May 21, 2024

Wittenberg students who are fans of comic books, role-playing games and retro video games will have a new reason to be excited. Epic Loot Comics and Games opened a new location at the Upper hobby_7Valley Mall last week on Oct. 3. The store features new and used video games from the original NES to the PS4, comic books and graphic novels, card games, board games and role-playing games. hobby_3They also have a gaming room, where nightly and weekly events are hosted for players to get together and play their favorite games.
Brian Kraack, Allen Burkes and Scott Cozzolino, friends and fans of gaming, opened their first store in Centerville.
“The three of us,” Burkes said, “were just getting together all the time playing board games and hanging out, and then we started doing play testing for Dominion,”  — a deck game developed in Cincinnati. “It was really exciting to see that part of gaming, and we decided that we should try to design our own game.” This would evolve into the idea to open their own store.
“In Dayton, I was going to Friday night Magic,” Burkes said, “and every time we would leave, we would ask where everyone wanted to go next week. We would say ‘Let’s go to this store,’ and that wouldn’t work, so we’d suggest another one and someone else would say, ‘I don’t know about that store.’”
They soon realized there was a need for another store in the area. “There’s a ton of gamers, and just not enough stores for them. So that was an indicator that it was a good idea,” he said.hobby_6
“I have about a half dozen nerd interests,” Cozzolino said. “I’m into video games, miniatures games, collectible card games, comic books, board games, role-playing games. In the Dayton scene at the time, there wasn’t one store that you could go to for all of your interests. So that was our goal: to have all of those things under one roof.”
hobby_5“There was a week that Scott was out of town,” Kraack said. “I said to Allen, ‘You have this five-year plan to open a store. We should just do it.’ And I knew that the first road block was Allen saying ‘No,’ and then we got past that road block. The second one was Scott coming back, and we broke the news to him, and we got past that road block. Like every road block we hit, we got past it, and then like all of a sudden, we had a game store.”
“It took, like, a year,” Cozzolino said.
Epic Loot also has a gaming room, where they host events and tournaments. “We keep a very full event calendar,” Cozzolino said.
“Magic is on Wednesdays and Fridays,” Burkes said. “We have HeroClix, Pokemon, D&D; all those are already scheduled.”
“And that’s part of our model,” Kraack said. “You don’t have to look at the calendar to know something’s going to be happening at our store.”


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