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Real-life comic super heroes fight poverty, send kids to camp

The Oct. 24 Comic Book Show was established by Dave Beaty and Jan Marc “The Janimal” Quisumbing. (Courtesy Dave Beaty)

The Oct. 24 Comic Book Show was established by Dave Beaty and Jan Marc “The Janimal” Quisumbing. (Courtesy Dave Beaty)

COTTONWOOD - Kabam! On Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the First Annual Cottonwood Comic Book Show Benefit will be held at the Cornerstone Church, 412 N. 10th St. in Cottonwood.

Sponsored by the Northern Arizona Cartoonist Association (NAZCA), the event is a fundraiser for the church's youth group camp. General admission is $5 (or $3 with three canned goods) and children under 10 are admitted free.

The show features an Artist Alley with nationally-known artists, comic book workshop panels, guest vendors (including toy-related items) and a raffle. Attendees also have an opportunity to snag unique collectible artist cards created by NAZCA members.

Artist Alley

Some of the show's Artist Alley participants have worked for Marvel and DC comics on books such as Batman, Green Lantern, Guardian of the Galaxy and the X-Men.

One such artist is David "Dave" Beaty of Prescott Valley, co-founder of the Cottonwood Comic Book Show Benefit.

His portfolio includes Batman, Inc. (New York Times Best Seller), Flashpoint: Wonder Woman, Brightest Day (New York Times Best Seller) and Justice League of America.

Currently, he is working on the sci-fi humor web comic Red Skirts.

Beaty got his start in the Comic Book industry in 1994 as a "ghost" artist working on backgrounds for Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #4 for Marvel comics.

"My mom wanted to be an animator for Disney and use to draw all the time when I was little. She was painting Spock in watercolor during an old "Star Trek" re-run when I was 5 years old. I was mesmerized by what she was doing," said Beaty.

"She sat me down with some crayons and notebook paper as an episode of "Rat Patrol" started. So I drew stick figures in Jeep®s. That's how it started," Beaty said.

Another professional is Sedona-based comic book artist Jan Marc "The Janimal" Quisumbing. Along with Beaty, he is co-founder of the Cottonwood Comic Book Show Benefit.

Quisumbing is West Coast Art Director for Pronto Comics. His work includes The Adventures of Pogi Boy and Big Brown Monkey, Lucha Bear, El Masked Oso de Justica and Time Shark.

His skills were honed at The Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Here in Cottonwood, he hosts the Old Town Drink and Draw at R.I.O.T. on the first and third Wednesday nights.

As a mentor to budding young comic artists, Quisumbing volunteers his time at after-school events to create an awareness of comics, encourage their artistic expression and to share his professional techniques.

"If I couldn't be Spiderman as a kid, I wanted to draw him," said Quisumbing.

Also featured at the upcoming show is Brian Augustyn, who has spent 30 years as a writer and editor for DC comics and others. Best known as the writer of Batman Gotham by Gaslight, he has also written for Marvel, Dark Horse and game scenarios for Sony PlayStation.

Other featured comic book artists include Benjamin Glendenning (sketch card artist with Topps and Upper Deck), Alec and Stephen Kozak (Second Star and Kozak Komics), Russ Kazmierczak (Amazing Arizona Comics), Daniel Bradford (Lil'Monsters and Lil'Bride), Ricky Killingsworth (former owner of Undiscovered World of Comics in Cottonwood), Daniel Franks (comic writer originally from Lancaster, England) and Al Sparrow (co-creator of Red Skirts).

Guest vendors

The Cottonwood Comic Book Show Benefit offers local comic book fans an opportunity to save gas money by conducting one-stop-shopping at a variety of vendor booths.

Guest vendors include Cab Comics of Flagstaff, Samurai Comics of Phoenix, Game On of Prescott and Prescott Valley and Drawn to Comics of Glendale.

Those wanting to get a jump on holiday shopping will also find toy-related items for sale.

Why they did it

Beaty and Quisumbing both realize that coordinating a first-ever comic book show in a non-metropolitan area is a bit of a roll of the dice. But both feel an unmet need exists in the Verde Valley.

"It's hard, because here you have to drive an hour to get to a comic shop," said Quisumbing.

"I think there could be community here to support comic art and at same point maybe embrace a larger part of fandom and hobby if they wanted to," said Beaty.

If You Go ...

• What: Cottonwood Comic Book Show Benefit

• Where: Cornerstone Church, 412 N. 10th St., Cottonwood

• When: Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• How Much: $5 (or $3 with three canned goods), children under 10 free.

• Contact: Jan Marc Quisumbing at holla@thejanimal.com or via the Northern Arizona Cartoonist Association Facebook page.

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