Gods & Monsters — the nation’s second-largest comics, toys, collectibles and gaming venue — permanently swoops into Orlando on Saturday, June 13 with a free grand opening celebration for all ages from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Gods & Monsters is located inside Artegon Marketplace Orlando, the new shopping attraction and artisan marketplace on north International Drive.
Following a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m., the public is invited to explore Gods & Monsters and its Transmetropolitan Gallery and Offworld L.O.U.N.G.E. as well as enjoy 12 hours of non-stop entertainment, activities, art demonstrations, contests and giveaways — including free comics.
Activities will raise funds for the Hero Initiative, a not-for-profit which helps comics creators in need.
Grand opening festivities will include:
- A free arcade sponsored by Free Play Florida & BART
- Special appearances by renowned cosplay models Callie Cosplay, Heather1337 & Jenifer Ann, and by Central Florida’s critically acclaimed Victorian Horror Troupe Phantasmagoria
- Legacy Aerial Arts offers aerial silks performances by Bella Maia as Catwoman and Hailey Burkett as Wonder Woman
- Free face painting and balloon art provided by Artegon’s YES, Your Entertainment Spot
- Superhero arts & crafts throughout the day with Mad Science highlighting the Science of Superheroes from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Live art demonstrations by Bianca Roman-Stumpff, Kevin Wood, Mark Pacich, Robo Ohno and more during the Transmetropolitan Gallery Art Show
- Comics creator Shawn Surface will promote his upcoming series “Mandi,” sign books and prints, and draw custom character sketches for donations
- Derrick Fish will appear with original art, prints and all of his creator-owned comics, such as “The Wellkeeper,””Dandy & Co.,” “APPARITION,” and his all-new “CARPE NOCTEM”
- Comics creator Jenni Gregory will sign copies of her books “DreamWalker” and “Summoner”
- Renowned convention artist Michael “Locoduck” Duron will create character sketches for attendees
- The 501st, Mandalorian Mercs and Guardians of Justice (non-profit organizations), will have groups of popular characters appearing throughout the day.
- Guests are encouraged to attend in costumes throughout the day, and participate in an 8 p.m. costume contest with prizes
- Brit Lytle with Bittersweet Body Art will conduct live body art demonstrations.
- Author Brian Downes will sign copies of his book “The Berlin Fraternity”
- The Hero Initiative will host a fundraiser with silent auction
- Carlos Cabaleiro, whose credits include working on major licensed properties for Marvel, DC Comics, Star Wars, Ghostbusters and Breaking Bad, and who regularly contributes to top trading companies including Topps, Upper Deck and Cryptozoic Entertainment, will be on-site signing and sketching (he is currently the artist of a creator-owned comic titled “A BULLET FOR YOU”)
- Indie game developer Major Games will be demoing their creation “BiT Evolution”
- Jim Inziello with Unicron Studios will be demonstrating 3-D printing throughout the day
Comedian Adam Avitable, DJ Math(ew)Matics, DJ Elliot and DJ Spank will oversee and emcee the festivities, which will also feature light bites provided by Chevy’s Fresh Mex and Pizza@Artegon, with proceeds benefiting the Hero Initiative.
The first high-end, innovative comics and collectibles store of its kind in the U.S., the 18,898-square-foot Gods & Monsters will offer the genre’s most sought-after merchandise including new and rare releases, import items, and vintage collectibles. The decor has been created by scenic effects artists whose portfolios include Central Florida’s world-famous theme parks and attractions.
Other features include:
- The Transmetropolitan Gallery – A pop-culture, fine art gallery featuring an ever-changing array of top quality comic and media themed art – including sculpture, paintings, custom toys and original comic art –from local, national and international artists.
The Offworld L.O.U.N.G.E. – A sci-fi gaming lounge, heavily inspired by the movies “Blade Runner,” “Alien” and the game “Skyrim,” where guests can enjoy a nice selection of beverages and snacks while facing off in a round of tabletop games or wrecking the noobs at Super Smash Bros.
- Special events such as gaming tournaments, midnight release parties, nerd-themed weddings, birthday parties, celebrity signings, conventions, art gallery receptions, charity fundraisers, VIP parties, live bands, DJs and karaoke music nights, comedy and trivia nights, and themed costume parties.
Co-founders Todd Fisher and Anna Young have been in the comic and toy retail business for nearly 40 combined years. Multiple winners of ‘Best of Orlando’ awards, the two have operated some of the region’s finest and best loved stores and galleries including Acme Superstore in Longwood, A Comic Shop in Winter Park, Tekno Comix in Altamonte Springs, and Park Avenue Fine Art and Russell-Alexander Fine Art in Winter Park.