A Look Inside The Newest North Texas Comic and Game Stop
Murdock ‘Doc’ Belt is all smiles as we sit in the back of the newly opened Doc’s Comics and Games.
He’s wearing a Hogwarts t-shirt with a print showing the symbols of the four houses. Turns out he is a staunch Slytherin.
“I’m by no means a pure-blood, but I’m cunning before I’m brave and I like to think things through before making rash decisions. I’m looking at you Gryffindor.”
While the front of the store has all kinds of comics (in single issue and volume form) board games and figurines, the back has 10-15 tables, some of which are occupied with people playing an assortment of games. Some are using cards, others board games with miniature models. The space can seat up to 70 people.
Doc, a Frisco resident and father of two, explains, “I saw a need in the community for its own comic book and game shop, the closest one were a pretty long drive away.”
Having worked in retail for many years, Doc decided to follow his dreams around a year and a half ago. “It was my passion. I love comics, I love board games, I love playing games with other people.”
After gathering capitol, going through negotiating contracts and all that other boring stuff, Doc’s Comics and Games opened its doors in November of 2015. Doc hopes the place will be a haven for those who love all types of games and who are looking for new gaming partners.
“The more people you know, the more games you get to play, your friendship circles grows and your knowledge of board games grows too.”
There is a different event every night, from Pokemon, to Magic the Gathering, to Yu-Gi-Oh! to Dungeons and Dragons with board gaming on Sunday in which you can bring your own games or borrow from the shop’s library.
Some of the most popular gaming items include a wide selection Magic the Gathering (a trading card game), Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride (Doc’s personal favorite), Five Tribes, and Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game. Accessories like covers for comics, sleeves for cards, or boxes for miniatures are also available.
“Board games allow us to put those cell phones and tablets down for a minute and have a little face to face time with people who you normally wouldn’t get to do that with. And you’re also entertained with the game.”
Doc’s Comics and Games is a family operation. Doc owns the store with “my beautiful wife Kirsten.” She excels at back office duties while he provides customer service and does inventory upkeep.
“I would be completely lost if it weren’t for Kirsten, she takes care of all the bookkeeping and everything else while, at the same time, doing her own job and helping take care of our two children we’re a team.”
Even the couple’s 4 year old pitches in. When she comes into the store she automatically gets a Swiffer and starts dusting off the games. But she’s working towards a goal. She labors for My Little Pony blind boxes, for which she’s well rewarded. Doc hasn’t put his newborn to work….yet.
In the comic realm, since the movie came out, Star Wars has been amongst the most popular the store features, followed by The New Avengers, the X-Men comic Old Man Logan (starring Wolverine as an old man) and Kamala Khan as the new Ms. Marvel.
“It’s such a great time to be into comics,” Doc says, “They’re so diverse and so engaging. All people can read comics and find someone to connect with. It’s not just a bunch of white dudes anymore. I love that. It’s a lot more inviting.”
Growing up in the small West Texas town of Childress, Doc didn’t have access to a comics or board game community. Mostly he played with his family. “That sparked my love for board games” Wahoo, a Great Depression era game, was a favorite.
“Television was my introduction to comic books where I would get to watch X-man on Saturdays.”
It wasn’t easy being a kid into comics and board games living in a small town in the Texas panhandle. Especially for one who was not being good or particularly interested in sports. Ironically, it was when he actually tried joining sports in junior high school that he got the nickname ‘Doc’.
“That’s where my bullying came from, I wasn’t athletic enough. It was really tough, but it got better, especially since I moved out here and found my own identity.”
Today, Doc not only celebrates his geekiness, he is providing a gathering spot for the for the geek community of Frisco…who will one day take over the world! Well, maybe not, but he hopes to provide an inclusive environment where one can explore their interests with like-minded people of all ages. Something he wishes he could have had while growing up.
“Now I have this amazing group of people who don’t care that I can’t catch a ball,” he laughs, “or run very fast. It gets so much better when you find that niche of people love you despite all your shortcomings and that you can share an interest with.”
Can people enjoy the shop who have never played a board game or read a comic?
“You just never know until you give something a chance. It might surprise you and you can build a nice little community here. I want people to have a spot they can come and be safe, play, be free of judgement and enjoy their time here. That’s what Doc’s Comics and Games is all about.”
“We’re the Hogsmead of the Harry Potter world, we welcome everybody.”
Doc’s Comics and Games is located at 2787 Preston Rd #1120 Frisco, TX 75034