Comic shop seeks to highlight 'nerd' diversity

Killer Rabbit Comics makes a conscious effort to welcome all identities to their shop. Photo via Facebook.

WILLISTON, Vt. (AP) — Another sloppy Saturday brought dozens to Killer Rabbit Comics at the Taft Corners Shopping Center to unload hoarded games and maybe pick up a few more to fill the void.

But don't make assumptions about who was there.

"I want someone to come through the door; and if they are nonbinary identifying and they love Magic, they are going to feel comfortable," swap-meet organizer Jenny Rossi, aka Jenny Dreadful, said.

Magic refers to the card game, "Magic: the Gathering."

Rossi, a writer, took the name Dreadful as a play on Penny Dreadful, a 19th-century book written to thrill. She is aware that gaming culture has the reputation of being less welcoming to female players, so she wanted to organize an event where all genders, all identities and all gaming mediums could come together in a welcoming environment.

True to promise, all ages and sexes were present. Diverse games from digital to analogue along with gaming paraphernalia were represented in the game room at Killer Rabbit.

For those unfamiliar with gaming culture, the board games are more like Monopoly than Life. Some are extremely complex and creative.

For those involved they are also a little addictive.

"I came here to have less board games and now I have more," Andrew Lutton said as he purchased Netrunner, a cyber punk or science-fiction card game.

Across the small room and behind a stack of games and hand-painted figures sat Steve Rubino who works at Braps on Howard Street in Burlington.

"This is my personal collection," said Rubino, explaining that work and addiction go hand and hand.

Jennifer Garrett, co-owner of Killer Rabbit, took a moment away from customers, which she says defy stereotypes.

"Nerds — there's nothing wrong with it these days," Garrett said looking up from her computer monitor.

Garrett with co-owner Mark Stair opened their shop nine months ago and are planning a move at the end of August to the Blue Mall in South Burlington. This is their first time hosting a swap meet. If things go well, they are open to more.

Meanwhile, they continue to surprise their customers.

"My kid is graduating tomorrow, and I have to bake a cake," a tattooed bearded Stair said to a customer who said Stair didn't look like the baking type.

"I went to culinary school," Stair said.

By Nicole Higgins Desmet via The Burlington Free Press.
Copyright Associated Press. The Gayly - 7/3/2017 @ 3:58 p.m. CST