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Nerd Scene: Guide to Supporting Your Local Comic and Gaming Shops in Tough Times

The world is currently in a difficult state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many around the globe are unfortunately hurting financially because of the quarantining as a result of it. That said, intuitive entrepreneurs are finding clever ways of conducting business despite being closed for quarantine. Many big companies will be perfectly fine once normalcy returns, but what about the smaller ones? There are countless independently-owned businesses, like the many local comic book and gaming shops in WNY, that will rely on the support of their customers and fans at a time like this.

Photo by Boris Bučko

Even though our favorite nerd havens are currently closed for business, there are still ways we can support them to ensure they stick around. Iron Buffalo invites everyone to join their Discord server, to help keep their gaming community strong. They are also currently offering e-gift cards for sale, to be able to used in-store once they reopen.

You can still get all your comic book needs at Empire Comics through phone orders and curbside pickup. Keep an eye on their Facebook page to see announcements of what new books they get in stock.

Collector’s Inn is also offering curbside pickup services for all your comic and gaming needs. The hours of this service are 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Wednesdays, and 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Thursdays through Saturdays.

Queen City Bookstore, one of the longest running comic shops in Buffalo, is one of the many businesses offering curbside pickup. However, they are also offering pre-pay hold for pickup and mail order delivery. Comic shoppers and fans of the store can decide the best option that suits their needs while they continue their support of this decades-old local business.

Queen City Bookstore, one of the longest running comic shops in Buffalo, is one of the many businesses offering curbside pickup.

Pulp 716: Coffee & Comics, which happens to be the best place in WNY to get bubble tea and is a great place to find the latest comics, is open for takeout and grab ’n’ go orders. Their temporary hours are 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. This is only at their North Tonawanda location. They currently have very limited staff, so please be patient!

The best way to support Dragon Snack Games during this trying time is to purchase an e-gift card (at order​). This will help them get over this bump in the road and stick around to bring you more gaming goodness.

If you’re unable to help out your favorite nerdy hangout during this time, it’s certainly understandable, as it’s currently rough for many. Businesses aren’t the only ones hurting right now. Also, there are obviously other types of businesses that are offering ways to support them while they are closed, but the nerdy ones are the ones in my wheelhouse for this column.

Photo by James Pond

If there are any other comic or gaming shops or other nerd culture oriented locations in the area offering ways for customers to support them during this quarantine that I may have missed, sound off in the comments with the information to let your fellow Western New Yorkers know. If you aren’t sure if your favorite go-to spot is offering a method to support them until they reopen, feel free to reach out to them on social media to see if they have anything going on. If they don’t, it’s still important to reach out to show your support during this difficult time!

If you’re new to this column, click here to see what I’ve been up to over the course of the last year – there’s lots of nerdiness to go around for everyone!

Lead image: Photo by Joe Ciciarelli

Written by David Theriault

David Theriault

David Theriault is brand new to Buffalo, NY, hailing from New England, where he was born and raised. David has worked in television production since 2016 and puts his Creative Writing degree to work by writing scripts. He is in search of nerd culture communities throughout the WNY area where he can share his love of all things nerdy. You can find him at your local comic book or gaming stores, cosplaying at conventions, or online at his nerd culture blog:

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