Casa Grande Dispatch Newspaper 
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Zombies and more at library

Zombies on the prowl
The madness of our 2nd Annual Comic-Con just keeps getting BIGGER and better! Mark your calendar's for Saturday, July 16th NOW because you just can't miss this kinda of awesomeness! 
Saturday, July 16 at 1 PM - 4 PM

Vista Grande Public Library 
1556 N Arizola Rd, Casa Grande, Arizona 85122

UZA will be doing a makeup and SFX class at 3:15pm called “Bruises, Blisters, and Gore!”  This is a great beginner class for those interested in makeup for any kind of character or event.  We even had someone from a group that does emergency drill events come to get more information on how to do makeup on accident participants.

UZA will have a booth with our information and some other UZA favorites as well.  We will have UZA’s Ray Digger The Grave Digger wandering the comic con for free photos with any interested attendees.  Sydoney will have her cameras ready to take the free photos/videos and she will put them on Facebook after the comic con is over and after Syd edits them, so this may take her a day or two.  Be sure to get a flyer from Sydoney telling where you can retrieve your photo from and where
 you can share your own photos with us. 

Take a look at what Casa Grande library staff members did out of their excitement and made for Saturday's Comic Con for the UZA makeup tutorial.  Some staff members created this AWESOME display to advertise our makeup tutorial at the Comic Con.  You Wonderful folks did an outstanding job!  You are Amazing and we can't wait to meet all of you and see all the colorful and costumed attendees!!
Zombies and more at library

Posted: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 9:11 am

By MELISSA ST. AUDE Staff Writer


Casa Grande Comic Con runs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. It’s free and open to all ages.

The event is a chance for children and adults to don a superhero cape and mask and visit the library, said Youth Services Librarian and event organizer David Brown.

It’s expected to attract plenty of Deadpools, Batmans, Harry Potters and other characters.

Last year, more than 400 people attended the event and this year, with expanded offerings, organizers expect a greater turnout.

“This year’s event is going to be bigger and better,” Brown said.

Among the events this year are:

n Drawing demonstrations by comic book artists;

n Makeup tutorials by United Zombies of America;

n Interaction with Tucson’s Copper Queen Roller Derby Team;

n Information and giveaways by Casa Grande Paranormal Investigators;

n Professional cosplay costume workshops hosted by ThermoCosplay;

n Martial arts demonstrations; and

n Costume contests and raffles.

The event aims to celebrate all fictional characters from popular stories, not just comic book or graphic novel heroes.

“Libraries across America are becoming hubs for comic-con type gatherings for people interested in characters from graphic novels, comics, film, television and popular culture,” Brown said.

Some library patrons are fiction fans and travel to San Diego for large comic conventions or to Phoenix or Tucson for mid-sized events, but Brown said many don’t have the means to attend out-of-town gatherings.

“We wanted to provide them with a similar experience,” he said.  

Casa Grande Comic Con is the library’s end-of-the-summer finale and signals the conclusion of its summer reading program, in which children earn prizes for reading for a specified amount of time every day.

Costumes are optional.

Vista Grande Library is at 1556 N. Arizola Road.

Zombies on the prowl

Posted: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 8:29 am

By MELISSA ST. AUDE Staff Writer


Zombies will be on the prowl Saturday in Casa Grande.

Complete with blood and bruises, the living dead will take their place among the superheroes, ghost hunters, roller queens and popular comic book and sci-fi characters roaming about the Vista Grande Library Saturday as the second annual Casa Grande Comic Con gets underway.

United Zombies of America, a Phoenix-based professional entertainment group, plans to offer a “Bruises, Blisters and Gore” workshop during the event, teaching others how, with a bit of makeup, they too can transform into any type of eerie and spine-chilling  — or cute and lovable — character.

For Sydoney Banks, founder of United Zombies of America, being a zombie isn’t all about blood and gore.

“We are not just a monster horror group,” she said. “We do many things and they may often involve monster-type characters and horror. We really do so many things — photography, makeup, videos, classes, panels, workshops, improvisation, security, volunteering, social media, advertising and more.”

The family-friendly group’s motto is “The family that scares together stays together.”

They’ll host a makeup class Saturday at 3:15 p.m. at the Vista Grande Library.

“This is a great beginner class for those interested in makeup for any character or event,” Banks said.

United Zombies of America will have a booth at Casa Grande Comic Con offering information about the group. UZA’s Ray Digger “The Grave Digger” will wander throughout the event, offering free photos with participants.

The group, which was founded in 2012, is no stranger to comic conventions. They’ve taken part in the Tempe, Apache Junction and Yuma Library comic con events as well as the Amazing Arizona Con, Mad Monster and various thespian festivals throughout the year.

This year is their first participating in Casa Grande’s Comic Con.

“UZA loves doing various types of cons, especially library cons, because we love giving back to the community,” she said. “We support anti-bullying and paying-it-forward.”  

She said people love zombies for many reasons, including the realism and the feeling that “it is more apt to happen futuristically to humans.”

“Of all the monsters there are, zombies might be the most realistic because they tend to occur from diseases, viruses, toxic spills, mutations, science experiments, attempting to reanimate the dead and more,” she said.

With recent books, comics, movies, games, video games, cartoons, toys, clothing and television shows that portray zombies, the monsters are enjoying a surge in popularity.

And while some enjoy being frightened by the characters, others enjoy doing the scaring.

Banks fell in love with zombies after performing at the “Haunting Haunted House” in 2009 and 2010 with her family and friends, Jess Acridge, Casey Corbin, Kristen Cline and others. UZA was started by the group soon after to help Banks explore her dreams, help others with theirs and to provide entertainment and fun, she said.

Many of its members are performers who appreciate the lore, makeup and creepiness of the living dead and some have received theatrical training from various organizations such as Disney, Universal Studios and professional haunted house experiences.

The group performs at events throughout the year.

UZA specializes in makeup and special effects and has its own live interactive game, “Zombie Attack,” which travels throughout the state.

But as a child, Banks was never intrigued by monsters or horror and didn’t tend to watch horror movies.

“I did love Halloween, the costumes and decorations even more than the candy,” she said.

Banks was 15 when she was assigned as the lead zombie in her first haunted house acting roll. In that role, she learned about monsters, horror, haunted houses and other characters.

That year, she won the season’s top actress award for the haunted house and since then has participated in other professional haunted houses each year, including “Rob Zombies Great American Nightmare” in 2014.  

Someday, she’d like to open her own haunted attraction that would be open throughout the entire year.

The group is family friendly and has members of all ages. For more information or to join, visit or visit the booth at Casa Grande Comic Con.



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