Mesa’s beach-themed 2nd Friday boasts books, bad shirts and beastly bikinis

2nd Friday Books on the Beach PartyFor many, summer means kicking back on the beach with a good book and soaking up the rays, but thanks to California’s unwillingness to fall into the Pacific, here in the valley our “beach” themed options are kind of limited.

In downtown Mesa, the beach is the sidewalk of Main Street as the 2nd Friday arts & entertainment festival celebrates the sun with its “Books on the Beach” block party, Friday, June 8, 2012, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.  Attendees will be wading through waves of written and spoken word wonderment on every corner of historic downtown Mesa.

The book and beach-themed events are some of the most popular shows of the year and this time they’re combining the genres into a thrilling evening of artistic enchantment. Mesa’s 2nd Friday always offers fun entertainment, live music, dining, art and unique shopping opportunities.

The featured events for the June 8th festival will include:

INKZILLA: Indie Publishing Event – Local independent authors and publishers will fill the OneOhOne Gallery and line the sidewalks and shops to share their written wares. Sponsored by Brick Cave Media, meet & greet spectacular local scribes as you check out their independently produced books, magazines and comics from many different genres. INKZILLA participants will include:

  • Michael Bradley – The Travelers’ Club and the Ghost Ship
  • Erin Lausten – Cibola’s Promise: A Western Steampunk Adventure
  • Erica Danekes – Fate and Phedra
  • Christy Strauch – Passion, Plan, Profit
  • Heather Smith – Tales of a Tombstone, Arizona Tortoise
  • J.A. Giunta – The Ascension Trilogy
  • Sharon Skinner – The Healer’s Legacy
  • Bill Snyder – The Eight-Fingered Criminal’s Son
  • Patti Hultstrand –  Time Conquers All
  • Hot Aces Comics – Independent Comic Writers
  • Judy Pemberton – Let’s Get Cooking
  • Rico Austin – My Bad Tequila
  • Shaun Hayes & Shane Painter – KE-12 (featuring the DOZD)
  • Russ Kazmierczak – Amazing Arizona Comics

Spoken Word Events – Hear local poets and spoken word talent as they entertain with their thought-provoking tales of politics, love, pain, joy and some fun comedy as well.
Hallucinatory Pop: The Work of Michael V BennettCheck out the work of one of the coolest and most prolific pop culture artists in the country at The Rusted Nail Gallery. If you love old school comics and Jack Kirby-esque art, you don’t want to miss this show.
Speak Your Mind Soap Box – Got something to say? Step up and take the microphone.
BAD Hawaiian Shirt Contest – Bring your tackiest Hawaiian shirt and compete for cool prizes from local merchants.
Zombie Bikini ContestQueen’s Pizzeria will be hosting Evermore Nevermore’s infamous 2nd annual undead swimsuit competition, with girls so hot they’re scary! Security provided by the Department of Zombie Defense (DOZD).

2nd Friday brings thousands of people together for an evening of fun, food and entertainment as they experience the local culture and creativity of historic downtown Mesa. Follow 2nd Friday on FACEBOOK, TWITTER or

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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