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Russell Lissau hits Las Vegas Aug. 15 for a day of workshops and appearances

Russell Lissau

Russell Lissau

He’s written the adventures of Batman, the escapades of Strawberry Shortcake, and created his own pulpy universe in the comic Old Wounds. Now Russell Lissau will share his expertise from a decade in the comics field with a day of workshops and appearances in Las Vegas on Saturday, Aug. 15.

The Chicago-based writer, who by day is a reporter for the Daily Herald, will lead back-to-back, free programs at the Clark County Library (1401 E. Flamingo Road), beginning with “Making Comics” at 11 a.m. and followed by “Ready…Set…Draw!” at 1 p.m.

“The ‘Making Comics’ workshop is for teens and adults—people who are serious about the craft of making comics and who want to learn more about it,” Lissau says. “The ‘Ready…Set…Draw!’ event is for kids and teens, mostly. It’s like Pictionary, but with comics, science-fiction and fantasy as themes for the things to be drawn.”

After the library workshops, Lissau will then head across the street to Alternate Reality Comics (4110 S. Maryland Parkway, Suite 8)—recently named “Best Comic Book Institution” by the Las Vegas Weekly—for a meet-and-greet from 3 to 5 p.m. celebrating the conclusion of his acclaimed, creator-owned miniseries Old Wounds.

Drawn by fellow Midwesterner John Bivens, Old Wounds tells the story of a retired superhero and the ghosts from his past who’ve come back to haunt him. All four issues will be available at the comic store appearance for purchase and for Lissau to sign.

Although he calls Chicagoland home, Lissau is no stranger to Las Vegas. He was a guest at the 2014 Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival (where his “Making Comics” workshop was standing-room-only) and makes frequent recreational visits to partake in the city’s myriad diversions. He particularly enjoys the “great restaurants, fantastic hotels and swimming pools.”

“I gamble a bit as well when I’m here, typically craps and blackjack,” says Lissau. “Although my poker skills are improving and I may sit down for a game. Most importantly, however? My publisher is in town!”

Lissau’s next project for Pop! Goes the Icon is the one-shot story “Stranger” with artist Dirk Tiede, which will be released as a digital-first comic later this year. He also has several self-published comics in the works, including Rubicon with Danielle Alexis St. Pierre and Dinner at Dante’s with Mark Stegbauer.

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‘Tales from Lost Vegas’ debuts with pair of Las Vegas events

Tales from Lost Vegas cover

Tales from Lost Vegas coverWhat happens when three middle school students get trapped inside a sprawling complex hidden beneath the streets of Las Vegas filled with strange sights and perilous creatures? The world will find out when Tales from Lost Vegas–the all-ages adventure comic book funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign—debuts over the course of the week leading up to the Vegas Valley Comic Book Fest.

Written by Ed Hawkins (Tales from Fremont Street) and drawn by Steve Benton, Daniel Blodgett, Ken Lamug and Jska Priebe, Tales from Lost Vegas is the third in our series of all-locally created comics benefiting the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation’s support of the Vegas Valley Comic Book Fest. Tales Lost Vegas is the first full-color edition, and the first fit for readers of all ages. The cost of its production was funded by more than $6,500 in pledges from over 100 Kickstarter backers, mostly from the Las Vegas community.

The public can get its first glimpse at the comic when “From Alamogordo to Las Vegas: Behind the Scenes of Tales from Lost Vegas” opens inside the “Artist Spotlight” gallery at Alternate Reality Comics (4110 S. Maryland Parkway, Suite 8) with an artists’ reception held on Friday, Oct. 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. The exhibit will allow the creative process of making a comic book come to life through original art, sketches, notes, designs and script pages from Tales from Lost Vegas. The exhibit will be up through Nov. 22.

Tales from Lost Vegas then makes its official debut on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Vegas Valley Comic Book Fest, held at the Clark County Library (1401 E. Flamingo Road) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Among the other offerings at this free event — including film screenings, artist signings, panel discussions, a retail marketplace and much more — the Tales from Lost Vegas crew will be greeting people and signing copies of the comic at the Pop! Goes the Icon Booth inside the library’s main hall.

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This weekend: Anime Milwaukee and Alternate Reality Comics

Whether you’re looking to find some new comics to read, meet the people who make them, or learn more about getting published yourself, our staff and creators might be able to help you with that this weekend — depending on where you live!

Anime Milwaukee kicks off Friday, Feb. 15 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 17 at the Milwaukee Hyatt Regency. If you live in the area and are into anime, cosplay, comics, gaming or just having fun, you won’t want to miss this three-day extravaganza featuring concerts, parties, panels, fashion shows, gaming and much more. And you’ll find our pal Russell Lissau, frequent Omega Comics Presents contributor and co-creator of the forthcoming graphic novel Old Wounds, from whom you can get a sketch, buy some comics, and learn a thing or two about writing comics!

Las Vegas comic book artists of any level are encouraged to bring their portfolios to Alternate Reality Comics on Saturday, Feb. 16 from noon to 3 p.m., where Pop! Goes the Icon publisher and editor Pj Perez will be hosting a talent search to find illustrators for our next edition in our series of commemorative benefit comics for the Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival, Tales from Lost Vegas. To be considered for inclusion for this comic, artists should have five to 10 pages of sequential art pages (not just pin-ups or sketches) demonstrating their ability to tell a story through pictures. All styles and media are welcome. Art submissions are also being accepted online through Feb. 28.

Check out our Events page for all creator appearances and hosted events throughout the year!

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'Utopian' release raised funds, supplies for The Shade Tree

Pj Perez, Hernan Valencia, Ralph Mathieu
Pj Perez, Hernan Valencia and Alternate Reality Comics owner Ralph Mathieu stand among donations for The Shade Tree shelter.

Las Vegas’ comic book community came together once again to help those in need during the release party for The Utopian trade paperback on Saturday, Jan. 22 at Alternate Reality Comics.

Fans, friends and family turned out en force for the event, which not only featured Utopian creator Pj Perez and cover artist Hernan Valencia signing copies of the recently released paperback collection, but also a 25-cent back issue sale, and food in the parking lot from the extremely popular Slidin’ Thru slider truck.

The event was a benefit for The Shade Tree shelter for women, children and pets. Two car loads of donations were brought in by customers, and almost $200 from the back issue sale was raised for the shelter as well.

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'Utopian' release party kicks off 2011 schedule of creator appearances

pj perez, hernan valencia, russell lissauLast month, the 120-page trade paperback collection of Pj Perez’s The Utopian debuted. And this Saturday, Jan. 22, Perez and cover artist Hernan Valencia celebrate its release at Alternate Reality Comics in Las Vegas. From noon to 3 p.m., you’ll not only be able to pick up and get signed your copy of The Utopian, you’re also encouraged to bring donations for The Shade Tree shelter for women, children and pets. Donors will receive raffle tickets to win fabulous prizes from Alternate Reality and Pop! Goes the Icon.

In addition to the above event, here are some other places you can find the talents behind your favorite indie comics across the country in the coming months:

  • Jan. 21, Sunrise Coffee, Las Vegas – Pj Perez will be selling and signing copies of The Utopian at a benefit for Spread the Word Nevada from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Feb. 26, Comix Revolution, Mt. Prospect, Ill.Omega Comics Presents contributor Russell Lissau will join  Trevor Mueller to promote Hope: The Hero Initiative, a benefit for the Hero Initiative charity, from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • March 18-20, Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, Chicago – Russell Lissau and OCP collaborator John Bivens will both be guests at this second annual comic fest.
  • April 16-17, Stumptown Comics Fest, Portland, Ore. – Pj Perez will be exhibiting at the Northwest’s largest creator-focused comic book convention all weekend.
  • May 26-29, Phoenix Comicon, PhoenixTales from the Boneyard contributors F. Andrew Taylor and Pj Perez will be holding court in the small press section of the Southwest’s biggest pop culture convention.

As always, we’ll have more information as these dates (and others) approach, so be sure you’re receiving updates via e-mail or RSS feed.

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PGTI dishes freebies on Free Comic Book Day

Every comic book fan eagerly awaits the first Saturday in May each year, because that’s when the comics retailers across the globe celebrate Free Comic Book Day. This year’s event, landing on May 1, is sure to delight readers new and old with exclusive offerings from publishers of all size. And if you live in Las Vegas, a comic book store near you should have a little something from your friends at Pop! Goes the Icon: Free copies of Omega Comics Presents #1!

We’ve provided 25 copies each to three local retailers, which means you’ll have to hit your neighborhood store pretty early to avoid missing out. But we’ve got almost every end of the Valley covered by these great shops:

Of course, part of the impetus behind the now 9-year-old event isn’t just to give away free stuff to those already collecting comics, but to encourage new readers, especially young ones. So if you plan to visit your participating store, wherever it may be, be sure to grab a lil’ pal to pick up some new stories to read. There’s some great all-ages material available — check out the full lineup on the FCBD website.

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'The Utopian' now available at IndyPlanet, in stores

PGTI books at IndyPlanetIt’s mid-October, and that can mean only one thing: The Utopian #1 has made its debut! (Actually, it could mean a lot of things, but this is the one thing we’re concerned with right now)

Yes, the pre-order period has ended and copies of both the standard and deluxe editions of The Utopian’s premier print issue started shipping on Oct. 14. If you missed the pre-order period, no worries: You can now order Pop! Goes the Icon products directly from IndyPlanet, where you’ll find “a whole new world of comics.”

We’ve fulfilled orders for retailers through Haven Distributors, so the comic should be available in at least a few comic shops out there, but if yours is not one of them, be sure to print out this coupon and hand it to your local shop owner ASAP. If you live in Las Vegas, both editions of The Utopian #1 are available at Alternate Reality Comics (4800 S. Maryland Pkwy., Suite D).

While you’re thinking about it, get to know Utopian creator Pj Perez a little better in this nifty profile that ran in UNLV’s The Rebel Yell last week. And then go buy some comics. They’re good for you.