Last Saturday I attended the second annual Tucson Comic Con
, a one-day event held in The Hotel Arizona
in beautiful, downtown Tucson
. Entering from the West side entrance into the lower lobby, I didn't have to ask for directions as the crowd of people, many wearing costumes, were all headed in the same direction, to the right through the nearby antechamber and the ballroom beyond it. Both rooms had tables full of interesting comic-related items, but it took me only seconds to realize that the artists and writers and their ilk were in the ballroom, so that's where I headed first.( blurry picture of Tucson Comic Con crowd )
I tried to get some kind of contact information for each of the exibits I stopped at, but looking through my stash, I think I must have lost (more than) a few before I had a bag in which to plunk them, because I sure don't have nearly enough cards for the number of people who were at the show. The first table I stopped at was exhibiting plastic models. It turns out that the artist re-scuplts figurines so that they conform to either his, or his customers', visions. Unfortunately, after searching through all my stuff and clicking a lot of links on the Comic Con website*
I can't find any information about the artist. If anyone else who attended happens to read this, and knows who this guy was, please let me know so I can update this post.
I was pleased to run into betsywrites
, who was there with other members of the Tucson Roller Derby
. She told me that this coming Saturday (in conflict with TusCon
, which is this Friday through Sunday) they're having a match between the "Children of the 70´s" (and earlier decades), and the "Children of the 80´s".**
Go Children of the 70's!
I enjoyed visiting with Paul Fini, whom I'd met previously at a library panel discussion, his lovely wife Christy Cameron Smith, and their friend, comic book artist Clay Lewis. Paul Fini is the founder of indieonlycomics
. Paul is the author/artist of the semiautobiographical comic, Bliss
, as well as several other comics (Plant Guy is a blast!), and he's also published the Warlock’s Home Brew Adventure: The Outpost on the Edge of the Far Reaches
role-playing books. He and Christy used to be in a band together; I don't remember the specifics of the music or who played what instrument, for which I must ask your forgiveness, but I do remember that Christy was a singer for the band. Oh, and I happened to catch sight of her sketchbook; she's a good artist in her own right, although she's a bit shy about it. Clay is working on the fabulous project, Moon Mission Filey
, the first episode of which should be available as a Flash animation sometime around the end of this year. Of all the gorgeous art I saw on Saturday (and there's lots!) I think this was my favorite. He's working in a style reminiscent of art from the 1920´s and 30´s and the hero of his Buck Rodgers-inspired comic is his cat, Filey. Unfortunately, there's nothing up, yet, at the website (so the link I gave you is dead), but I'm hoping it will be live soon.
I also spent some time talking to writer/publisher Anthony (Tony) Garcia, of TwentyToSix Books
and his (sister?), singer ArleneWow!
. His most recent (I think) publication is Crown of Spears
. His website describes this as "an historical fiction that chronicles the Shuar rebellion against the Spanish Empire in 1599. The Shuar (aka) the Jivaro headhunters of Ecuador are the only indiginous tribe to successfully repel the Aztecs and the Spanish conquistadors. This story takes you to the wilds of the Amazon to witness these historic events through the eyes of a young priest who falls victim to their sway." He's even entered into a deal with the Shuar to produce some gruesome looking "shrunken heads" (actually leather masks with attached fur or hair, but still suitably horrific).( Tony Garcia and shrunken heads )
Now, I'm sure that, notwithstanding the tradition of comics as a male bastion, there are plenty of female comic book artists and writers out there—heck, my sons went to school with some very talented female artists, at least one of whom was publishing some very fine comic books while still in high school—but you couldn't tell from the line-up at the con, as I only met one, count her, one, female artist/writer. I sure hope that the folks who run the Tucson Comic Con will work on making sure that the word gets out that the con is female comic creator friendly (and that this is true), and I hope that more women doing work with comics will sign up to exhibit at future cons. (This is not to say that there weren't plenty of women sitting at the various tables, just that most of them were there in support of guys.) The one woman I met who was exhibiting her own work was Tanya Burr
. Hot off the presses—she told me she'd just opened the boxes that morning—was the first issue of her first comic, Dreds, the story of a dreadlocked meditation student who, despite his desultory approach to the activity and his relative n00b-ness, experiences some fabulous astral travel. Check out her DeviantArt page
, where you can see a picture of her in her cow hat and view examples of her art; I also learned there that she's posted the entire comic online at her website, starting with the cover
(just follow the links in the comments below each image).
Trivia fact about Tanya: she works at R-Galaxy
and says that owners Rick and Maritsa were instrumental in helping her to get her start.
Rick and Maritsa were also at Tucson Comic Con, with what was probably the largest selection of comic book and anime-related merchandise. I've known them for over ten years, since R-Galaxy is the place where my boys and I first went to rent anime. Now that my boys are out of the house, I don't get by very often, but they still remember me, even in a crowd as big as this was.
This has turned into a very long entry, so I'll end it here and finish up tomorrow or Friday with the costume-related portion of this program.
You can find a complete list of the various artists and vendors who attended here
If you're a roller derby fan, there's a discount offered for active military and for fans dressed in 70's or 80's style.