Denton, TX is known for lots of things, not the least of which being our incredible live music culture, two state universities, our thriving arts and culture events that draw tourists, and our increasingly diverse beer & food options. But Denton’s sometimes overlooked Geek scene is about to level up in a big way when Downtown Denton’s More Fun Comics and Games plays host this weekend to the official Star City Games MAGIC: The Gathering state championships. Read on to find out more!
For those of you who don’t already know someone addicted to this immensely popular trading card game, Magic (or MTG) had its start in 1993 but thrives today with millions of registered players worldwide and a bi-annual Los Vegas Grand Prix contest that is as hotly anticipated as the World Series of Poker. A game combining fantasy with strategy and Game of Thrones-style stakes with monster battles, MTG has a thriving professional tournament circuit that operates year round. This year, Denton’s own More Fun Game Center is hosting the battle royale Star City Games MTG State Championships tournament for the entire state of Texas over the weekend in their swanky new 2,500 square foot facility!
Anyone who has visited the downtown Denton Square is certainly familiar with More Fun Comics & Games, but you might be forgiven if you’ve never put much thought into the brains behind the local business that has been steadily growing over the past 13 years. Tim Stoltzfus got his start on Fry Street near UNT when his partnership purchased the old Treasure Aisles in 2003, long before the 2007 hullaballoo that ushered in the end to that stretch of historic storefronts. Moving his store onto the Denton Square, More Fun Comics & Games has established itself as a family-friendly retail shop that has something for everyone. “We try to have as much as we can to appeal to as broad an audience as possible,” Tim explains. “We want to make sure that anyone who comes in can have an enjoyable experience, especially younger people.” This year his store was voted up in two different DRC Best of Denton retail categories, an honor that reflects well-deserved appreciation for the events he brings to Denton.
More Fun Tim quietly works behind the scenes to earn the title by creating local events that put Denton on the map as a Geektopia destination. Many locals well remember when he first featured the historic Denton Courthouse on the cover of a Doctor Who comic book last year, an epic accomplishment recognized when the Mayor officially declared April 4th as Doctor Who Day while Whovians flocked from 3 states to the downtown Square. Just a few months ago, Dentonites rejoiced when the Denton Courthouse was featured on an exclusive special cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #1 just before the holidays. When asked about future Denton variant covers, Tim offers only a knowing smile. “I’ve got something in the works,” he grins with a twinkle in his eye, “and I’ll let y’all know when the details get ironed out.” Meanwhile, More Fun Comics has been teaming up with John Williams’ Oak Street Draft House for special pint glass nights, like the upcoming event that coincides with the much-anticipated annual FREE COMIC BOOK DAY on the first Saturday in May. An avid runner, Tim also helps sponsor events with the Denton Area Running Club.
Between this weekend’s MAGIC Tournaments on Saturday through Sunday and Free Comic Book Day just two weeks away, Denton’s Geek scene is clearly growing and thriving! The new space for the More Fun Game Center just off the Denton Square hosts four weekly Magic tournaments, miniatures, board gaming, and of course Wednesday night D&D. In fact, next weekend’s International Tabletop Day will demo the hot new board games. You can keep up with the action over at More Fun Comics & Games on Facebook or on Twitter.
Denton's More Fun Game Center is located at 516 N Locust St.
Shaun Treat is a former professor at the University of North Texas and founder of the Denton Haunts historical ghost tour. Doc has written about numerous local places and personalities at his Denton Haunts blog, and is forever indebted to the great work of our local keepers of history like Mike Cochran and Laura Douglas at the Emily Fowler Library for their tireless work in helping preserve Denton’s intriguing past. Be sure to check out our local museums curated by the fine folks at the Denton County Office of History & Culture, and follow @Dentonaut on Twitter for local happenings.