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The Amazing Arizona Comic-Con

Compiled by Larry Gaurano

The third annual Amazing Arizona Comic Convention is back in Phoenix, Arizona, touted as the first comic convention of the year.

Legendary comic creator Stan Lee famous for creating Marvel Comics classics such as Spider-Man and Iron Man will be headlining the event alongside the head of DC Comic and top-selling comic artist, Jim Lee.

Over 100 exhibitors are set to have comics, toys, clothing and other comic related items for sale. Just as many artists will be selling their work and services in the famous “Artist’s Alley”.

Discussion panels held by comic companies, groups, and other industry individuals will be held all 3 days. Many previews for up and coming 2013 products will be showcased.

The convention will take place January 25-27, 2013. Weekend passes are available for $50, Saturday passes are $35, and Friday- or Sunday-only passes are $25.

Ticket information, VIP upgrades, and regular event updates are available at

Lofty viewing of Miyazaki films

Compiled by Bruce Hardt

The Loft Cinema will be featuring the works of revered and seminal Japanese animator, Hayao Miyazaki from Jan. 24 to 30.

“Spirited Away” is one of Miyazaki’s most acclaimed films and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the ceremony’s 75th installment in 2002. In addition it is a darling of critics worldwide and considered among the greatest animated films.

The film is also one of the highest grossing films in Miyazaki’s native Japan, overtaking the record previously held by box office juggernaut, “Titanic.”

“Spirited Away” is the story of Chihiro, a 10 year old girl in the process of moving, and her adventures in a spiritual realm after her parents are transformed as punishment for their greed.

A modern fairy tale, “Spirited Away” will transport the viewer to a different, tender and dazzling world.

“Spirited Away” will play from Thursday, Jan. 24 to Saturday, Jan. 26. The film will play at 1 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:45 on the 24 and 11 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 7:15 and 10:15 on the 25 and 26.

All showings of this film will be in Japanese with English subtitles.

Jan. 27 through 30 will feature Miyazaki’s 2004 wonder, “Howl’s Moving Castle.” Based on the novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones, “Howl’s Moving Castle” is the story of a powerful magician, a young hat maker and their efforts against a growing war.

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2006, “Howl’s Moving Castle,” like “Spirited Away” is among the highest grossing films in Japan and received critical praise worldwide.

“Howl’s Moving Castle” will play at 11 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 7:15 and 10:15 on all dates.

This film will be the American dub featuring Christian Bale, Billy Crystal, Emily Mortimer, Jenna Malone, Jean Simmons, Blythe Danner and Josh Hutcherson.

Admission prices are $8 general admission and $6 for Loft members and children 12 and under.

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