Louie M. covered the Arizona Eventure Con.
The Arizona Comic Convention scene has experienced some drama in early 2017: Phoenix Comicon can no longer use volunteers, Amazing AZ Comic Con canceled, along with startup Outlaw Comic Con’s miscommunications. Enter local comic shop owner Jesse James to bring the community together for AZ Eventure Con the weekend Amazing Con would have been here before they canceled.
Jesse wanted a small intimate event, something for the fans. He stated he was not concerned about profit and crowds, he wants to focus on creators, artists, pencilers, inkers, colorists, letterers, and make it a true ‘Comic Convention”. Another interesting point; for this event he didn’t sell tables openly but sent invitations out to the long roster of talent he knows. Jesse’s intent was to have the majority of stuff sold at the event be something the vendor owned.
And Jesse selected well, it was a great place to find new and interesting properties. I have visited many cons and this was a very satisfying change of pace. I engaged in several great conversations and felt like I got to truly know some of the local talent better (Talent spotlight below). The treasure hunt at this con was not for deals on hot items, but for interesting new content and I found a lot! Whenever I can, I am happy to put money directly into creators and artists pockets. On top of rising talent there were also some marquee names such as Chad Hardin (Harley Quinn), Joe Benitez (Lady Mechanika), and John Layman (Chew). The show offered a few exclusive prints and an exclusive TPB of John Layman’s Chew vol 12 (limited to 100) which sold well during the show.
The first day was at Dave and Buster’s in Glendale, AZ. The experience actually exceeded my expectations with free food, drinks, and wi-fi. I also heard several vendors comment on how great their service was while I watched them have drinks and coffee delivered to the tables. Due to a miscommunication on the back end, Day 2 was held at Jesse James Comics. Luckily Jesse has a huge store which can accommodate all of the guests. Jesse made sure to communicate the change to all of the attendees and issued refunds for those that paid for Day 2.
Independent Talent Spotlight:
Big Dog Ink: Independent publisher putting out several popular titles such as Shahrazad and Legend of Oz. The Kickstarter campaign for Kaiju Epic!, featuring Kaiju legends from around the world, launched during the show.
Red Skirts – Great throwback to old school science fictions TV. Web comics with ongoing updates but I picked up a hard copy to get started. Writer Al Sparrow is hilarious, his deep knowledge of comics made for a great conversation at the show.
Crucidel Comics: Publisher of fantasy epic Knightingail and new series set in the Revolutionary War – PuriFires. Gorgeous variants can be found at their online store, very worthy of displaying!
Anthony Delany: Dark, creepy, and haunting artwork. All of my favorite things!!
Spiral Ink Comics: Indy publisher of Rob Hicks’ creations Hooded Cobra and risqué Succubus comics. His future looks promising with a cool new superhero and an adult offering!
Spazdog Press – Do you like Nine Inch Nails, The Pixies, or The Smiths? Take a look at Spazdog! Spazdog is a collaboration of independent artists and writers creating anthologies with stories inspired by the songs of these bands, as well as original creator owned stories.
Final thoughts – Jesse James may have tapped into the future of comic cons. Many are speculating the bubble is going to burst on major pop culture cons. Not sure if I agree the bubble is bursting quite so soon, but there is definitely a place for small events tailored to comic fans. Especially since there is a growing feeling that comics vendors and customers are getting sidelined for celebs and novelty booths at larger cons. Jesse James said we can expect another Eventure Con but unsure of timing, it may not necessarily be annually. Whenever the event comes back, it is a MUST for comic fans and an experience you won’t get everywhere. If you prefer standard ‘pop culture’ conventions, you may not get what you are looking for.
Hope to see more events with this format in other areas.
Even though it was small, there were still cosplayers! Check out the gallery: