The Amazing Arizona Comic Con was held on January 8th & 9th, 2011, deep in the desert of Mesa Arizona.  The show was small but very, very cool. It was a clear case of quality over quantity. When you love what you do and you are surrounded by people that love comics, movies and more, it’s a hell of a rush.

At the Amazing Arizona Comic Con, I represented Heavy Metal Online along with Marketing/PR Specialist –  Scott Hunter, LMS creator Dan LuVisi and LMS Producer, Stephan Lokatsch. It was a blast! I was able to create a limited edition set of prints, some shirts and I had some issues left of my exclusive sketch book, Babes and Beasts.

It was a lot of fun mingling with all of the people there.  I had many long time- fans of Heavy Metal come up to me as well as brand new ones, who had never heard of the brand.  It was cool to see a new era of Metal Heads being born and watch the people who have loved it for so long, to be amazed and excited about the digital comic.

The show was loaded with great talent from the comic world and then some.  Comic companies like Aspen, Zenescope, Image and more brought out their crew to sign prints, comics and more. Jimmy and Bill Jay from Jay Company Comics, who hosted the con were having a blast and really did a great job in organizing the event. Robert Kirkman, Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld and Jeff Loeb were mingling with all of us mere mortals as well.

It was an awesome arena filled with Hot Cosplay girls, zombies and super heroes.

I was also invited to preside over a panel of artists discussing the value of deviantART. It was awesome and a video will be up soon, showing the panel.

Below are some images of the event.

Here I am (in the middle) flanked by Joe Benitez and Peter Stiegerwald of Aspen Comics. As an artist, Joe is outsanding and his new series Lady Mechankia is one of my favorite new comics of 2010. I even wrote about it in an article for MTV Geek. And if you don’t know Peter Stiegerwald, you should. Any aspiring colorist in the industry should take note of his work. Peter is the best in the business. He’s amazing with color and has a very solid grasp of color theory and design which makes his coloring just amazing. Any book colored by Peter Stiegerwald is beautifully done and you can tell the care he puts into it and the careful use of affects he deploys.

Even Darth Vader stopped by to give us the old “Ronnie James Dio” , Italian evil eye, I mean “Devil Horns” salute. Vader encouraged us to never underestimate the power of the darkside and to salute Ronnie James Dio. DONE VADER! DONE!

Jimmy Jay, owner of Jay Comics and the man responsible for the con, posed with some fans of Gates who were holding their new shirts to salute the ConGenement.

The display of prints, shirts and the trailer playing, at the con for the Heavy Metal Online booth.

Hal Hefner signing a print for a zombie girl.

That same zombie girl now trying to eat Hal Hefner. Some gratitude!

Hal Hefner and Victoria Paege.

Hal Hefner and a fan who purchased the Babes and Beasts comic. And a new fan at his very first comic convention, who bought the first print of the con.

And here are some really great new friends I made at the show. Bran and Mike. There were more to this crew, Mikey and Jes, but all of my pictures of them sucked and came out blurry. But you guys deserve an honorable mention for your awesomeness as well.

Speaking of awesome friends, my Italian brotha from anotha motha, Mike DeBalfo and his lovely wife Mary of Zenescope. Mike is an amazing artist who is on the rise. You should check his stuff out if you don’t know who he is.

And last but not least, Mat Nastos, the spry comic book veteran with a line full of Phineas and Furb fans waiting for sketches. Nastos is a write for the emmy award winning cartoon.