After a few weeks away we are back with another rousing account of the nerdiest road show on the planet! This time I take on the great southern city of Charlotte, North Carolina. With recently being named the 14th best city to live in for 2017 by US News World Report, Charlotte is becoming a booming center for nerdology. Obviously they have their various nerd themed conventions that come through the city each year, such as HEROESCON in June and Charlotte Comicon in December. But they also have some of the most creatively named shops I’ve seen on my travels.
Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find (HEROESCON)
The physical store, connected to the wildly successful HEROESCON that has been a popular convention in the area since 1982, is a must visit while you’re in the Charlotte. For a shop that has a large event that it puts on every year at the convention center, the store has the look of your normal comic book shop. However when you go inside there is much more than meets the eye (nerd pun intended there.) The store is spacious on the inside and has their massive selection of comics and graphic novels along both walls with the all of the other goodies making up the middle of the shop. They naturally have some of their amazing posters from HEROESCON past across the top of the walls.
Probably one of the coolest decorations I’ve seen on my travels is the figures of Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus doing battle above the patrons. I will continually beg my wife for this decor to go in our house. The outcome will be unsuccessful but you have to keep trying. I think Jesus said that.
So basically if you want a unique experience at one of the best comic book stores in the country, swing by Heroes when you’re in Charlotte and add attending HEROESCON as a must on your list of nerdy gatherings for 2017.
Rebel Base Comics & Toys
The next store that hit me right in the nerd bone was Rebel Base Comics & Toys because, well, I friggin love Star Wars. Plus their website has Boba Fett on the banner so that’s always awesome. And any store that you have to go downstairs under the ground to enter instantly has to get on my list.
Once you’re down in the store you’ll instantly enjoy it even more because of its solid selection of comics, graphic novels and vintage collectibles. I found some pristine old school Transformer figures that I thought would look just perfect in my office. Alas I resisted after feeling more torn than Anakin Skywalker in that turd of a film that is Episode III, mostly because “Death by Wife” isn’t something I want on my legacy. But I digress. If you like the thrill of the hunt, you’ll love going through the various bins of older comics and searching for that rare find.
Rebel Base also hosts events with the Carolina Garrison, which is a group of individuals that travel the area and dress in genuine cosplay style as characters from the Star Wars films. To be perfectly honest, if I could dress up as a Stormtrooper for work I’d probably do so at least 3 times a week. Then dress as Obi Won if there were a casual Friday (RIP casual Fridays.)
So throw on your best Star Wars attire or really anything nerdy and head to Rebel Base Comics & Toys!
Save Point Video Games
A destination for anyone from the avid to the causal gamer, Save Point Video Games is an ideal stop in the Charlotte area. One thing you can say about comic or independent video game stores is that they are almost always opened by people with a true love and passion for the subject. Save Point definitely falls into that category. The folks here have set up a really great store that appeals to gamers that play any genre from any era.
Save Point has all of the games that you expect to find from Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox of course but they also have begun to build a solid collection of rarities and imports from around the globe. If you’re sitting at home right now and have beaten every game that you’ve come across and are looking for a new challenge, check out their website which I’ve listed below for one of their new or unique games they have in stock. What I found particularly interesting was that they also sell games that are fan made or translations! How cool would it be to own a game that a random person created or reimagined?
Save Point has a supremely knowledgeable staff with the solid variety of games in their collection that will leave you very impressed.
Parker, Banner, Kent & Wayne
This shop, located close by in Cornelius, NC, has one of my favorite names of any of the shops that I have been to thus far. It’s extremely creative with the play on a law firm with the last names of some of our favorite comic heroes. But the good stuff doesn’t end there because the shop is cool as well. The store is very sizable so it allows for them to load it full of great items for every kind of nerd. They naturally have a large comic and graphic novel selection for you to browse through. But I was impressed by the amount of table top games that they had available along with miniatures and all of the popular card games like Pokémon. And there are some really cool collectible items that would look great somewhere in your home I promise…regardless of what your loved ones say.
For those living or visiting the Charlotte area and want to get out for a night of fun, Parker, Banner, etc. has events each evening of the week ranging from Youth MTG nights on Fridays, RPGs on Mondays and most importantly…NEW COMIC DAY each Wednesday.
The owner has a been a collector of comics for a couple of decades so he has a vast knowledge of the subject so not only can you find some amazing items but you can get an education as well.
Until next time, travel well and nerd often!
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