Constant Con Brings Comic Book Art to Downtown

January 14, 2016

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Several of the artists behind Constant Con. And Darth Vader.

By Simon Brimmer

It’s not so much an art gallery, but more an art nerdery.

At least that’s how Jenn Hopkins describes Constant Con, a gallery—or nerdery—of comic book artists displaying their works in one centralized location.

Just how central? 117 No. 6th Avenue, which is pretty darn central.

Tucson has its share of established and talented comic book and pop culture artists, many of whom make their living displaying and selling their products on the comic book convention circuit. But not surprisingly, the opportunity to get art in front of an audience with similar interests carries its own price tag, most notably travel and table fees. Furthermore, there isn’t always a convention in a reasonable geographic proximity every week.

“We said I wish you could sell stuff without a con, and Frank Powers came up with the bright idea of doing that,” said Jenn Hopkins, one of the artists involved in the venture. “There’s a building right down the street that is for rent. We’ll rent it and set it up like a miniature comic con. And that’s how Constant Con came to be.”

Constant Con is a gallery that at this stage features the work of eight artists: Powers, Hopkins, Christopher Stuart Wilson, Holly Randall, Ross Demma, Hector Ceniceros, Kat Alvarius and Michael Stemlie.

“We all have our own section in the building,” said Hopkins. “All of us dabble in pop culture. That’s our one defining trait, but we have drastically different art styles and interests. But it’s beautiful. You can see the nerdery that we display, but also the talent behind it.”

back room

The back room at Constant Con, featuring works by several artists.

Hours of operation are limited at the moment, and they coincide with what one might expect at a comic book convention: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from roughly 10am until 6pm. There’s hope that as business picks up, those hours will improve and include a more typical weekday schedule. Also, if you have cash on hand, that’s good news because anyone can help you on the spot. The credit thing is available, still a work in progress.

“Everything in the store is labeled as to what it costs,” Hopkins said. “If you want to buy that painting off the wall in cash, anyone in the store can help you with that purchase, but if you have a card the artist has to be there to make the sale through their individual Square reader. We’re looking into a bank loan so everything can go through the banks.”

In addition to paintings, some of the artists also sell their locally produced comic books.

It’s worth it to GPS the address. As central as it is, Constant Con’s physical location is still rather nondescript. However, it’s located right next to the Brothers and Sisters Club, so once you’ve found that you’re right there.

Red brick building. Green awning. Pop culture gold adorning the walls inside.

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