Author Archives: Michael Owen

Michael Owen

About Michael Owen

Michael Owen is an intern for AZ Big Media. He is a senior at Arizona State University in Tempe, and studying business and creative writing. Outside of school, he usually spends all of his time playing video games, listening to music, and reading books based on games he likes. And yes, his hair really is that bad.

Rawhide in Chandler, Ariz.

Rawhide: Where The West Is Still Wild

Have you ever wanted to see what life was like back before Arizona even became a state? If you want to go where the Old West is still alive, then Rawhide is the place for you.

Rawhide began back in the late 1800′s as a frontier town, started by Charles “Rawhide” Rawley, a tradesman who wanted to start a town and his own store to provide goods, services and jobs for other settlers in the area.

People began to settle there; a town was soon born, and that town eventually grew into the Rawhide that we can enjoy today. In fact, many of Rawhide’s more famous shops are run by the descendants of the people who originally built them.

Rawhide in Chandler, Ariz.Rawhide offers many different attractions celebrating its history and the spirit of the Old West. While you’re there, you can enjoy activities, including live-action stunt shows, a train ride around the town, burro rides for the kids, gold panning, rock climbing, and so much more.

Of course, the attractions aren’t the only reason to enjoy Rawhide; there’s also a good variety of shops to visit if you want a souvenir to bring back. Among others, there’s a blacksmith, a shop where you can buy Wild West-themed clothes, a candy store, a toy store and, of course, the Rawhide General Store that started it all.

Finally, there’s the biggest shop of all, the main attraction in the entire town — the world-famous Rawhide Steakhouse & Golden Belle Saloon, where you can dine on the finest Western-themed meals. Whether you’re in the mood for steak, barbecue or anything else, it’s all here, and it’s all served to live music and occasionally other live entertainment.

So if you want to see a piece of Arizona history, and a place where the West is still very much “wild,” then Rawhide’s a place you definitely won’t want to miss.

If You Go: Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass

5700 W. North Loop Rd., Chandler
(480) 502-5600

Flash Websites

Flash Websites: Five Unique & Interesting Ones

Flash WebsitesWhile there are so many good flash websites out there, this list is of five of the more unique and interesting ones on the internet at the moment, from all sorts of different subjects. Whether you want to learn something, motivate yourself or play a game, these five sites are definitely worth a look.


Remember Mr. Potato Head? Who doesn’t? Well, if you want to relive the fun of playing with a classic toy like that in the form of a flash website, then Monoface is just the place for you. With more than 750,000 different faces available to create, you’ll have fun; trust me.

Get the Glass

When the California Milk Processor Board wanted to get people to drink more milk, they certainly picked a really creative way to do so — they created an online board game for people to play. You can help the Adachi family through a board of twists, turns and mini-games to get the elusive Glass (of milk) in one of the more fun and unique flash websites.


The website of the documentary film Waterlife doesn’t just give us a preview of the film and what it covers, but it does so in a way that really draws us into the experience. Among other things, this flash website plays some very calm-sounding music that just about anyone can enjoy, it uses a site navigation system that reminds us of water, and it gives us all the information about the Great Lakes that we could want from any one website.


Do you need a way to inspire yourself? Do you want a way that will probably work no matter what you need to inspire yourself to do? Moodstream does what few (if any) other flash websites do: it provides you with a selection of images, sounds and music based on how you adjust a series of five sliders.

Infinite OZ

Just like the California Milk Processor Board, the SyFy channel chose a rather innovative method of promoting its show “Tin Man” through flash websites — they created a virtual tour of the world the show takes place in. As you watch this website, you’re treated to a slow journey through all the different locales of the show’s world, each one blending into the next nearly seamlessly, all while hearing the people of each place. If you’re not already interested in this show, this website might get you into it.

Know any other good Flash websites?
Why not let us know in the comments?


Phoenix Museums

Phoenix Museums: History, Culture And More

Interested in the history of Phoenix or the culture surrounding it? Or are you just looking for a good, educational and interesting time? Check out one of many Phoenix museums, focusing on everything from art and music, to science and history.

With so many from which to choose, here are five well-known museums located throughout Phoenix and the state:

Arizona Science Center

Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center is one of the more well-known Phoenix museums. With more than 350 permanent exhibits, as well as a number of nationally traveling exhibits, the Arizona Science Center gives visitors a great hands-on look at science, nature, the human body and other subjects.

The experience is constantly changing thanks to the traveling exhibits that stop by; even if you’ve visited once before, there’s always something new to experience and explore. The Arizona Science Center also features a planetarium, an IMAX theater and a series of multimedia classrooms.

[stextbox id="grey"]600 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 716-2000[/stextbox]

Heard Museum

The Heard Museum doesn’t focus specifically on scientific exhibits; rather, this is the place you want to see if you’re interested in the history and culture of Native Americans in Arizona. This isn’t just a history museum, either. It features both ancient and contemporary art and literature, as well as a collection of exhibits about Native American history.

[stextbox id="grey"]2301 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 252-8840[/stextbox]

Phoenix Art Museum

If it isn’t science or culture you’re looking for, then what about art? The Phoenix Art Museum is another one of the great Phoenix museums … so great, in fact, that it just might be one of, if not the biggest art museum in the southwestern United States.

The museum features, among other things, more than 18,000 works of art from all over the world, as well as the occasional festival, live performance or other event.

[stextbox id="grey"]1625 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 257-1222[/stextbox]

Pueblo Grande Museum Archeological Park

This one isn’t the kind of museum that most people would think of when they hear the word “museum”; it’s actually a preserved site that is thought to be where a group of Native Americans settled as far back as 450 AD.

These ruins of a platform mound and a series of irrigation canals offer visitors a unique look at ancient Arizona and the people who lived there long before we did, and they’re definitely worth a look.

[stextbox id="grey"]4619 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 495-0900[/stextbox]

Musical Instrument Museum

Probably the most recent of the Phoenix museums on this list, the Musical Instrument Museum is a place any music lover should visit at least once. It has a collection of more than 13,000 musical instruments from all places and times; nearly 200 countries and territories are represented in its collection. Guests are given a wireless headset as they explore the museum, allowing them to hear the music of an exhibit as they approach it. A system like this gives visitors a unique experience.

[stextbox id="grey"]4725 E. Mayo Boulevard
Phoenix, AZ 85050
(480) 478-6000 [/stextbox]

What other Phoenix museums do you like?
Let us know in the comments section.


Giant Lego Man, Ego Leonard, Florida

Giant Lego Man: Marketing Scheme?

Here’s something you don’t hear all that often: a giant Lego man washed up on a Florida beach a couple weeks ago. That in itself is pretty odd, but this is actually the third such sculpture to be discovered since 2007.

The first giant Lego man found in 2007 washed up around Zandvoort, in the Netherlands. This mysterious giant figure had the equally mysterious phrase “No Real Than You Are” printed across its chest, leaving people baffled as to what it could mean, as well as the name “Ego Leonard” written on its back. The next year, in 2008, a second figure, sporting the same cryptic logo and name, was found in Brighton, United Kingdom.

The discoveries stopped for a few years following the events, but just two weeks ago, a third giant Lego man was found on Siesta Beach in Florida, with, once again, the bizarre statement of “No Real Than You Are” and the same name, “Ego Leonard” printed on its body.

People were once again mystified, but a few made a connection about this one: Lego’s amusement park, Legoland, had just opened a branch in Florida not long before this third wash-up. Not only that, 2008 just happened to Giant Lego Manbe the 30th anniversary of the Lego man figure.

Nobody is exactly sure who Ego Leonard really is, but with the timing of these wash-ups, could there be a connection to Lego itself? It’s possible, and if they are, then this is a kind of marketing strategy very rarely seen.

Juliet Straker, public relations and marketing for marketingworx, says she agrees that this is probably a marketing strategy and publicity stunt by Lego.

Lego is denying any involvement in any of these giant Lego man appearances, but Straker isn’t quite believing them.

“I would say that Lego is working with the artists on this, but their strong denial leads me to believe that the clever artist behind Ego Leonard, who is believed to be a Dutch artist by the name of Leon Keer, has elevated his own name and works on to the international stage.”

If Lego is behind these incidents, are they helping sales at all? Straker thinks so, but she thinks the frequency of these wash-ups is lessening their impact on sales. She says that “sales for Lego are up by about 10 percent in 2011, but the stunts are not that frequent, so I would attribute the increase in sales more to the new products the company has introduced and the fact that, as toys go, they provide big appeal to both children and parents. They are affordable, entertain for hours and get children thinking creatively.”

So what kind of marketing strategy is this? According to Straker, Lego may — or may not — be using one.

“I’m not sure that you can call it a strategy, as Lego is not really carrying it through in their marketing in any way,” she says. “It is just good old-fashioned publicity that is getting news outlets from Los Angeles to London covering the story.”

Her thoughts on “No Real Than You Are”?

“The phrase makes you stop and think,” Straker says. “Think of the absurdity of a giant Lego man showing up on beaches around the world. The idea of it alone is humorous and surreal. The phrase appears to almost pose the question, ‘what is real?’ ”

[stextbox id="grey"]While we don’t know for a fact who Ego Leonard is or if Lego really has anything to do with the trio of events, this campaign, publicity stunt, or whatever you want to call it is original and memorable. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box.[/stextbox]


What do you think: Is the giant Lego man a marketing tool or not? Let us know in the comments section.

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon: A Scenic, Smaller Canyon

Occasionally referred to as the “scenic, smaller cousin” of the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, just south of Flagstaff, is known for some of its geological details, including colorful rocks and unique natural formations.

Getting to Oak Creek Canyon isn’t hard, either; in fact, State Rt. 89A goes right into it. Before you go into the actual canyon, though, you might want to take a look at the Oak Creek Canyon Vista. From this place, you can get a nice bird’s-eye view of much of the canyon. Also, if you’re interested in Native American jewelry and crafts, and other items from the locals who set up displays around the area, you can pick up something at this vista.

While it’s definitely possible to explore the majority of the canyon just by driving down State Rt. 89A and taking in the sights, what fun is that? Most of the people who take the time to come to Oak Creek Canyon want to do more than just stay in their car the whole time; they want to go out and hike, or swim, or fish, or do any number of other things to make the most of their visit. If you’re one of these people, there are overlooks, picnic areas, hiking trails and swimming holes scattered throughout the canyon.

Oak Creek Canyon even offers its visitors something to see as they’re leaving. On the way away from the canyon, the keen-eyed observer might notice some of the various natural sculptures on the horizon. Among others, there’s Steam Boat Rock, Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock.

So if you’re around Flagstaff and want a place to go where you can see a neat little piece of the Arizona landscape, go give Oak Creek Canyon a look. And try not to stay in your car the whole time.

For more information about Oak Creek Canyon, visit its page on U.S. Forest Service’s website.

iPhone Business Apps

iPhone Business Apps: How To Work From Anywhere

iPhone Business AppsHave you ever looked at your iPhone and thought it would be great if it could help you out at work? If you have, you might like some of these iPhone business apps. There’s many more than just these five, of course, for a very wide variety of possible uses and tasks (the catchphrase “there’s an app for that” exists for a reason), but these five are some of the best.

If you’re looking for good iPhone business apps, give one of these a try:

Scanner Pro

The Scanner Pro is one of the more interesting iPhone business apps. It essentially allows your iPhone to act as a scanner. With this app, you can scan almost any document and email it to others, or upload it to your company server, or anything else you need to do with a scanned document. It also works with Dropbox and Evernote, two other apps in this same list.

Scanner Pro on iTunes


OmniFocus for iPhone

As the winner of the 2008 Apple Design Award for Best iPhone Productivity Application, this is one of the better iPhone business apps that you can find. It’s really simple to use, too. All you need to do is enter in the tasks you need to do, and OmniFocus allows you to arrange those tasks and organize them in whatever way you would find most productive.

OmniFocus on iTunes



Dropbox allows you to keep your files with you, no matter where you are. If you’re using Dropbox, all you need to do is save the file you want to your Dropbox, where it will proceed to appear on your computer(s), your iPhone, and anything else you can access Dropbox from. This is very useful if you don’t want to keep track of CDs, DVDs, flash drives, and the like.

Dropbox on iTunes



Evernote is another of those “save whatever you want for later” iPhone business apps, like Dropbox. But unlike Dropbox, Evernote also includes several ways to retrieve things you have saved, whether it’s by keywords, tags or even text in the saved objects themselves. Also, like Dropbox, Evernote works on computers, iPhones and other gadgets all at once.

Evernote on iTunes


Cisco Mobile 8.1

If you ever wanted to use your iPhone as an office phone, then this is the app for you. Cisco Mobile allows you to connect your iPhone to your workplace or office’s phone infrastructure, allowing you to receive calls just as you would at work, without actually being there.

Cisco Mobile 8.1 on iTunes


For more iPhone business apps,
check out the “apps for business” section of Apple’s website.


Tonto Natural Bridge

Tonto Natural Bridge

Tonto Natural BridgeBetween Pine and Payson is a small valley, which is the site of the Tonto Natural Bridge. This bridge, which was discovered back in 1877 and is now one of Arizona’s most well-known natural landmarks, is thought to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world.

The Tonto Natural Bridge stands 183 feet above a 400-foot long tunnel, and the park around it allows visitors the chance to stand on top of the bridge and look down into the valley below, or hike down into the valley in order to look back up at the bridge and really take in the wonder of it.

In order to give visitors the chance to head down into the areas below the bridge, the park provides four trails for guests to use. These trails can be tough, so the park recommends wearing hiking shoes and not bringing pets or glass containers:

  • There’s the Pine Creek Trail, which is about half a mile long and leads into the Pine Creek natural area. As long as guests follow the arrows, the trail should be easy enough to follow.
  • There’s also the Waterfall Trail, which is around 300 feet long and ends at a waterfall cave, but does have uneven steps to deal with.
  • Also, there’s the Gowan Trail, which is roughly half a mile long and leads to an observation deck in the creek bottom. This trail can be steep, though, so visitors should be careful with this one.
  • Finally, the Anna Mae Trail is about 400 feet long and leads to both the Pine Creek Trail and the bridge itself.

In addition to these trails and the sights they offer to guests, the park also provides a few other services for the enjoyment of tourists and visitors. There are picnic tables scattered around the park grounds, as well as a few group-use areas containing a large gathering area, a barbecue and electricity, and a shaded ramada with picnic tables for guests to sit and relax at.

Some visitors may just want to enjoy nature and the area around the bridge itself. For these guests, the park also allows swimming in the nearby Pine Creek and doesn’t hesitate to inform people about the various kinds of birds and other wildlife that can be seen around the park. They even provide a list of birds within the park for anyone interested specifically in birdwatching.

The park is open Thursdays through Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. So, if you’re in the area and want to see one of Arizona’s great natural landmarks, the Tonto Natural Bridge is definitely worth a look.

For more information on the Tonto Natural Bridge, visit Payson’s website or the Arizona State Parks website.

Pop Culture Paradise

Pop Culture Paradise: Comics, Games And Dedication

When Marco Regalado noticed the small comic store, Pop Culture Paradise, sitting just off the Arizona State University campus in Tempe, he purchased the store from its previous owner. Why? After taking a look at the store, he says he noticed that it was not a particularly clean or organized place, it had a lackluster selection of merchandise, and it wasn’t hosting many activities and events.

With the new ownership and following the closing of Atomic Comics, Pop Culture Paradise’s “number of comic subscribers has doubled,” Regalado says.

Regalado owes its success not only to the recent closing of Atomic Comics, but also to how he conducts business. He says that running a comic store like Pop Culture Paradise is no different from running any other business. He says that “you need a product that people want, unparalleled customer service and a win-win attitude!”

Regalado says he does his best to live up to the “unparalleled customer service” part of that mission. He places the utmost importance on Pop Culture Paradise’s customers, saying that “customers are the lifeblood of any business” and not favoring any one guest over another. He makes it a point to treat both regular and new customers equally well, in order to make the newer ones feel welcome, and never hoards any particular items for himself or his employees; if it’s for sale, it’s available to any customer.

Being a comic and gaming store right next to a university campus has its advantages as well. College students and young adults are great customers at such stores, and Regalado says that “running a gaming/comic store in an area surrounded by over 10,000 students is a good idea.”

He’s able to get these students interested in Pop Culture Paradise mainly by two methods: by collecting email addresses for a newsletter he sends out with information on new items, upcoming events and the like, and by offering coupons with various discounts and special offers for ASU students. He also attributes the store’s success to simple word-of-mouth.

What does Regalado think of the future of comic book stores here in the Valley, especially after the closing of one of the more well-known stores? He says that he and other comic store owners have nothing to fear.

“The comic book industry is a collectible industry as well as good old-fashioned literature,” Regalado says. “It should be okay!”

Pop Culture Paradise sells more than just comics, however. They also sell many different kinds of games, particularly trading card games and other tabletop games. Not only that, but they also hold weekly tournaments and events related to a lot of the games they sell.

Regalado says that although running a comic and gaming store isn’t the most profitable business ever, he still loves what he does, claiming that if you’re in this business, you’re “in it because you love it and because you have the time to devote to it.”


For more information about Pop Culture Paradise, visit their website at


Used Bookstores

Used Bookstores: When Barnes & Noble Isn’t Enough

Used BookstoresThere are plenty of fine bookstores throughout the Valley and Arizona, but what if you’re looking for an older or more obscure book? Where can you look if stores like Barnes & Noble doesn’t have what you want? You could certainly shop online … or even better, you can help support Arizona by shopping at one of these local, used bookstores instead.



Bookmans, unlike other used bookstores, is much more than just that. In addition to a wide variety of used books across six locations throughout the Valley and Tucson, they also sell used music, movies, video games, magazines, comics and just about any other kind of media you can think of. In their own words, “Bookmans Entertainment Exchange has built our reputation on the concept that ‘used’ is not a dirty word.” No matter what your interests are, Bookmans probably has something for you.

[stextbox id="grey"]

8034 N. 19th Ave.
Phoenix , AZ 85021
(602) 433-0255



By The Book, LLC

If you’re looking for used bookstores in central Phoenix, By The Book specializes in rare, out of print or just generally hard-to-find books. Not only that, they seem to take pride in their collection, too, as they say that their inventory consists mostly of “first edition works in collectible condition.” They have an online store but welcome customers to visit their store in-person as well. And if you have any interest in comics, Samurai Comics is right next door to them.

[stextbox id="grey"]

1045 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 222-8806



Dog-Eared Pages Used Books:

In northern Phoenix, you’ll find Dog-Eared Pages Used Books. Similar to By The Book, Dog-Eared Pages also deals primarily with rarer, harder to find books, but they also have one thing in common with Bookmans — they hold a number of in-store events and promotions, and most of them are free. If you want a good, used bookstore and a place to hang out, this store’s worth a look.

[stextbox id="grey"]

16428 N. 32nd St., Suite 111
Phoenix, AZ 85032
(602) 283-5423



Bent Cover Books

Bent Cover Books is another of those used bookstores that features a wide variety of merchandise — from used books, to rare books, to comics and graphic novels — so odds are you’ll find a piece of reading material you like here. They also make your experience as pleasant as it can by also selling coffee, tea and other beverages in their store, so you can enjoy a nice drink while you search for a good book.

[stextbox id="grey"]

12428 N. 28th Dr.
Phoenix, AZ 85029
(602) 942-5932



Alcuin Books

In a bit of a departure from other used bookstores, Alcuin Books specializes in, according to their website, “scholarly, rare and antiquarian books in all aspects of the humanities and the history of science.” From the sound of this, they might not be the place to go for light reading, but if you’re looking for a more intellectual title, Alcuin may be exactly what you need.

[stextbox id="grey"]

4242 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 946-1969



[stextbox id="grey"]What are some of your favorite used bookstores?
Let us know in the comments section.[/stextbox]


Noche de Gourmet

Noche de Gourmet: Dining, Entertainment And Charity

Ready for a night of looking your best, enjoying some of the Valley’s best foods and helping out those in need? If so, Noche de Gourmet’s the place to be.

Noche de Gourmet

The Active 20-30 Club of Phoenix is holding its 28th annual Noche de Gourmet event on Friday, November 4th, at 7:00 p.m. at the famous Wrigley Mansion. The event is semi-formal, with all the proceeds helping the Children in Need Foundation. Noche de Gourmet is expected to draw more than 1,000 people, based on attendees from previous years.

Todd Sommers, one of the event chairmen, says that the event is “different from other black tie events you’d see.” More than 20 restaurants from all over the Valley will be contributing to the event, offering some of the best dishes and drinks to the guests. In addition to that, there are a few other attractions to entertain everyone who attends.

The restaurants contributing to the event will be offering a wide variety of foods, including but certainly not limited to steak, sushi, seafood, Italian, Asian, southwestern and many others. The restaurants themselves are just as diverse and include noteworthy Valley eateries, such as Phoenix City Grille, Sushi Roku, The Melting Pot and the renowned Il Terrazzo.

Noche de Gourmet

One of Noche de Gourmet’s side events is a silent auction, and this year’s offerings are nothing to sneeze at; among other things, there’s almost always at least one destination trip being sold in these auctions, and this year, guests have a chance to win a plane trip to Las Vegas. Sommers says that the prizes in these silent auctions “try and support local businesses as much as possible.” So by participating, you would help out both children in need and the Valley itself.

There will also be an art exhibit held during Noche de Gourmet, and according to Sommers, the venue itself is part of that exhibit. He says that guests of previous years have “found Wrigley Mansion itself a piece of art,” and this year’s attendees will no doubt enjoy being able to sample fine foods and drinks within such a notable Valley location.

“We’re very proud to be able to carry on this tradition,” Sommers says.

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If You Go: Noche de Gourmet

November 4, 2011
7:00 p.m., Wrigley Mansion
2501 E. Telawa Trail, Phoenix
Please visit Noche de Gourmet’s website for more information.


Chambers of Fear

Chambers Of Fear: Back For 2011 And Even Better

Chambers of Fear, the haunted house that was named the Arizona Republic’s “Top Haunt” in 2010, is back this year, and it’s even better than it was before.

Chambers of Fear

Chambers of Fear began in 2010 by Graveyard Entertainment, LLC. — a company already well-known in the Valley for Halloween events, perhaps most notably for Arizona Fright Nights, which ran for several years before Chambers of Fear was introduced.

Paul Boyd of Graveyard Entertainment says that he isn’t surprised at all by Chambers of Fear winning the Top Haunt award that it did. He attributed it to the experience that Graveyard had from the events they ran before they started Chambers of Fear, and particularly all of the actors who make these events possible. He says that their actors and their team really give it their all, and that’s what makes Graveyard’s events such a success.

Winning the award that they did has only motivated Graveyard to do even better this year, as they’ve added a number of new attractions to the Chambers of Fear this year. According to Boyd, there are, among other things, new animatronics, new sets and new monsters to frighten and entertain guests. Boyd also says that they were better prepared this year; in 2010, they only had a period of time from June to October to prepare, but this year, they were able to use the entire year to get ready.

Chambers of Fear

Boyd also explains what sets Chambers of Fear apart from other haunted houses in the Valley is a “passion to scare” and having more than 20 years of experience scaring attendees. He says that Chambers of Fear and Graveyard Entertainment are successful because all the people involved with these events “know what scares people, and they take pride in making sure that everyone walks out scared.”

Chambers of Fear has been going on for a couple of weekends so far, and the turnout has been great, Boyd says.”The numbers have doubled since last year.”

There’s nearly twice as many guests this year as there were in 2010. Because people enjoyed it so much last year, it was a combination of word-of-mouth and this year’s new attractions that so many new faces are showing up this year. Boyd says he is excited about the turnout for 2011′s event and what it could mean for future events.

“Year three is going to be even better.”

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Chambers of Fear:

September 29 – October 31, 2011
7 p.m. – 12 a.m. Fridays & Saturdays, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Thursdays & Sundays
Please visit Chambers of Fear’s website for more information.


Comic Book Stores List

Comic Book Stores: Where To Go Post-Atomic Comics

If reading comic books is your idea of a good time, then you’ve probably already heard about the sudden closing of Atomic Comics. If, like me, you were one of the many people who liked any of the four stores in the Valley bearing that name, and especially if Atomic Comics was the comic shop you always went to, then you were no doubt wondering, “Oh, man! How am I supposed to pass the time now?”

Well, that’s what this list is here for. Here are five other comic book stores and/or gaming shops throughout the Valley, for those of you who just want to keep up with your favorite comics or keep playing your favorite games.

Samurai Comics

With locations in both central Phoenix and the west Valley, Samurai Comics is definitely worth a look for comic readers and tabletop gamers alike. What’s more, they’re helping out former Atomic Comics customers by allowing them to pick up their orders from Samurai Comics stores. Also, along with the two stores listed above, they’re just opening a new east Valley location, right next to where Atomic Comics’ flagship store was located.

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1051 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 265-8886

10720 W. Indian School Rd. #61
Phoenix, AZ 85037
(623) 872-8886


Pop Culture Paradise

This place is conveniently located right next to ASU’s Tempe campus; in fact, it’s practically part of the campus. Whether you’re a student or not, if you spend a lot of time in Tempe, this place is definitely worth checking out.

[stextbox id="grey"]707 S. Forest Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 557-6640[/stextbox]

All About Books and Comics

All About Books and Comics joins Samurai Comics in the list of comic book stores in central Phoenix, and just like Samurai Comics, they’re also allowing Atomic Comics customers to pick up their orders through their store. They don’t really deal with card or tabletop games much, so you’d have to look elsewhere if that’s your thing, but they have a great selection of comics and are still very much worth a look.

[stextbox id="grey"]5060 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012
(602) 277-0757[/stextbox]

Jesse James Comics

For those of you who live in Glendale, Jesse James Comics prides itself as more focused on customer service than other comic book stores and giving customers a memorable experience each time they visit the place. From their website, it looks like they also don’t deal very much with trading card games or tabletop games, but they do have a good selection of comics, video games, and toys from which to choose, so they’re definitely worth checking out.

[stextbox id="grey"]10620 N. 43rd Ave. #1
Glendale, AZ 85304
(602) 993-0392[/stextbox]

Gamer’s Inn

In contrast to All About Books and Comics and Jesse James Comics above, Gamer’s Inn is not one of the Valley’s comic book stores, but it deals entirely in card games, miniatures, and other tabletop games instead, just as its name suggests. Obviously, it’s not the place you’d want to check out if you’re looking for comics, but if you’re more of a gamer than a comic reader and you’re looking for a place to get new cards, miniatures or whatever else you need, Gamer’s Inn is a great place to go for all of that.

[stextbox id="grey"]1232 E. Southern Ave.
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 507-0509[/stextbox]

What are some of your favorite comic book stores?
Let us know in the comments section.


Greenway III, Grand Canyon

Greenway III Trail, Grand Canyon: Progress Continues

The Grand Canyon National Park is getting a new trail. This new trail, which is being referred to as Greenway III, is an eight-mile long trail connecting the park with the gateway town of Tusayan to the south. This trail will pass through both the park itself and the Kaibab National Forest on its way to Tusayan.

The Greenway III trail will consist of both an eight-foot wide compacted soil path for pedestrians and bicyclists. For those exploring the park on horseback, the trail will also include a two- to three-foot-wide gravel path.

Not only will this trail provide people with an easy way to travel between Tusayan and Grand Canyon National Park, it will also extend the well-known Arizona Trail as well. The trail is expected to be completed in fall 2011.

Greenway III will be another piece of the Greenway trail system. This system began as a project which was first launched in 1999 as part of the Millennium Trails Initiative, which recognized and promoted trails to help remember our past and imagine our future.Greenway III, Grand Canyon Trail

The purpose of the Greenway trails is to provide guests of the park with easily accessible, multi-use trails, so that they can have a non-motorized form of travel throughout the park.

The Greenway trail system began as a cooperative effort between the National Park Service, what is now the Grand Canyon Association, and a volunteer group of planners and designers known as the Grand Canyon Collaborative. In addition to Greenway III, the project currently consists of four other trails:

  • The Greenway I trail, completed in 2002, extends the Rim Trail (from Grand Canyon Village to Yavapai Point) through Mather Point out to Pipe Creek Vista.
  • The Greenway II trail, completed in 2003, connects the Grand Canyon Visitor Center to Grand Canyon Village.
  • The Greenway IV trail, completed in 2009, connects Bright Angel Point to the North Kaibab Trailhead.
  • The Greenway V trail, completed in 2010, extends the Rim Trail to the South Kaibab Trailhead.

The Greenway III trail is being funded by a grant received from the Federal Highway Administration’s Public Lands Highways Program. Kaibab National Forest is also helping out with the construction of the trail, and the forest’s supervisor Mike Williams is quite pleased to be working with the project.

The National Park Service is also providing a 100-car parking lot north of Tusayan’s IMAX Theater for the convenience of people who wish to use the new Gateway III trail.

According to Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga, it is hoped that the new trail will be used alongside the shuttle buses going to Tusayan in the summer months, and that people will soon be able to combine a hike or bicycle ride with a shuttle trip for a truly easy and convenient time at Grand Canyon National Park.

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