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Comics shop salutes ‘The Walking Dead’

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Jay Woodley stands in front of the Walker Plow 9000 on Saturday during Walking Dead Day at Arkham Comix.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Monday, October 15, 2018

Arkham Comix was relatively zombie-free on Saturday as it celebrated Walking Dead Day in Rocky Mount.

The event was part of nationwide celebration of the 15th anniversary of “The Walking Dead” comics from which the popular television series is drawn. 

Bill Young, who co-owns the store with his wife, Tiffany, said the event was well-received.

“We have been rocking and rolling all day,” Young said. “We had people lined up when we opened up at 11 a.m.”

Sina Grace came from Los Angeles to greet visitors to the store, offering free drawings for patrons who made a minimum purchase and signing copies of his new “Iceman” solo series published by Marvel Comics. Grace is the author of the series, which recently released its second issue.

However, Grace also has a connection to “The Walking Dead” as he served as editor of the comic book series for two years.

Grace said he was willing to come so far for the event because he had met the owners through a mutual friend.

“I love Bill and Tiffany and this store is great,” Grace said. “They really know how to create an atmosphere that connects readers with comic book creators.”

Two actors who have played extras on “The Walking Dead” television series were at the store signing special edition copies of “The Walking Dead” comic books. 

Kent Wagner has appeared as a walker on “The Walking Dead” and in various roles in movies including “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” He is now appearing in the recently released “Goosebumps 2.”

Jay Woodley came dressed in costume as a Savior character on “The Walking Dead” series. He appears in the most recent seasons of the series. However, he also runs a special effects operation in Jacksonville, Fla. The zombie-guts encrusted truck he brought to Saturday’s event attested to his skill in this area.

Wilson-based comic book artist Louis Small Jr. was also on hand to talk with customers and show his most recent effort — a variant cover of the North Carolina comic book sensation “Junior High Horrors.” Small also teaches classes in illustration in Wilson.

Another upcoming comic book artist, Jorge Aguilera, creator of the “Wells the Martian” series, was also at the event. Honduran-born Aguilera received his bachelor’s degree from Barton College and now lives in Durham. However, he said he likes the atmosphere at Arkham Comix.

“The owners of Arkham Comix have helped me and encouraged me from the beginning,” Aguilera said. “I published my first comic book in 2017 and my third and fourth books in the series will be released later this year. I am now working on the fifth book in the series.”

Despite his hard work so far, Aguilera said he does not create comic books for the money.

“I want to do this for myself and see how far it goes,” Aguilera said.

Arkham Comics has another event planned later this month as a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the original 1978 “Halloween” movie. Customers who pay $40 to view the movie at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Booker T. Theater will watch the movie with Jim Winburn, one of the actors who portrayed Michael Myers in the original movie. They will also receive pizza and a drink from the Tipsy Tomato, a poster signed by Winburn and a chance to take a selfie with the actor.

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