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Attention, single nerds!

Tate's Comics manager JoAnn Richards met her husband, Bryan, at the Lauderhill comic-book shop a decade ago, kindling romance over a shared affection for comic books, "Fantastic Four," anime and vinyl toys.

So you can hardly blame her for playing matchmaker at Friday's Find Your Mate at Tate's Singles Mingle, the mixer Richards organized to romantically (or platonically) pair up like-minded nerds in South Florida.

"Romance is in the air at Tate's," Richards says with a laugh. "We're our own brand of odd people. I mean, we can't guarantee you'll find your dream person here, but we can guarantee that it will at least be interesting."

The event is designed to carry as little awkwardness as possible, Richards says, with "unicorn matchmakers" (a couple in unicorn costumes) facilitating interactions among the participants. Free refreshments should further quell the unease, as will swag bags for the first 50 singles and a free raffle for Tate's prizes.

Also helping to grease the cogs of romance will be the "Prints Charming: Art Prints for a Happy Home" exhibit in the upstairs Bear and Bird Boutique and Gallery. And there is also Zoltate, a coin-operated arcade fortuneteller named after a similar one in the Tom Hanks movie "Big," which Richards says is a "curmudgeonly old puppet dude who cracks bad puns so you don't have to."

The Find Your Mate at Tate's Singles Mingle will take place 7:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at Tate's Comics, 4566 N. University Drive, in Lauderhill. Admission is free. Call 954-748-0181 or go to

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