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Twin brothers Drew Allred, right, and Josh Allred talk Magic: The Summoning with the comic and gaming enthusiasts in their shop Wednesday. The brothers often try to offer the best advice possible to their patrons when it comes to the many games available in their store, Twin Suns Comics & Game Center on the West Side.

Twin Suns Comics & Games sells action figures, video games on the West Side

A heated battle between a horde of green, plastic fanged beasts and figurine space marines found a home Saturday afternoon, wedged inside a room of comic books and card games.

Twin Suns Comic Books & Game Center is a comic book and game store hidden among a crowd of eateries and a grocery store on the West Side of Albuquerque. Drew and Josh Allred, 29-year-old twin brothers, own and manage Twin Suns. The store’s name is both a reference to the twin suns of the Star Wars fictional planet Tatooine and a pun, Josh Allred said.

“We were leaning toward Wondertwins Comics, because that would have been really cheesy,” Drew Allred said. “But one night when we were drinking, Josh came up with Twin Suns, and the next day we thought ‘Hey, that’s not bad!’”

Twin Suns sells new and used comic books, as well as board games and miniature figurines. The store also hosts open gaming sessions and tournaments every day of the week for games such as HeroClix and Warhammer. But the store’s chief offering is the trading card game Magic: The Gathering. Twin Suns provides Magic products and hosts frequent tournaments. Josh Allred said he wished their store’s exterior bore more resemblance to a Star Wars spaceport.

“If I could, I would make it look like the Mos Eisley spaceport on the outside, but they won’t let me do that,” Josh said.

The two brothers first started as part-time employees at Tall Tales Comics & Novelties 14 years ago. They eventually became managers and worked there for about a decade before opening their own store on the West Side.

“It’s exponentially more work,” Drew said. “It’s a different set of stresses — you don’t have to worry about getting fired, but by the same token, you own your job. You have to make sure it works.”

One year ago, the Allred twins decided they wanted to bring Albuquerque’s Magic-playing community closer through an interstore invitational event: the Gladiator Tournament. The tournament, held once every three months, pitted Twin Suns’ Magic players against regulars from other gaming shops in the Albuquerque area.

“It promoted playing at your store’s weekly events, and every quarter, you’d be invited to a free tournament,” Josh Allred said.

“Everybody’s always excited to play for some free cards, and in the bigger scope of things, it can bring a better community to all the players and the stores.”

But the store’s partner in the Gladiator Tournament, Ares Wargames, had to close its doors last fall. Josh said they plan to revisit the idea sometime in the future.

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Twin Suns is a year and a half into its lease, but the brothers are already considering expanding to make space for larger events. Drew even toyed with the possibility of adding a bar.

“Can you imagine going into a store … get a big gaming table, set up your game, order a pint of beer and just hang out? Perfect,” Drew said.

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