I can't believe that one week from today is the future I've been waiting for. October 21, 2015 -- forget the Internet hoaxes of the last ten years. That's the day Doc, Marty, and Jennifer visited in Back to the Future II, when cars will fly, shoes will tie themselves, and and people will be mercilessly fired by fax. I use the future tense because we're still seven days away. It could happen. Just ask the Cubs.
What? No way! Remember Doc's last words to us, in Back to the Future III: "Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one." The future of Amazing Arizona Comics looks very good, indeed. Firstly, Arizona has never been a better place to create comics. Opportunities to exhibit indie comics thrive in Phoenix, Tucson, and beyond, including Cottonwood own comic book show later this month. Local media seem eager to cover indie comics, including local legend Eric Mengel's Ocho achieving the well-deserved Best Arizona Superhero distinction in Phoenix Magazine. This may not be Hill Valley, but it's certainly a pinnacle of comics-driven creativity.
Secondly, just as Arizona's never been a better place, this has never been a better time. Our nation stands divided on the brink of a Presidential election, and issues of gender, race, sexuality, and religion spark more debate than ever. As much as I hate to admit it, superheroes are actually a part of the problem. Now, when superheroes are more popular than ever, next year's movies pit them against each other, in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Captain America: Civil War. This isn't the future the heroes of my youth were fighting for! Where are the skywalks and jetpacks? The stories we were told as kids may not be coming true, but that isn't a call to stop telling them -- it's a call to make up more.
When this year ends, I'll have self-published nine issues of Amazing Arizona Comics between February and December, and next year I plan on continuing my monthly schedule. The story I have in mind is my most ambitious yet, one I outlined literally twelve years ago, rekindled by Arizona's need for heroes, and this generation's need for hope. It'll be full of surprises, meaning, and a lot of fun, too!
I can't wait to share, so here's next October's cover (that'll be issue #28?!), sans color, by my friend Dave Dell'oso. That's Speed Cameron, a certain jolly fat man, and a horde of zombies at a light rail stop. Super cool, right? Every month will feature a cover by a local artist and/or close personal friend, because I couldn't resist seeing how they'd play with my toys. I'll leak more previews in the coming weeks, on dates that are particularly important to me. Of course, I'll start on October 21. On that day, and every day forward, I'll be happy to quote another movie . . . Cable Guy. "The future is now!"