Monday, July 29, 2013

JP Comics and Games, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Trading my day trip to Historicon for a four day trip with the wife and kids to Boston is not an equal return, nor should it be.  Hopefully my little sister isn't getting married more than once and we get to do a number of things off our normal routine, like shop at Whole Foods, eat at a fantastic little bistro, use a whirlpool to soothe my aching joints, and visit a 100+ year old church in Cambridge that my Great-Great Grandfather helped build.   I'll trade that for bad I-95 traffic and a con site that's still in its growing pains. Only the most intolerable gits complained about everything in Fredericksburg, people had fun, there's still issues that need to be addressed, lets move on. 

The only geek-out moment I was allowed, outside of a discussion about the New Gods and my new brother-in-law, Sean owning a beautiful copy of the Star Frontiers Alpha Dawn rules was  the wedding celebration at Ten Tables.  Beyond the phenomenal food and spirits served (and a fourth geek out moment comparing US and Canada comic book profit margins in the late 80's) was the fact that my two little ones, Maja (4) and Amelia (2) were out of their element at a hipster soirée and they needed an escape...  to the comic book store next door.

JP Comics and Games in Jamaica Plain, MA, stands out a bit on the street.  On a block with a grass-fed burger joint and and an organic ice cream shop, a small comic/game store is not the next obvious business in the progression.  It's a small store with one side dedicated to comics and graphic novels, and the other to boardgames, some role-playing, and a good deal of CCGs.  There were a few tables in the middle and a group, led by the owner, were just starting a board game when my clan strolled in for the first time.  In fact, everytime one of us came through the door, we were met with a pleasant hello and a wave by him, just to remind us who to call on if we decided to adjust from browsing to questions/buying.  He never was so immersed in his game that he ignored us, and he was never pushy or worried about kids destroying the store.  My wife nearly felt at ease with bringing the kids in, and she hates going into these stores.  She at least felt at ease enough to drop a ton of money on My Little Pony Comics for the girls ($3.99? Glossy Paper and overly vibrant inks that make my eyes hurt? Oh god, I'm just getting old.)
Reaping the Benefits of Twisting Mommy's Arm
The comics were arranged cleanly along the wall and a large a varied supply of board games filled up the other. The back wall had the register, Magic display, most of the graphic novels, and their role-playing in the middle.

Mmmmm.... boardgames
RPGs were a little limited, mostly 4e, but the new Fate Core book was on the shelf, as well as the Fate Accelerated rules which were just solicited in this month's Game Trade Monthly.

Fate did not bring me to the store that day, but it was nice to see it on the shelf
All in all, it was a pleasant experience, and a welcome relief to have a comic book shop next to the restaurant.  Besides the My Little Pony comics, I pick up the Ozma of Oz HC Marvel produced, so we can give the Mouse Guard books a much-needed breather.

On the ever evolving Gaming with the Gnomies rating system, I give JP Comics and Games three and a half gnomes:

Let's not find a picture of a half gnome, for sake of decency (Although one of the gnome zombies minis would well.)   It's the first time I've wanted to use a half gnome in the ratings.  It's a basic shop, friendly staff, and outside of the Oz book, nothing I haven't seen before.  Although I did not ask, I'm certain they can do special orders AND get a quick turnaround time.  The extra half-gnome is for putting up with my family multiple times in a kind and professional manner.  We were the only noticeable business at the time, and I'm quite sure the poor guy did want to reap a little benefit from playing a game with his friends at the store.  As a former store manager, I get that, and I appreciate his ability to separate business from pleasure, even if both are enjoyable.

JP Comics and Games is located on 603 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA.  It's the outskirts of Boston, so parking is a pain, although there was plenty of legal side-street parking about a block away.

Hours are 12-8pm Monday-Saturday and Sunday 12-7 (This definitely secures the half-gnome).

They run a Magic Legacy Proxy League Mondays, Friday Night Magic (call ahead to reserve a spot, seating is limited), and a Sunday Stanard tournament. looks to be just a placeholder, check out their Facebook page for more up to date info.

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