San Antonio’s 0 Charisma Games and Comics (14094 Nacogdoches, (210) (210) 590-2626) wants to be the Cheers of the gaming and comic community, but do we have room for another nerd shop in the Alamo City?
0 Charisma’s trifecta of nerdom James Michael Huston, Billy Mondragon, and Garry Timmons think so. Huston is the owner and video game guru. Mondragon is the shop’s card and tabletop gaming expert. Timmons handles comics and store management.
We have half a dozen dedicated comic and gaming stores in San Antonio. Heroes and Fantasies and Alien Worlds have two locations. Bazinga, Dragon’s Lair, and Collector’s Authority are well established here too.
But we have a great location, say Mondragon and Timmons. The next, nearest comic and gaming shop is roughly 10 miles away. If fellow nerds are anything like themselves, they‘ll want to go somewhere close-by with a friendly atmosphere and clean bathrooms. Already, they have a surprising amount of walk-ins too, Mondragon says. People are looking for a place to hold their late Dungeons and Dragons sessions or pick up dice in a hurry.
The store’s motto is, “leave your charisma at the door,” Huston says. 0 Charisma seeks to be a welcoming, inclusive place to shop and play rather than a proving ground for nerds to demoralize their not-as-nerdy social enemies. Huston is dedicated to this ideal.
“If I can make one person come in here and feel at home, and be really, really happy. I can go home with a smile on my face,” Huston says.
Still, in a dense market of gaming hobby shops, there’s a certain worry that they will go under due to the competition. Huston, however, feels confident about 0 Charisma’s future. It’s a dream-come-true pulled from a tragic past.
Before opening 0 Charisma, Huston found himself in a bad place. His grandmother had passed away, and his sister was recovering from a near fatal car accident. At that time, Huston began seriously considering moving out of state with the inheritance his grandmother left him.
Timmons, however, suggested another idea to Huston: opening a gaming and comic store. It was something Huston and Timmons had talked about dreamily but never had the capital to invest.
When Huston finally decided to go for it, Timmons did too. 0 Charisma is a full-time endeavor for both of them.
Even if the field is crowded, or if they go under in a year, Huston opened the shop in the name of his grandmother. In my book, there’s always room for passionate people following their dreams in San Antonio.
Looking around the shop, you can see that Huston has spared no expense. They have eight PS4s for customers to play, comics, and more than a dozen tables for tabletop gaming all around.
In the future, they will hold video game and card game tournaments. They also hope to expand into the space next door one day.
Like Cheers, they want to give all walks of life a place where they feel like they belong, “where everybody knows your name.”
“If people want to roll dice, flop cards, or press buttons, they’re more than welcome to come in and do it [at 0 Charisma Game and Comics],” says Mondragon.