May is shaping up to be a great month for comics fans in Arizona. This Saturday AZ retailers are holding various Free (to you) Comic Book Day signings and benefits for local charities, and promoting the highly anticipated Phoenix Comicon right around the corner. Ryan Cody is putting together his second Arizona Comic Mini Expo at Samurai Comics. “There is a built in audience on that day, and many casual fans come out for FCBD that would not necessarily pay to go to a convention,” Cody explains why he picked the busiest day to hold this event. “It’s a way of reaching the most people possible and exposing them to comics and comic book art,” he added.
Erik “Savage Dragon” Larsen is the guest of honor thanks to Bookmans Exchange, a Tucson/Phoenix based used book store that is heavily involved with the Phoenix Comicon and various state-wide comic book events. Road warrior Eric Canete (Cybernary 2.0, Iron Man: Enter The Mandarin) is another hand picked guest that’s scheduled to attend. “When you add in guests like Cory Walker (Invincible) and Scott Godlewski (Codebreakers, The Green Ghost), I’ve got three of my personal top ten guys right there. I could not be happier,” Cody said. He also has massive pool of talent to pick from his backyard.
The insanely talented guest list includes: Tony Parker (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, R.I.P.D.), Brian Augustyn (Flash, Gotham by Gaslight), Ben Glendenning (Zombies vs Cheerleaders, Tin Star Tex), Eric M. Esquivel (Blackest Terror, Freelancers), Brian Miller of Hi-Fi color,
and multi award winning artist Daniel Bradford (R13, Disappointing Monsters). All Arizona based cartoonist that frequent conventions all around the world.
Phoenix based comic book stores had some big shoes to fill and an overwhelming demand when Atomic Comics filed for bankruptcy. Thankfully stores like Samurai Comics are hosting events like ACME and highlight spotlight the creators who make the funny books we all come to love. For more information check out the website or Facebook page.
Henry Barajas is the co-creator, writer and letterer for El Loco and Captain Unikorn. He has also written and lettered short stories for two successful Kickstarter SpazDog Press projects: Unite and Take Over: Stories inspired by The Smiths and Break The Walls: Comic Stories inspired by The Pixies. He is the Newsroom Research Assistant for The Arizona Daily Star and was nominated for the Shel Dorf Blogger of the Year award for his work at The Beat. You can follow him on Twitter @HenryBarajas.