Comic culture takes Amarillo | 6,000 expected to attend this year’s July Ama-Con event

Photo Illustration | Gentry Anderson

Written by | Dakota Kessler |

The community of comic books and the fandom surrounding them is growing in Amarillo. From conventions hosted in the city to local shops and local artists from the Texas Panhandle, there’s a new wave of fans flowing into the streets of Amarillo. Amarillo Library’s Ama-Con started in 2012 with 1,600 in attendance. It continues to grow every year, according to Amanda Barrera, director of library services. Ama-Con is looking at a possible 6,000 people for this year’s event that benefits Friends of the Amarillo Library.

In comic book vendors and artists, the organizers are looking at a total of 22 vendors alone, but that is subject to change come July 23-24, said Amanda Hope Shelburne, assistant coordinator of youth services at the library. Thea Touchton, a theater major, talked about why she attends the convention each year and how fun it can be. “I go to the convention because I like to see the cosplays and learn how people made them,” she said. “It’s one of the friendliest places in Amarillo. I feel like everyone likes to talk and network. Businesses that are usually too poor to advertise get more exposure.”

Touchton described cosplaying, the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, comic book or video game during a convention. It is not hard to see that it is becoming more popular in Amarillo; the city now has a cosplay shop in Impulse Unique Clothing & Gifts. Archer Comics, formerly known as the Table’s Edge, opened in early 2012 at 4515 South Georgia St., Suite 135. Daniel Sharber, co-owner of Archer Comics, said the demographic of the shop is 19 to 32 years old.

“It has its ups and downs with comic book movies being out,” he said. Sharber said tabletop games keep the store running, while comics have a constant revenue for the store, when before it was the opposite. Sharber said being down the road from Amarillo College is great and that he’d like to advertise at AC to get out the word about Archer and get more college students in the door. Multiple students The Ranger talked to didn’t even know Amarillo had comic shops in town.

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