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Amazing Arizona Comic Con Review

My good friend, Chris, and I were at it again. We geared up and set out for the first comic con of the year: The Amazing Arizona Comic Con. Held at the Phoenix Convention Center and only covering one room, this little convention that started in Mesa many years ago really brought out the big names and packed in the vendors. Well, maybe only the one big name.

Stan ‘The Man’ Lee was scheduled to be there, but he cancelled a few days before. He is getting up there in age, so hopefully there wasn’t some sort of health issue and he is doing fine. Although, at this point, if there was a health issue it would have been all over nerd news and I would have heard by now.

Legendary comic book artist Jim Lee was present. The one big name who showed up. I got him to sign volumes 1 and 2 of Superman: For Tomorrow, which I also had signed by writer Brian Azzarello at the Emerald City Comic Con a few years back. Now those graphic novels are complete and fully operational. We also got the chance to see Jim Lee do a live sketch panel where he walked through the steps he takes when he draws some of the more popular comic book characters, like Joker, Catwoman and Deadpool. It was amazing.

I always keep an eye out for great artwork at these things. I like to look for stuff that I find exceptional and would want to hang on my wall as per my tastes. I found such an artist with work that immediately caught my eye. Her name is Sasha Yosselani and her work can be seen here. I found her art to be beautiful with hints of loss and tragedy, yet hopeful. Her paintings have a touch of darkness to them, but are not overly macabre like a lot of the artists’ work I would see at the Emerald City Con a year ago.

We went to another DC panel at this con. It covered the Death of the Family story arch with creators Scott Lobdell, John Layman, and Kyle Higgins. I had no idea what they were talking about. Basically what this panel taught me was that I am way behind on reading comics.

Other than perusing the main hall trying to find great deals on graphic novels, we did a lot of people watching. Saw a few familiar faces, like local artist Shelby Robertson. And there was a whole lot of people in costumes. A lot of cosplayer girls. They came out in force for this thing.

This con really gave off the feeling that it was trying to be a big San Diego Comic Con, but fell very short. It was probably the lack of has-been TV stars. Scantily clad women were paid to hangout at merchandisers’ booths to draw in the nerds with their nerdy money. They had the one big name there, like I said, Jim Lee, but executed very poorly on organizing the signings and panel. They even had a hard time getting people in the door. People with Groupons, people who paid ahead, people buying that day. It was kind of a mess.

But overall, it was still fun. And the best part of all, I learned how to execute the best raffle prize give-away method there is:

  • First, you bring in as many people as possible to a panel and show them a bunch of movie trailers off of IMDB.
  • Second, you have all those people take a raffle ticket for the big prize give-away at the end.
  • And third, call out the winning numbers, but the numbers don’t match up at all with the tickets handed out earlier. So nobody wins anything and they sit there waiting in anticipation until the realization of what’s happening sinks in and they leave! It’s Great!

Enjoy the pics!

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