Happy International Women's Day! Today, we wanted to take some time for you to get to know a couple of the movers and shakers of Dragon's Lair Comics & Fantasy. One is the co-owner of the Austin Dragon's Lair Comics & Fantasy store, Angie Blackmon, as well as the General Manager of Alamo Ranch, Rose Mundy. Read on and get to know a bit more about these two amazing women!
Q: What is one of your favorite memories at Dragon's Lair?
Angie: One of my favorite memories of Dragon's Lair is the first Pride Parade we participated in. Seeing the joy and love on people's faces as we made our way down the route was an amazing experience. It's the first real time our ability to make a community impact was clear to me.
Rose: It's always hard to pinpoint down just one event, every time I try to pick one it always ends up being something different. The most recent one would have to be when we reopened after the COVID lock down. The official first day back open back up was such a great day of joy. It wasn't actually opening back up as it was the reconnection to our community. When we all shut down we did online videos to keep in contact and talked to quite a few people on the phone to check up on them but it just wasn't the same, it was empty inside and felt alien compared to every other day we've been here. To go from seeing the same people 2 to 3 times weekly to not for a month and a half was a great shocker. The day we reopened we got to see a bunch of the same people and it was so good to reconnect and check on everyone.
Q: What is something that are you proud to have accomplished?
Angie: Owning the store is my proudest accomplishment. I started as a part-time sales clerk and ended up as the owner of the store. I look at everything this store has been, currently is and what we can do in the future and I see my life all around me. It's deeply gratifying.
Q: What do you love most about games?
Angie: I love that games encourage interaction and creativity. Sitting with friends and family around a game is something I've done since I was a kid and I continue to relish the experience of those shared moments of joy!
Rose: I love the good times they inspire. All you need is a game and some friends and you are in for a good time with lots of laughs. I am a board game player and some of my funnest nights have been game night with my girls. When you have a 30 minute game take you an hour and a half its because you got to get that quality time in with your family or friends and not because you don't know the rules….hopefully. 🙂
Q: How do you deal with competition from online retailers and big box stores?
Angie: While I pay attention to big box retailers and online competitors, I focus on what we can do that those stores can't do. I also make sure that we consistently work on community and helping guests feel welcome and safe. We aren't just a basic retail establishment.
Rose: As a little store we offer way more than just items off of our shelf, we offer a community. Online shopping is sometimes cheaper and a picking up a game with your milk at a big box store can be a little more convenient at times but, you don't get to really interact with anyone those ways. Here we share your passion for games (and comics) and welcome chitty chatting with you about the latest and greatest game/comic or even seeing what your newest addition to your collection is. We deal with our competitors by sticking to what we are good at and that is offering a personable experience when you visit.
Q: Who is your favorite superhero and why?
A: My favorite superhero is Wonder Woman. She stands for love and hope but she's also strong and a true warrior. The epitome of strength and grace.
Rose: I am not your traditional super hero fan. Super heroes come in all shapes and sizes and aren't always who you may think they are. My favorite super hero would have to be Canto. Most might not be familiar with him so here's a brief backstory. Canto's people once had hearts. Now they have clocks. Everyone accepts the way things are but he is the first to take on an epic quest to free his people. He is my favorite because #1 that little tin man is too cute but #2 he is scared throughout his whole journey yet he continues on knowing he is trying to make a better life for his people. It's that he is a tiny guy in a big world determined to keep going knowing he is scared the whole time but never giving up that makes me love him.
Q: Do you have any personal collections you've cultivated over the years of running the Lair?
Angie: One might say I have a statue issue. I'm especially fond of DC Cover Girls, DC & Marvel Bishoujos and all things Artgerm. I love looking at my statues and knowing I worked for those and they say a lot about who I am.
Rose: When I opened the store I had about 15 boardgames from game night with my sister but since opening the store my board game collection has grown significantly. When I have to go buy new furniture to hold all the ones I have now it might be time to admit I have too many. But, then I think nah each one is good in their own way and I just keep on the hunt for the next one.
Angie and Rose are just two of the wonderful women making a difference through her work at Dragon's Lair Comics & Fantasy. Christine Prohl, co-owner of our Houston store, and many, many others have left and continue to leave their mark on our franchise and in their communities. Thank-you for your continued effort and dedication!