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Love at first KAPOW!

Comic books have a funny way of impacting lives. I play tabletop games and collect comics, which is why I spent much of my free time at Avatar Comics & Games on Charleston and Rainbow. I was playing in a Magic: The Gathering event in October 2015 when a woman came in looking for Captain America comics. She heard the nerd banter coming from my friends and me, and was somehow captivated. She messaged some friends, who told her she couldn’t leave until she knew three strangers’ names. She stayed for six hours. Soon she was a regular visitor to the shop. Less than two months later, we began dating. Still are. Comics and games have an abnormal capacity for bringing people together from all walks of life. Some of my greatest friends I met in comic and game stores. Though Avatar has closed, what I gained from it will stay with me for a long time. Free Comic Book Day, May 5 (, is a wonderful event that pulls together new and old fans of the culture to celebrate stories and hobbies together. If you’ve ever been on the fence about graphic storytelling, take the plunge. You might find something — or someone — to love.