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June 21, 2015

Exploring Artegon - Gods & Monsters

I absolutely love Artegon Marketplace, and just when I thought it couldn't get better - in came Gods and Monsters! Some of our readers were curious when I posted my pre-opening write-up on Gods and Monsters. As I began to describe the concept, everyone seemed to initially react the same way... "So, it's just a comic shop?" What a dramatically flawed misconception that is! I cannot combat that simple summary enough! It's like saying that Walt Disney World is just a "park". I've been to plenty of comic shops, and none of them come close to this. Gods and Monsters is the best thing to hit Orlando for geeks, nerds, sci-fi fans, artists, cosplayers, collectors, gamers, and just about everyone in-between; and it's set a new standard for Artegon's motto, "experience unique". 


I am fully aware that I am not skilled at panoramas. 
Gods and Monsters officially opened for business on June 13, and they certainly know how to rock a debut! This was a party of epic proportions, and the reactions of their legions of fans affirmed that expectations were more than met. This is no one-trick pony, and somehow they're promising to only improve from here. Hard to imagine, but I am eager to watch this success story unfold. In fact, the story behind the shop is probably the most endearing I've heard in a long time. Unlike many of the businesses in the tourist corridor, Gods and Monsters is not a lofty venture by corporate dynamos seeking limitless financial gain from vacationers. It's a labor of love spearheaded by two devoted, hands-on, ambitious fans. In other words... they're just like us. Anna Maiya Young and Todd Fisher gleefully beam with pride and excitement as they discuss their journey in bringing their long-time dream to vibrant life. It's much like talking to new parents as they hold their baby for the very first time, or watching a child unwrap the best Christmas gift ever. You can't help but feel pride for them, and their ambition and happiness is beyond inspiring. There's hope for us little guys in Orlando, too. These two humble, giddy, hard-working folks are evidence that dreams really can come true... in a very big way! What's most impressive is that you can easily tell that they wanted to do this, not just for the dollars, but because they wanted to give Orlando something brilliant. Gods and Monsters is a gift to us, just as much as it is a viable business to them. I never really gush on business owners directly, but Anna and Todd are simply amazing.
Used with permission from David Martin, Fox 35 News.
So, what can you expect from Gods and Monsters? Expect the unexpected! Let's take a look inside...

Expect amazing merchandise!
Of course, they have comics, but that's just the beginning! High-quality collector's figures, statues, unique games, and even original handmade items cover the shelves. Prices range dramatically, but they're fair. There's something for every fan's budget, but naturally you can expect to pay well for those impressive high-end items. 
Expect to have fun!
Speaking of games... Gods and Monsters is also a place to play! Aside from a small arcade area, the back of the shop features a concession area and massive booths, and exceptionally creative light-up, high-top tables where guests are welcome to gather for free game play. They've stocked a collection of board games that are free to use in-store if you just need a place to unwind with a few friends, and they'll be adding more!
Expect to be dazzled by the decor!
Murals, life-sized statues, and many little decorative touches are everywhere you look. If you're a pop-culture fan from any generation, you'll find something to marvel at... even if it's not something you can purchase and take with you. They put so much thought into every last detail, and recruited the talents of fantastic local artists to make Gods and Monsters a visual masterpiece. 

Expect art!
While some of the glorious artwork is a permanent fixture, not everything is just for looking at! Gods and Monsters features The Transmetropolitan Gallery, where you can find stunning tributes to heroes, villains, and icons across the spectrum... and these original works can be yours to treasure forever! Ongoing demonstrations will be a regular occurrence at Gods and Monsters, so plan to pop in and watch some of our most gifted local artists creating new pieces at any time. You never know who you'll discover making magic within these hallowed walls!

Expect live performances!
Demonstrations and shows aren't limited to traditional artists at Gods and Monsters. Performance art will be a highlight as well! On opening day, guests were treated to breathtaking displays from Legacy Aerial Arts and Phantasmagoria, and there's plenty more where that came from. So when's the last time you saw Wonder Woman suspended from the rafters in your local comic shop... hmm???

Expect to find some famous faces!
Authors, entertainers, sketch artists, comic creators, and more will make appearances at Gods and Monsters. Chances are, you'll almost always find someone worthy of a photo capture here. You may even become the star of strangers' snapshots... if you have a knack for cosplay! That's right - Gods and Monsters welcomes any guest, any time, in cosplay. You no longer have to wait for MegaCon to get decked out and reveal your inner monster or superhero! You truly never know who you'll encounter here. Orlando locals and visitors don't have to head to the theme parks for those photo-worthy character captures anymore!
This is only the tiny tip of a tremendous iceberg! Gods and Monsters has promised ongoing events, contests, appearances, new merchandise, tournaments, and so much more. It's a comic shop, arcade, collectible haven, hangout, fun spot that promises non-stop surprises. Todd and Anna are fans of all things awesome, and they are sharing their interests with mega-fans of all types. It's a place to be yourself... a place to make memories... a place to experience unique in a way Orlando has neglected to perfect thus far. Quite simply, it's 20,000 square feet of awesome! What are you waiting for? Dust off your cape and fly on over to Artegon today!

Follow Gods and Monsters on Facebook and Twitter.