The folks at downtown's Trunk Space Gallery are mining comic value -- in the most literal sense. A portion of proceeds from "POW! Comic Book & Sequential Art" -- a monthlong exhibition and sale opening Friday, July 2 -- benefits the ACTOR Comic Fund, a nonprofit aiding comic book creators in need. Produced in partnership with Samurai Comics, "POW!" spotlights works by nationally recognized comic artists as well as local self-publishers. "The artists showing, many of them are celebrities in the comic book world," says the Trunk Space's JRC.
A month's worth of parties pimp the exhibition. On opening night, DJ Red Bird spins a soundtrack for two live art shows: Blue Coble and David Bessent promise to "weave mural magic," and Rob Osborne and Albert Martinez are on tap to "give the crowd another shot of painting calamity."
On Saturday, July 3, local cartoonist and guest host Brandon Huigens reads his poetry and performs with the Galapagos Improv troupe, and "Drag Diva Vera Las Vegas" and friends hit the runway for a drag show.
Dvorák and Beethoven serenade the Phoenix Art Museum
The halls are alive with the sound of music this Thursday, July 1, when a foursome from the Phoenix Symphony gigs at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central. The July installment of the Downtown Chamber Series gets under way at 7 p.m., with compositions by Dvork (American String Quartet in F Major, Opus 96) and Beethoven (String Quartet, Opus 18). Call 602-254-1491 for tickets, $10. --Jill Koch
Ring Around the Caller
Gay square dancers do the 'wave
If your idea of square dancing equals blue-hairs do-si-doing at hoe-downs, set your worldview, er, straight at "Remake the Heatwave," the annual convention of the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs, from Thursday, July 1, through Monday, July 5, at the Arizona Biltmore, 2400 East Missouri. More than 1,200 will swing their partners (gay, hetero or otherwise) to callers Mike DeSisto, Randy Dougherty and Tony Oxendine during specialty "tips" (two-song dance sets). While most participants wear the requisite Western shirts and crinolines (traditional dresses) along gender lines, a few go drag or let loose in leather gear or go bare-chested. Fabulous. Admission is $200 (meals included), and registration is required. See www.remaketheheatwave.com. --Benjamin Leatherman
Legends will be made at ConKopelli
Hey, speculative-fiction authors, does your 5,000-word tome on El Chupacabra -- in a word -- suck? Head to "Westercon 57: ConKopelli" from Friday, July 2, through Monday, July 5, at the Wigwam Resort, 300 Wigwam Boulevard in Litchfield Park, for some new blood. "The Mythology of the Southwest" is the theme of the four-day affair, which includes a lecture on the celebrated goat-sucker, plus seminars on everything from rocketry to meditation. There's even a reading of The Very Secret Diaries of Lord of the Rings, "an alternative-lifestyle look at the LOTR characters, done in the style of Bridget Jones's Diary," says event publicist Lee Whiteside. Weekend admission is $85 for adults and half-price for children 7 to 12. Call 623-935-3811 or see www.conkopelli.org. --Benjamin Leatherman