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Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2015

Another great weekend at the Amazing Arizona Comic Con! Not just great, the best yet! Some of the best comic book creators were in attendance this year, and not just any creators, the guys who created the first comics I read back when I was a kid in the early 90s:Ā Greg Capullo (Spawn, the New 52 Batman run with Scott Snyder), Rob Liefeld (Deadpool and X-Force), Adam Kubert (Wolverine), Mark Bagley (The Amazing Spider-Man). And some of the newer guys were there as well: Steve Epting (Captain America), Steve McNiven (Old Man Logan, Death of Wolverine) and writer Chuck Soule (Death of Wolverine).

I saw two of the best comic-book-focused panels ever: Greg Capullo and Rob Liefeld. They each had insightful and entertaining stories to tell about how they got started in the business. It was also educational listening to them talk about leaving Marvel, Leifeld starting Image, and each of them working with Todd McFarland.

I have to pay respect to Capullo. The guy is one of the most genuine, down-to-earth, appreciative artists I have met at a con. A lot of these guys who have achieved fame and fortune come off as irritable and arrogant if you ask them for an autograph. Not Capullo. He saw the line of fans waiting to meet him and walked down the line shaking hands and giving high fives and thanked everyone for showing up. He took the time to take photos with people and signed whatever they brought. That alone makes me want to continue buying his work.

I also chatted a bit with some other legends, Adam Kubert and Mark Bagley. Kubert has a long list of work most of us have seen, including one of my most cherished issues, Wolverine #75, with the hologram cover. And Bagley was penciler on just about every issue of Amazing Spider-Man I read back in the early-mid 90s.

I spent some time talking with cute cosplay girls. I had conversations with both AZ Power Girl, Cara Nicole, and Vegas Power Girl. Both of whom did not cosplay as Power Girl that weekend, but were still gorgeous nonetheless. Cara and I talked about costumer (not customer) etiquette because of a blog she wrote. It was an enlightening piece and you can read it here. Vegas Power Girl let me play with her blunderbuss :o

In my opinion, Amazing Arizona Con outdid themselves. Now it’s on to Phoenix Comic Con!

Honorable Mentions

 

Amazing Arizona Comic Con ’14

Guinness World Record, Robert Kirkman’s flippant responses and Triforce tramp stamps! Oh my!

I did only one day at the Amazing Arizona Comic Con this year. And that was sufficient, it seemed. I just wasn’t prepared for a full, three-day weekend for this con, but that’s OK. I still had a great time, learned some new things, and acquired new artwork.

The many talented creators who attended this con partook in a Guinness World Records attempt at creating a comic book in record time. Approximately 100 artists attending each drew a frame for the comic within 10-15 minutes per frame. The comic was written, drawn, edited and printed in just under nine hours, beating the Guinness World Record!

I got as many of the artists I could to sign it for me, which wasn’t very many. However, this exposed me to some great artwork I would have otherwise glanced over. I listed some noteworthy ones below.

The only panel I went to this time was an hour with Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead. It was interesting listening to his reasons why the TV show strays away from the storyline of the books, and how he understands that some fans would want to see the comic strictly followed. It was as if he was talking directly to me.

I hate that the TV show strays so far from the comics. As he explained it, he wanted to take an alternate route with the show since he already did the story in the comic book. He didn’t want to retell it in a different medium. I can live with that. The comics are still way better though.

And then I saw Rosanna Rocha’s Triforce tramp stamp. Which made me think up my subtitle. Which is the only reason I’m adding this link. Enjoy!

 

Check Out These Artists (they’re great!):

 

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Robert Kirkman

Robert Kirkman

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Daenerys Targaryen. The only Game of Thrones costume I saw.

Daenerys Targaryen. The only Game of Thrones costume I saw.

This is the face of a man disappointed with raffle prizes.

This is the face of a man disappointed with raffle prizes.

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Gallery

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 thanĀ perusingĀ 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!