Some places have catchy names or marketing slogans, while others are a little more obscure and eclectic.
“Rule 9” means if it is such a good idea, you do it.
That is the inside joke behind the name of Altus’ newest comic book shop and game center, and it also represents how it came to be.
Rule 9 Comics and Games came into existence Oct. 17, 2015. The brainchild of owners Chris Brown, Mike Hathaway and Michael Farmer, the shop was formed after seven years of debating and planning. The owners had been flirting with different ideas for nearly two years before finally agreeing to open up a comic-book shop.
Though at first it appears to just be a comic-book shop, one step inside the door will paint a much more vivid picture of all that Rule 9 offers. The shop’s biggest draw for a while now has been the variety of games that can be played at any of the gaming tables or in a private room for private games. Wednesday nights offer open game nights in which players can come in and play a game of their choosing for free.
But the biggest gaming success for the shop so far has been the weekly Magic: The Gathering tournament.
Each Friday evening, the shop hosts a Friday Night Magic event beginning at 7:30 p.m. with registration for this event opening up an hour prior. The entry fee is $7 for each format with the exception of the Chaos Draft, which costs $12. The event typically is played in a different format each week. The many different formats include the Standard, Modern and Chaos Draft formats.
The Standard format currently consists of the five most recent sets of cards.
The Modern format consists of every set from roughly 2003 to present.
The Chaos Draft is a tournament format that requires players to purchase three booster packs of cards, each from a different set. The players sit at a table and simultaneously open up one pack in which each player shuffles through the cards and selects one and passes the remaining cards to the left. The process is repeated until all cards have been chosen and all packs opened. The players take their chosen cards and build a minimum 40-card deck. After that is done, the tournament proceeds just as like any other Magic tournament.
These Magic tournaments are typically four rounds. After the final round, the shop makes cuts to a top four or eight, depending upon the number of entrants. A playoff then commences until the shop determines the winner.
From 1-5 p.m. Saturday is the Pokemon League tournament. The tournament has an entry fee of $5 and welcomes all players, whether veterans or beginners.
All of the shop’s tournaments are sanctioned, allowing players nationwide to keep track of their statistics, and they coordinate tournaments with the local Hastings to avoid scheduling the same tournaments on the same day.
Pokemon and Magic are not all the shop runs either. They also play other trading card games like Yu-Gi-Oh, board games like Star Wars: X-Wings and Dungeons and Dragons: Attack Wing, and role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer and Pathfinder.
Not only do they stock all the gaming supplies a board, card, or role-playing gamer might need to kick off the tournaments right, but they also have all the current popular comics lining their shelves. They hold classes for first-time gamers and they rent out private rooms for private games for a fee or for free with a two-hour time limit.
Business has been good for the shop. They are seeing a trend of every month being better than the one before it, and they have been exceeding their own expectations daily. With shows like The Walking Dead, Daredevil and The Arrow, and movies like The Avengers, X-Men and Captain America gaining more and more popularity, it doesn’t look like these comic-book heroes and villains will be going anywhere anytime soon and that is great news for Rule 9 and for the City of Altus.
“Altus deserves a good comic-book store,” said part-owner Brown. “Our motto was originally going to be ‘Rule 9, closer than Lawton.’ There’s a good comic-book shop in Lawton, but it is an hour away. We are big believers in keeping Altus money in Altus.”
Visit the shop during the new summer hours. They are closed Mondays, but open 5:30-10 p.m. Tuesday, 3-10 p.m. Wednesday, 5:30-10 p.m. Thursday, 3-11 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, contact the shop at 580-477-1117.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.