In 2001, a year after mega comic-book retailer Comicazi opened its doors in Davis Square, the first-ever Bazaar Bizarre alternative-crafts fair was held down the road at the Dilboy VFW Hall. It was a wildly successful event that has since moseyed into wider, greener pastures. Comicazi co-owner Michael Burke is aware of that history as he prepares for the inaugural Comicazi-con and Bad Ass Bazaar, which will take place this weekend in that same dimly lit hall. Burke sees his event not only as a fitting heir to the space, but perfectly suited to what the square has come to represent.
"Right now, Davis Square is what Harvard Square used to be," says Burke. "I've watched it grow and grown with it, and I'd like to give back a little bit and just have a cool, fun show."
What differentiates Comicazi-con from this past month's Boston Comic Con, sponsored by Framingham's Bedrock Comics, is the big-tent approach. Comicazi-con won't be focusing solely on comics, but will include local merchants, such as artsy-craftsy Magpie and funky gift-shop Davis Squared, as well as comic artists and vendors. Burke and his partners see the con as an opportunity to promote Comicazi to a broader audience.
"If there's something for everyone, there's more people walking through," says Burke, who would see success as "having people who would never walk through a comic shop's door come through the door and take something away from it and like it."
Like the supervillains whose tales they peddle, Comicazi's owners seem to view Somerville as the first stop on the road to global domination. "Next step, we're going to rule the world," says co-owner David Lockwood.
Burke is wary. "California, maybe."
Comicazi-con will be held on December 14 from 9 am to 3 pm at the Dilboy VFW Hall, 371 Summer Street, in Somerville. Admission is $3. Attendees get a free comic book, a toy, and a chance to win a copy of Rock Band.