Tag Archives: Saanich

[Victoria, BC] Gauntlet Games Impresses in Gordon Head!

15 Jul

gauntlet gamesBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

In the garden city of Victoria, British Columbia, Gauntlet Games is making an impact upon the gaming community living in the municipality of Saanich. Not only is the University of Victoria nearby for this operation to cater to students but also, lots of nearby residents find this place convenient to get to. When some folks do not want to travel into town or elsewhere to get their fix in Magic the Gathering (MtG) or Warhammer, this place is happening. It has been in operation for more than a month now.

In what I witnessed after successive visits is a very open and bright place to visit. In what I see during the evening hours are a dozen people, if not more, playing one type of game or another. Myself, I was here to try out a few role playing game systems I have not played before and tried my hand at playing MtG again. There’s only so much I can enjoy out of the electronic version (side note: the company is making a huge mistake by not completing the Amonkhet story in Magic Duels).

Brodie Cawdell is the manager of this operation. When he immediately saw that the area of Gordon Head did not have easy access to a game store, setting up shop was fortuitous. He got the best spot at University Heights Mall. People passing by can gaze through the large windows and see the fun going on inside. Some folks do not understand the gaming culture, and most of the staff and customers here can explain. They love to talk about the hobby and give tips when they realize that the visitor is new to the game (or rusty like me).

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[Editorial] Sounding off on the Nerdy Convention Scene in Victoria, BC

5 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

I have attended many pop culture style conventions in the past 25 or so years. Some took place in my home town of Victoria, British Columbia but more off island. I am sad not many local shows have a footprint of lasting more than five years. Attempts have been made to centralize all aspects of geekdom, but to pull it off needs a proper committee of dedicated folks. I’m aware most of the businesses along Nerd Row (on Johnson Street and Broad) are in communication with one another, but this community was not in place till the early part of this century.

In terms of history, a major comic book type event (which was a one-off) took place at the Empress Hotel in the late 80’s which had a who’s who of talent (from New York even), which Big Brothers and Big Sisters organized — my introduction to the scene — but since then, everything else which followed never compared. Van Isle Con is a step in the right direction, and although a short commute is required to get there, I’m wondering what’s next? Are there individuals willing to make something happen within the capital city?

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Day Two of Tsukino-Con 2017: Panels and a Fist Bump from Takahata 101

27 Feb

Tsukino-Con 2017 poster art by Bomhat.

Tsukino-Con 2017 poster art by Bomhat.

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

I must say this almost every year: I swear I need to find lodgings in or around the University of Victoria (UVic) campus when Tsukino-Con is on. Saturday was a late start for me (again) but this was due to more than the time of travel from where I reside to Gordon Head. There was an added case of business before pleasure. I think the two things I must look into next year are finding accommodation on the UVic campus and bringing along a laptop to type an article between panels.

A number of Saturday panels caught my eye. One was a drawing session and chat on the subject of Osamu Tezuka’s Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy) with Canadian Comic Hall of Fame artist Ken Steacy, the TeamFourStar Q/A with voice actor Takahata 101, Nanohabridged: Table Readings and Auditions Part 1, and the annual Tsukino-Con Swimsuit Showdown. Sadly, of these I only made it to two.

In hindsight, I would’ve included the Vikes Improv panel. I’ve heard they’re good but with years of watching improv on shows like Whose Line is it Anyways? (UK and American versions) and Canada’s own Don’t Lick the Pig, I was still suffering from improv burnout.

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A Nerd (Christmas) Shoppers Guide to Victoria, BC

13 Dec

6564547955_ecda3f14b8_bBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

December is upon us and holiday shopping is in the air! Twelve days remain to find that special item for the nerd in the family. Just what they want can be found with this list of where to go on (Mid and) South Vancouver Island. There is a Nanaimo entry, but its lumped under Curious Comics since they have several stores.

This guide is not restricted to the season either. Everyone has a birthday, and if that collector must have more FUNKO Pop figures for that collection, going to EB Games is not the definitive place to be. Operations like Toys R’ Us and Walmart have their place for finding toys and current movie tie-in products, but let’s consider the local operations before going corporate.

For any other outlet that’s not listed, please submit by commenting and this guide will be updated and made its own page, a Nerd’s Guide to Shopping on Vancouver Island, after the new year.

DOWNTOWN VICTORIA (NERD ROW)

outside-cbt

Cherry Bomb Toys

Used Comics, Vinyl Records, Videos (anime), LEGO, Toys (Barbie, Star Wars, Transformers, GI Joe & Many More!)

1410 Broad Street
(250) 385-8697

This operation specializes in carrying a diverse range of product for everyone of all ages. From products for young girls, like Barbie, to collectible products (like original packaging G.I. Joe), if you name it, it might be hiding here!

Curious Comics

Comic Supplies, Comics, FUNKO Pop!, Graphic Novels,
Illustration Books, Models, T-shirts, Toys

631 Johnson Street (Victoria-location)
(250) 384-1656

844 Goldstream Avenue (Langford location)
(250) 592-1656

3200 Unit 6 Island Highway (Nanaimo BC location)
(250) 756-2157

With three locations to serve most of Vancouver Island, Curious Comics makes up the heart of Nerd Row in Victoria, BC. Stepping in here is a paradise of goodies. From CGC certified comics to Walking Dead merchandise, a lot of nerd culture franchised out properties can be found here.

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