Grab your cape and cowl: It’s time for Tucson Comic-Con | Arts: Characteristic
Helm Greycastle and his band strangers must save the last dragon prince, who is held captive by the Aztec Mexica unknown to them. In the process, they are recruited to be part of the resistance planning to overthrow Montezuma and free the Mexican people. Can they, will they succeed?
Ask Tucson native Henry Barajas, the writer and creator of Helm Greycastle, a comic book and role-playing dice game that may or may not contain the answer.
Writing the story allowed Barajas to delve into the history of the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs and explore alternative possibilities.
“Helm Greycastle was a chance for me to escape and do a, ‘What if?’ “What if this happened?” and be a little more creative and less limited by the truth,” he said.
Meet the Tucson native at Tucson Comic-Con 2022, scheduled for Friday, September 2 through Sunday, September 4, at the Tucson Convention Center, where he will show and sell his work.
Grab your cape and cowl and head to the con, where the everyday goes.
“Tucson Comic-Con is a pop cultural experience for the whole family,” said festival owner Brian Pulido with his wife, Francisca Pulido, and Tucson resident Mike Olivares.
“What people will experience there is everything from some of the greatest comic artists and cartoonists in the world, including former Marvel Comics editor Jim Shooter; artists on some of the best comics in the world; fine artists; and popular artists, including Tucson resident Chiara Bautista,” Pulido added.
Comic-Con is a place to shed your everyday disguise and become the superhero or villain you really are.
“We encourage people of all ages to come in costume,” Pulido said. Guests will fit right in with others doing the same, as there are over 25 costume groups that represent “Star Wars”, “Star Trek”, and “Ghostbusters”, to name a few.
Look for the 405th Infantry Division, part of the Halo universe; the 501st Legion Dune Sea Garrison – they are part of “Star Wars”; the Arizona Ghostbusters; or the Arizona Avengers.
There’s something else too, and it’s straight out of Gotham City.
“We also have a real live Batmobile from 1966,” Pulido said.
“Participants will be able to take photos with the Batmobile for free.”
You can’t touch it, though, but “you can get pretty damn close to it,” Pulido added. “I hear the Batmobile is quite sensitive. That’s why.”
Pulido listed several other activities to look out for, such as loads of role-playing games to play (or learn to play), tournaments to win, and pinball machines to tip. There will even be a UA-sanctioned esports tournament. Then there are panels of guest speakers, workshops, writing workshops for budding comic book writers, shopping, movies, parties, and an after-hours comedy show.
Perhaps most important is an inclusive Quiet Room, “for people looking for a softer experience. This applies to people facing these types of challenges and others,” Pulido said.
The room is equipped with professional support staff, low stimulation activities and quiet video games. It’s the place to come when guests or family members need to rest, feed a baby, or long for quiet.
There is more, so much more.
Look for a costume contest for adults and children, and the children’s workshop organized by the Flam Chen Circus Arts Three Ring Circus. Of course, there’s also an epic treasure hunt for the kids.
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what people will experience at Tucson Comic-Con 2022, America’s most social-friendly pop culture event,” Pulido said.
Brian and Francisca Pulido want guests to know that Tucson Comic-Con is a safe space for everyone, no matter who you are. Intimidation, name-calling, simple meanness will not be tolerated. They want everyone to have a good time.
Finally, here are some tips:
Download the program guide and plan your experience, as Pulido said he takes care of the entire convention center and expects 12,000-15,000 guests.
If you can only come one day, come on Saturday.
Buy your tickets in advance online. It is less expensive. Online prices are listed below.
Helm Greycastle’s Barajas will be there all weekend. He is well known in the world of comics, especially for his first graphic novel, “La Voz De MAYO Tata Rambo”, about his great-grandfather, a civil rights activist. This put Barajas on the graphic novel map; it is sold in the Smithsonian gift shop. He also wrote and published a story in the Batman franchise, titled “Urban Legends No. 18”. It was a dream come true for him because ever since the first Batman movie, Barajas saw the caped crusader as some sort of hero, someone to emulate.
“The character influenced me in many ways,” he said. “People always said, ‘What would Jesus do?’ I was always thinking, ‘What would Batman do?’ There’s a lore, a story, a moral, and things that I’ve gleaned from this character all my life to this day.