JP CENTER—A new store with a straightforward name—JP Comics and Games—opened this month at 603 Centre St next to Sweet Christopher’s.
“We don’t sell anything anyone needs, just things that make people happy,” co-owner Paul Bryant said of the store’s selection of comics and board games during a recent Gazette visit to the store. “It’s a bad time [to open a business], but you’ve got to take a leap.”
One wall of the store—which is well-lit and features potted plants in an effort, Bryant said to avoid a “nerd cave vibe”—features comics, including titles by publishers DC, Marvel, Vertigo, Image and WildStorm. “We definitely need to fill out the ‘non-dudes-in-tights selection,” he said.
The superhero pantheon is well-represented, with plenty of Superman, Spiderman and Batman titles, and there are other titles recognizable from big screen adaptation like “Constantine” and “V For Vendetta”, but the selection included “Love and Rockets” and a few other non-superhero titles.
The games displayed on the opposite wall are mostly sophisticated strategy oriented, Bryant said. The store does not yet stock traditional fare like “Scrabble” or “Monopoly.” But it is a destination for those curious about games like “Fluxx,” “Android,” “BattleStar Galactica,” “Zooloretta” and “Race For The Galaxy,” which Bryant said is his a co-owner Brian Reed’s favorite game.
The only game title this writer recognized was the popular “Settlers of Katan,” but Bryant said he and Reed selected the store’s first round of titles based on what they know and love. “Between the two of us, we probably, sadly, play 80 percent of the games here.”
When the Gazette stopped in, Bryant was in the middle of a conversation with customers about the role playing game “Dungeons and Dragons.”
The friendship between the store co-owners, who are JP residents and neighbors, developed via their mutual affection for games, Bryant said. They are hosting regular gaming events at the store, including “Magic Mondays” devoted to the fantasy adventure card game “Magic”, and other other games on Thursdays and Fridays.
They are also open to impromptu game-play just about any time. During the Gazette visit, at a customer’s request, Bryant sat down at a table that takes up the middle of the stores show room and started dealing out cards and explaining the rules for a round of “Race For The Galaxy.”