Buncombe County seeks community involvement on new poverty plan

Buncombe County is taking new steps to alleviate poverty, and it’s looking to the community for ideas. Representatives of 22 organizations attended a July 15 Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) meeting, where they learned of Buncombe’s new Request for Information (RFI) on poverty remediation. County leaders are interested in community practices to remedy poverty and are seeking information […]

Nose Pick

Poetic mayhem at Thrashville, the secret world of WNC skateboarding

Skateboarding’s stereotypical image hovers somewhere between Fast Times at Ridgemont High and the Sex Pistols. And while that would seem to make it a natural fit for the fringe-blender that is Asheville, there are challenges — including hefty fines. But beneath its surface madness, skateboarding girds itself with a subtle but very real prosody.

INNER HEROES: For Hero Hunter Comicc new owner Will Hessling (center) — and former owners Brian Humphries (left)  and  Matthew Lane (right) — comics are a passion. photo by Max Cooper

Hero worship

Editor’s note: In a series of articles, Cameron Huntley is exploring a particular niche in the area’s economy: comic book and gaming stores. In this installment, he chronicles the passing of the torch at one local comics shop. "See you next week," Will Hessling tells a customer as he gathers his pile of comics, straightens […]

Gathering bad: John Nava and Josh Skyes play a hand of Magic with cards worth almost $2,000 cumulatively. Photo by Max Cooper

Across the multiverse

Editor’s note: This summer, Cameron Huntley explored a niche in the Asheville-area economy — comic-book and gaming stores. In this installment, he takes a close look at one store’s weekly tournament. Jacob Wishon shuffles a five-card hand. The plastic sleeves gleam in the fluorescent light as Carla Schlueter winces across the game table: "Oh God,” […]

Duty calls

Rich Simpson, owner of Game Xcape, still remembers his first system: an original Atari. He and his brothers played Pong on it religiously. Little did they know that they were architects of the machine’s demise. "We went outside and left the game on, and when my father came home the image had burned onto the […]

The gathering place

The skeleton shambles forward, red eyes burning like rubies in the dungeon's twilight contours. It must be defeated before the hunt for the jade katana can continue. The dwarf has failed to decapitate the fleshless specter. Now it's up to the gunslinger. Gamemaster James Becker quickly scans his laptop. "Roll to hit.” The player tosses […]

Transaction hero: “A lot of the product I carry, I carry because I know Asheville wants it,” Comic Envy owner Darrin Williams says.

Fantastic store

Walking into Comic Envy is like entering an Alex Ross book with all the colors from thousands of saddle-stitched, glossy booklets: Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Manga. And there are just as many from less mainstream publishers: Top Shelf, Fantagraphics. For every Spiderman or Spongebob Squarepants there is a 10-foot-tall homunculus in a flat cap and […]