The first genre convention of the year, Amazing Arizona Comic Con, hits next weekend, Jan. 6–8, at the Mesa Convention Center in downtown Mesa. And with a cadre of cool off-kilter shops along its Main Street, downtown Mesa proves once again that it is the center of the Nerdiverse!
The action kicks off at the convention center at 5 p.m. Friday, and the evening activities will culminate at downtown’s Gotham City Comics & Coffee at around 8 p.m. with the launch of The Walking Dead Zombie Walk, celebrating the convention’s celebrity participants, Robert Kirkman, writer of The Walking Dead, and the television series star Chandler Riggs (Carl Grimes).
We know that zombies can scare the brains out of people, but can a zombie feel fear? Main Street’s MONSTERLAND says, “Yes!” And to prove it, they will be getting in on the Comic-Con action Friday night when they open their doors for the zombie walkers (and those running from the zombies) for FREE from 6:30 to 10 p.m.
This is the second annual Amazing Arizona Comic Con in downtown Mesa, and organizer Jimmy S. Jay said, “I wanted to work with businesses of Mesa and specifically the downtown Mesa district with this year’s convention. We have fantastic support from (the) new Samurai Comics location just a few miles away, but also Gotham City Comics and Coffee have been helpful in the promotions department. I was thrilled to see MONSTERLAND participating not just as an exhibitor at the convention but by opening up their store for the Zombie Walk on Friday night.”
While movie stars and celebrity creators are a huge draw to this convention, there are many local heroes that will be shining bright with new merchandise and exclusives at this show as well. Jimmy Jay says, “I think the greater Phoenix area has perhaps the strongest DIY/indie community in the United States. We’ve been very blessed to be embraced by Mesa locals.”
Some of the heavy-hitters from the local talent pool that will be making a big splash at the Amazing Arizona Con are:
Oddity Commodity – 2nd Friday favorites, the merry men of Odd will be debuting a new T-shirt , new art prints, and their Room 101 comic book collaboration. OddCo is known for bringing down the roof, so if you are having trouble finding their booth (#320) – just give a listen and follow the chants of “Woooooo Oddco!”
Big Chris Wood – Big Chris will be launching his Bad Ace Cards as well as a number of new prints, shirts and paintings. The Big Chris Art booth (#324) is also the place to find the “Babes of Big Chris Art” and the raffle for a one-of-a-kind Big Chris Electric Guitar.
Shelby Robertson – Shelby is the Phoenix New Times Best Comic Book Artist – 2011 and is also a downtown Mesa 2nd Friday favorite. He’ll have a slew of original comic art & prints available, and he’ll be debuting a new series that includes his zombie take on the Morton Salt girl. As most zombies know, brains taste better with salt!
As part of the convention, Amazing Arizona Con will also be hosting a “Drink and Draw” event, where you can socialize with comic book professionals that are attending the con, at the Tilted Kilt in Mesa on Saturday, Jan. 7. You can get tickets and more information about the convention at: amazingarizonacomiccon.com