This week, you can check see public art painted in real time at the Phoenix Mural Festival, cheer on your favorite queens, and get geeky at the Arizona Comic Mini Expo. Best part? It's all free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.
Diana Arterian and Douglas Manuel
Poets Diana Arterian and Douglas Manuel will host a Q&A and book-signing at Valley Bar on Monday, April 30. Aterian recently released Playing Monster :: Seiche, a book-length poem navigating her childhood. Manuel’s book Testify focuses on being trapped between binaries: black and white, inner city and suburban, atheist and Catholic.
Things get lit(erary) starting at 6:30 p.m. at 130 North Central Avenue. The 18-and-up event is first-come, first-serve for seating. It’s free to attend, but you can RSVP on eventbrite.com. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts
RuPaul’s Drag Race
We’re now in double-digit seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and no one is complaining. For a place to view the race, visit Kobalt Bar, 3110 North Central Avenue, #125, on Thursday, May 3.
Aside from karaoke and cocktail specials, Kobalt is known for its video lounge — meaning there are numerous speakers and TV screens so you can see Miz Cracker’s flawless makeup and hear everything Eureka has to say (not that you’d have any trouble).
See if someone makes as memorable an exit as Miss Vanjie from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Entry is free. Call 602-264-5307. Lauren Cusimano
WTF (Women, Trans, and Femme) Maker Night
WTF (Women, Trans, and Femme) Maker Night celebrates the power of women — and the things they create, whether it’s a chocolate chip cookie or computer software. Which is why the monthly series brings together artists, scientists, engineers, and designers within the Phoenix community to collaborate in the making of creative and critical work, with materials and tools provided.
The event begins at 5 p.m. at ASU’s Hayden Library, 300 Orange Mall. The monthly series is free to attend. For more info, visit the ASU event page. Melina Zuñiga
Phoenix Mural Festival
Phoenix is already home to an impressive array of street art. But you can see about 50 new murals get painted during the Phoenix Mural Festival, a three-day affair that launches on Friday, May 4, at Unexpected Art Gallery, 734 West Polk Street. Several participating artists will be there from 6 to 10 p.m., with work on view and for sale. It’s a rare chance to meet them — and talk with them about their mural plans and larger bodies of work.
The free festival lineup includes new and emerging artists, painting over the weekend in more than a dozen neighborhoods. Participating artists include Isaac Caruso, Eric Cox, Dadsocks, Laura Spalding Best, Maggie Keane, and Ashley Macias.
You can find specific locations on the festival website, or just start exploring in areas where several artists will be working — including the Willo neighborhood, Grand Avenue, and Roosevelt Row. Visit the Phoenix Mural Project website. Lynn Trimble
Arizona Comic Mini Expo
Free Comic Book Day is an annual event when new pannapictagraphists (a very long word to describe comic book collectors) gather and get familiar with a local store. Adding to this year’s festivities, Samurai Comics is hosting the Arizona Comic Mini Expo. Hobbyists can meet more than a dozen of the creators behind some of the most exciting titles in the medium today. Andrew MacLean, the mind behind Headlopper, will be sketching and signing comics along with Mitch Gerads (Mr. Miracle), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Andy Kuhn, to name a few.
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Turn the page from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, at 1120 South Country Club Drive in Mesa. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Arizona Comic Mini Expo website. Jason Keil
Dick Francis may be more appropriate for Derby Day, but if you like your mysteries solved by friendly old ladies and their cats, then snuggle up at The Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale, for Cozy Con. The celebration of “cozy” mysteries runs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 5.
The event features eight of the coziest local and international authors, including bestsellers Jenn McKinlay, Kate Carlisle, and Paige Shelton, sharing homespun mysteries about bookstores, restaurants, antiques shops, and the amateur sleuths who run them. (Also? Their beloved pets.) The group will participate in several panel discussions, with a mass signing to follow.
Admission is free and refreshments will be served. For more information, visit the Poisoned Pen website or call 480-947-2974. Michael Senft