open her own store two years ago, she and Mitchell began discussing the idea that eventually blossomed into Villainous Lair Comics. Flynn’s assistant manager at the Gaming center, Sara Swieca, also worked with Mitchell, and she too jumped on board. Mitchell and Swieca moved to San Diego the month before the opening of Villainous Lair Comics, which Mitchell currently manages.
“We are a group of awesome nerds, who love what we do and sell, and we’re the best at customer service,” Flynn said. “Helping people find out what else might interest them is our biggest thing.” Each employee has their own niche of expertise from comics to Role Playing Games (RPGs).
“Our shop is a fun spot to hang out in, we have great artwork, and we’re really excited about this opening,” Flynn said.
The opening of Villainous Lair Gaming will allow Flynn to stock a greater selection of gaming products and create a larger space for her customers to gather and play a variety of games, from traditional RPGs to miniature war games and board games. Their Friday night Magic Tournaments already have a regular list of attendees, and Flynn said she hopes those numbers will grow now that they are able to include more indie and classic games.
It will also provide the necessary space for special events, such as the The Avacyn Restored pre-release event occurring April 28 – 29. “This is the release of the third and final set of the Innistrad block of Magic: The Gathering. It’s by far the largest and most anticipated, as The Gathering remains our biggest draw,” Flynn said. “There are rumors that Dungeons and Dragons will put out a fifth edition, which would also be a big event, but that is still only a rumor.”
The original store will continue its focus on comics, collectible toys and related merchandise. Flynn said the comic world is not without its own excitement. Marvel Comics recently released a series of comic books that feature The Avengers against the X-Men. “Two favorites pinned against each other is always a big draw,” Flynn said.
“San Diego has a pretty big comic and gaming community,” Flynn added. “We have Comic Con, but even with that kind of event our market is not over saturated with comic and gaming shops. We are filling a void, especially in this area that represents every type of demographic that would love comics.”
She added if people miss the grand opening, the upcoming Unplugged Festival on Adams Avenue April 21 – 22 will be a great time to stop by either shop to indulge your inner geek.