Arkham Comix plans celebrity signings, art classes

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Michael Phillips and mom Sylina Allen chat with artist Louis Small Jr. at the Arkham Comix grand opening celebration in August. Brie Handgraaf | Times
Michael Phillips and mom Sylina Allen chat with artist Louis Small Jr. at the Arkham Comix grand opening celebration in August. Brie Handgraaf | Times

Six months after opening a second location in Wilson, Arkham Comix has a full slate of events for all ages.

The fun kicks off Saturday with the Wilson launch of Brother Panda comic book with appearances by creators Eric McRay and Mike Wilson along with local contributors Louis Small Jr. and Aaron Dowen. Small and Dowen both are artists who did work on the Brother Panda book, but also have their own projects such as Dowen’s Catalyst Comics.

Brother Panda is described as a “1970s-inspired detective action adventure in the spirit of Shaft, Dirty Harry and Bruce Lee films.”

“This is a work of passion and a long-time dream of ours,” said Giant Star creative director and cartoonist Mike Wilson. “It is 30 years in the making and we are excited to bring our vision to fruition.”

The free event will be from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Arkham Comix, 3710 Peppermill Drive, Suite F.

Registrations also are being accepted for Superheroes and Snacks, a hands-on class for kids led by artist Myra Stotesbury. Arkham Comics owner Tiffany Young said she has had a lot of interest from parents and hopes to make the paint-and-pop parties a monthly, if not more often, occurrence. The first class will be a chance for participants to paint their favorite superhero logo with the $25 entry covering
pizza and supplies. While the event is geared toward kids ages 6 and up, Young said parents can sign up younger children if they agree to assist the child.

For parents wanting more in-depth art classes, Small will be teaching a six-week course starting in February.

“He’ll be teaching them to draw superheroes,” Young said. “They’ll be teaching them to make a comic and at the end, there will be a gallery event where they can actually have someone buy their art. I think it will be a lot of fun.”

The cost is $75, but the dates for the class haven’t been finalized. For more information or to register, call (252) 281-5684 or visit www.facebook.com/arkhamcomix2/.

“Without the community, our shop doesn’t exist, so we want to give back as much as possible,” Young said. “It is important to us as a store and as a family.”

Youth Enterprising

A Wilsonian studying at Saint Augustine’s University was a finalist in a Raleigh competition for youth-led social enterprise ideas.

Brandon Gray, a sophomore, was among six students from four colleges across North Carolina to pitch their ideas Monday for a chance to win start-up funds during The Institute and United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Idea Generation Next: College Edition. Gray and N.C. A&T State University student Jamie Steen started Vybez, a clothing company that focuses on mental illness and suicide awareness among youth.

“United Way provided access to a mentor who helped us determine how to separate our brand from others,” Gray said in a press release. “Ten percent of all proceeds from Vybez will be donated to the Jed Foundation, which promotes mental and emotional wellness in teens and young adults.”

While Gray’s idea was not selected as a winner, the United Way program provided valuable assistance and experience.

“It is the goal of the university to facilitate and provide students with opportunities to grow and excel beyond the classroom,” Saint Augustine University Director of Student Activities Ann Brown said in a statement. “This is an example of how getting students involved with the surrounding community can be truly beneficial to their overall development and college experience.”

Extra! Extra!

Craft Technologies on Frank Price Church Road recently was purchased by Eurofins North America food division.

“I am excited to have Neal Craft and his team bringing strength in the area of testing for biologically active components,” Eurofins Scientific Chief Scientific Officer Lars Reimann said in a statement. “They have capabilities that are a nice addition to the assays currently performed within the Eurofins Group.”

Craft’s 10,000-square-foot lab and small staff will join more than 30,000 staff in 400 laboratories across 42 countries under the Eurofin umbrella.

“For a long time, people have said that Craft Technologies is the best kept secret in this area,” Craft Technologies President Neal Craft said in a statement. “By becoming part of the Eurofins international group of labs, we will be able to let the secret out and have a bigger impact as a result of this association.”

In other business acquisition news, WHIG-TV changed ownership. The Rocky Mount-based station recently was purchased by RSS Media Marketing, which is a new partnership that includes Station President Sandra Smith. Smith will continue in her role and honor of station founder Herbert Greenberg, who died nearly four years ago. When WHIG-TV started in 1997, it served Nash and Edgecombe counties, but it now is broadcast in 19 counties throughout central and eastern North Carolina on four cable networks and online at www.whigtv.com/.

Got an idea for news to include in next week’s Main Street Minute? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 252-265-7821 or bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com.