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Best Meet-Up for Freaks and Geeks 

The Escapist Comic Bookstore

Yes, it's a bookstore. But did you know that The Escapist also hosts comedy nights? Real talk! It's perhaps the only open mic in the Bay Area where there's a 30 percent chance that every bit will lead off with a Dungeons and Dragons joke. (Lydia Popovich tried one in May, and the audience actually got it.) And aside from that, it's got a magnificent legacy as the establishment that rose from the ashes of Comic Relief. Jack Rems, the proprietor of an adjacent sci-fi bookstore called Dark Carnival, purchased most of Comic Relief's stock earlier this year, and hired several people who worked there. He unveiled The Escapist in March, much to the delight of every geek in Berkeley — including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, who cracked a figurative bottle of champagne over the bookstore's figurative bow.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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