Vendors amongst nerds: A tale of three stores

By Allie Davison, Staff Writer

Amidst the hordes of storm troopers, ghost busters, and khaleesi, they stood silently, mysteriously, guarding their wares; they were the vendors of Fan Expo Vancouver. It was any nerd’s wet dream—there were action figures, comic books, and used video games galore. But from this onslaught of geekery, I managed to choose three of the more unique vendors to profile. The goal of these profiles, as with Fan Expo itself, is to provide variety as these independent merchants tackle horror-based photography, original steampunk trinkets, and finding and selling classic video games. So please, enjoy, and be sure to check out their wonderfully unique wares.

Anathema Photography (website:

Danielle K. L. Anathema has been making horrifically beautiful photographs for over two years. She literally turns the terrifying nightmares she had as a child into real life scenes, and captures them with her lens.

Her pictures look as if they’ve come from the sets of horror movies… or a serial killer’s basement. But as disturbing as the pictures are, you can see the art behind the blood. The careful detail that goes into each shot is amazing.

Anathema generally goes for the smaller horror conventions held in Seattle; surprisingly, this is her first Canadian conference, even though she currently resides in Vancouver. Despite this odd setback though, Anathema Photography continues to produce some of the most gorgeous macabre art this side of the west coast.

AtticRaiders (website:

Melissa Wartenberg is an Edmonton-based unisex designer who creates all of the her steampunk jewellery from scratch, with ideas stemming from her own imagination. Her awesome creations range from hair clips with watches on them, to old fashioned airplane goggles, to complex necklaces, earrings and bracelets. She also has an assortment of one-of-a-kind rings, masks, and glasses—each unique in their own way. From gears to chains to coloured glass, each item is different and immensely appealing; I’m a little surprised I didn’t walk away with a million of Wartenberg’s creations.

Gamedeals Video Games (website:

Gamedeals is a local video game store, located just blocks away from Douglas College’s New West campus. They specialize in video games ranging from old school to current generation systems. They were at Expo largely to showcase some of their products and offering discount coupons for potentially new customers.

But what sets Gamedeals apart from most other video game stores? It’s a store run by gamers, for gamers. They’ve gone all out to include a new “gamer lounge” (which includes free Wi-Fi) for which they offer pop and snacks for sale in their store. Swing by Columbia street and check it out, and maybe you’ll find some sweet deals on games.