Cafe comics

Most of my early adolescence was spent practically living in coffee shops. Without getting into the details (you’re best off reading my 6,000-word cover story that ran in the Las Vegas Weekly a few years ago), the mid-1990s was a great time for cafe culture along Maryland Parkway near UNLV, and nowhere perhaps better defined that era than Cafe Copioh.

I spent many hours fueled on caffeine and nicotine writing poetry, short stories and yes, even nascent journalistic-style pieces. And I drew. Because those two things seemingly have always gone together.

Going through my closets of boxes a few months ago, I came across this two-page comic strip that I vaguely recall drawing while at Copioh. It definitely is meant to take place in Copioh, because the “Mike” referred to in the fifth panel on page one is Mike Gazel, the then-owner of the European-style coffeehouse.

Anyway, I mentioned this discovery somewhere when I found it (Facebook, maybe?), and there was some interest by certain parties to see it. So here it is, exactly as drawn originally. The only thing I did was replace the hand lettering with computer lettering because, um, it was nearly illegible. Enjoy. Or don’t. Whatever. 😉


copiohcomic_p2(Click each preview image to make ’em supersized!)


  1. Nika August 24, 2009 8:17 pm 

    Hi PJ, thanks for the comment! I just started out the blog and have been adding other Vegas blogs and podcasts to my blogroll. Yours looked interesting, love the name! Hope to see another post from you, soon. 🙂

  2. Pj Perez August 24, 2009 8:53 pm 

    No prob and thanks. I added Glitter in my Coffee to my blogroll as well. I’ll update soon, when I pull myself out from under this work. 🙂

  3. Nello Pazzafini July 20, 2012 8:38 am 

    Thanks for the memories. Here’s a video shot at Copioh back in September 1998, Frank Thedford aka “Banjo Frank” playing an afternoon set

  4. Pj Perez July 20, 2012 5:16 pm 

    Thanks for sharing.