by Chason Gordon
– The Capitol Hill Times –
A few months ago, The Capitol Hill Times received a letter pondering why our neighborhood lacked a comic book store. Ballard has one, the University District has one, and even Green Lake. Why not us? Apparently, someone was listening.
This complaint recently became a brick-and-mortar reality when Nick Nazar, which sounds like a superhero name, opened Phoenix Comics and Games on Broadway, within smelling distance of Dick’s. Nazar has been a comic book fan since he was 10, and previously worked at Dragon’s Lair, a comic shop in Austin, Texas. He moved to Seattle in 2006, and began getting the funding together.
“When I looked at all of the places that have comic books stores, you pretty much have a giant hole where Capitol Hill is,” Nazar said.
Phoenix carries comic books, graphic novels, board games, card games, minis, role playing games, and related accessories. As a settlement in a neighborhood without comic books, the store is still very much a work in progress. An orange banner hangs over the old “Broadway Boutique” sign, and inside a few shelves are empty, soon to be filled with more comic books and board games.
But there is still plenty there at the moment. A card game called “Chrononauts” gives wannabe time travelers the chance to kill Hitler, and prevent the assassination of JFK, all from the comfort of their seat. Nearby is “Red Hulk,” a comic book that boldly claims, “There is a new Hulk in town, and his color is red!” Nazar’s personal favorite superhero is the Green Lantern.
At the back of the store are chairs and tables for those looking to try out the games. Nazar plans to host regular gaming events at Phoenix, which will surely benefit from the late hours (open until midnight during the week) and the cheap, adjacent burgers. He hopes to cultivate a community, and prides himself on offering great customer service.
“We’re trying to be the friendly comic store,” Nazar said. “We want to buck the stereotypes of the Simpsons comic book guy.”
The response from the community has already been enthusiastic. “About every other person who’s come in has said how awesome it is that there’s a comic book store on the Hill,” Nazar said. “It’s been really popular and positive, which I am so grateful for.”
Phoenix is open from 11 a.m. to midnight during the week, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. Nazar keeps pretty long hours himself, often staying at the store from 1 p.m. to midnight. “I get home and I pass out, and I do this all over again. My husband is really accepting of it or I’d be in trouble.”
As the business progresses, he plans to hire another person and open on Sundays. Obviously, it will be one of the most sought after jobs on the Hill. “I’ve already had people handing me resumes left and right,” he said.
“I’m going to say ‘We have a job opening,’ and then, ‘We don’t have a job opening,’ probably within half an hour.”
Phoenix Comics and Games
113 Broadway E