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2016, a Year in Review

As I write this it's Christmas Eve.  Jaesun's at the counter and we appear to have gotten a brief respite from what in all respects has been an extremely busy week of a busy month.  I'm unapologetically playing Christmas music and right at this moment everything is okay in the world. With that in mind, I believe it's typical this time of year to look back and reflect on the year, and to plan ahead for next year.  Thus I present to you

2016 - Our Year in Review

This year, well, wow.  It would be really easy to classify 2016 as one helluva turbulent year.  I'm not going to go into the details of why other than to say from my perspective here on Capitol Hill I've felt a general sense of malaise and nervousness since early November.  And yet, I have to look back and say that there are many things I am grateful for in 2016.

A Thanks to Family And Community

I'd like to take a moment to thank my family, both my family by blood and family of choice.  Izzy, Chay, Mike, Sue, Chris, Stacy, Kristy, Keet, Jessica, Robert, and everyone else I can't think of right at this moment.  You've all been there to listen and offer feedback when I've come to you with concerns or thoughts about things to do in the store.

I'd also like to thank my store family - Ember, Simon, Sabrina and Jaesun.  You've put up with having a goofy, distracted and disorganized boss.  You've listened to all my ideas and put forth an amazing effort this year.  And I'm intensely grateful for how successful you've helped the shop become this year.

I think a thank you is also merited for all of our community organizers here at the shop. Ben Robbins, Ben Nelson, Andrew Schultz, Eric Starker, Rune, Sarah, Doug, and Joe, you've helped us by putting on some great events this year.  And I can't wait to work with all of you to keep doing that next year.

And lastly, to our customers and regulars, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Without you, we could not be here for our third year in a row selling books, organizing events and generally having a wonderful time of it.

So where do we go from here?

2017 - A Year About Community

From where I stand and where I'm looking, 2017 must absolutely be about building and strengthening our communities to prepare for whatever may come. We must be willing to have hard conversations about things that affect us.  We must embrace in our discussions of comics, an open and honest discussion of politics even if they differ from the views we hold.  And we do our part to protect each other from violence or the threat thereof.

Communities are a big part of that.  They give us places to go with our problems, ears to listen, and aid to be had.  And yeah, we're a comic shop, how much of that can we really do?  Here's an example of what we can offer:

If you are on Capitol Hill and are worried about walking home alone, come to the store.  Tell me or my staff and we will make arrangements to get you home safely.

I've made this offer to several people already, and I firmly believe it's the right thing to do.  No one should have to walk home at night worried about they're going to be harassed due to the color of their skin, their gender identity or their sexual preferences.

We're also in the process of creating community organizer guidelines to help anyone who wants to help build up something for a community we don't currently serve within the store.  So if you've been wanting to set up a Settlers of Catan league or just a night where people meet to play board games in funny hats, keep your eyes on our blog and we'll post here soon as they're ready.  If you're chomping at the bit, you can always contact me via our store's contact page and let me know what your idea is and we can discuss it!

In closing, if you're not a part of a community here on Capitol Hill, here are a few of the ones we are currently hosting:

The Seattle Feminist Comic Book Club

Queer Geek Seattle

Story Games Seattle

Evergreen Squadron (Star Wars X-Wing / Armada)

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

- Nick Nazar, Owner, Phoenix Comics and Games

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