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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Comix It Up brings nerds together


    Courtesy of Matt Rios

    Attendees browse a booth at a monthly installment of Comix It Up at the Maker House. The event is an opportunity for comic lovers to come together outside of the yearly Tucson Comic Con.

    Maker House and the Tucson Comic Con have partnered up to bring together artists, vendors, cosplayers, collectors and fans of all things comic at the monthly Comix It Up event tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Maker House.

    Comix It Up is a miniature version of the full-fledged Tucson Comic Con that happens once a year at the Tucson Convention Center. It is a place for the comic book community to come together outside of a typical convention.

    “It’s an excuse once a month to hang out with people that you have something in common with,” said Mike Olivares, the founder and director of Tucson Comic Con. Although the event is geared towards the fans who attend, Olivares also likes to spotlight local artists.

    Conventions give comic book creators, cosplay designers, prop makers and other artists the opportunity to display their work and sell their pieces to others who share similar interests. There aren’t many places for these artists to locally exhibit their work besides the Tucson Comic Con, but that event happens annually so creators are limited. 

    With Comix It Up, artists are able to connect with their buyers on a monthly basis. The convention, which hosted its seventh annual event this past November, draws a large crowd and provides an enjoyable, family-friendly environment for fans and artists alike. Olivares wanted to do more than just the annual convention and thought the community would be interested in more as well.

    In the spring of 2014, Olivares pitched the idea for the monthly gathering to his high school friend Matt Rios, the program manager at Maker House. The idea was a hit and in May, the first Comix It Up was held.

    The gathering has been held every month since and each time there has been something special. Some months have held panels with local artists about how to self-publish on a budget. Nonprofit cosplay groups who visit the local children’s hospitals while in character often attend the mini-convention. Local sculptor Brian Petty even demonstrated his craft by making Star Trek badges that began as a mere lump of clay.

    “Nothing ever goes exactly how you think it’s going to in Tucson,” Rios said. 

    This specific event is particularly special because of the introduction of the Nerdcore Swapmeet. 

    “We really don’t have any kind of a regular swap downtown,” Rios said. “One big thing about a swap meet is that it really builds the community in that area.” 

    The swap meet will be located in the courtyard of Maker House, a space that has gone unused during the monthly event. The increased amount of space will allow the large amount of people interested in the event to set up tables and be involved, without the spatial limitations of an indoors area. 

    Swappers are expected to bring everything from classic video games to Pokémon cards to countless collectibles from fandoms ranging from “Star Trek” to Marvel. 

    The experience of Comix It Up is something that Olivares and Rios believe everyone will enjoy whether they attend conventions religiously or didn’t even know they existed. The event is a mix of countless different fandoms and universes that all come together to create an exciting, creative space for the comic community.


    Follow Victoria Pereira on Twitter.

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