A larger exhibit hall, more celebrities and industry talent, two hotels, and almost 1000 hours of programming is one way to summarized the four-day Phoenix ComiCon. Over 30,000 attendees living it up in the heat of Memorial Day weekend is another way to sum up the event. Just as big as that other west coast, so cal convention is probably the best way to describe it. No matter how you characterize Phoenix ComiCon 2012, bottom line it was a really great show.
Leading up to Memorial Day weekend, Phoenix ComiCon was posting non-stop on their Twitter and Facebook pages about how they had expanded the registration area, put many more booths in the exhibit hall and even lowered costs so fans could enjoy the show more. They weren’t kidding; lines moved smoothly, the aisles of the exhibit hall floor were maneuverable, and panel rooms were easy to get too. With the exception of one panel room (room 121 A&B), there was plenty of room for people in all the programming areas.
|Made out of Legos, no joke!
Phoenix ComiCon staff had a goal of getting 1000 hours of programming for their event. That’s 250 hours per day for attendees to choose from. The program guide was filled with panels on anime, cosplay, comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, zombies and more. There were celebrity guests, industry experts, artists, writers, and even convention volunteers hosting panels and sharing their fandom with attendees. The programming was a huge success that Phoenix ComiCon can be proud of.
Cosplay, cosplay, cosplay! A comic-con does not exist without some form of cosplay going on. And not just for the Saturday night masquerades at most events. Phoenix ComiCon had costumed fans in panel rooms, the exhibit hall floor and at the photo stations all weekend. It was hard to turn around without seeing someone in costume. There were a couple cosplayers who had costumes so big, that they had to find a spot to be stationary because they could not maneuver down the aisle ways. And that didn’t stop people from flocking over to them for pictures with the awesome display of costuming. In addition to cosplayers, there were panels about how to make costumes, cosplaying properly and where to find supplies for cosplay. Costuming was definitely a big part of this show.
Every night of Phoenix ComiCon had some sort of big event. Friday had a Zombie Beauty Pageant, Saturday there was a Nerd Prom for Charity in addition to the traditional costume Masquerade. And if big events weren’t enough, the table top gaming rooms were open late on the mezzanine floor of the Phoenix Hyatt. Most parties had themes like the Party Like A Time Lord gathering for Dr. Who fans complete with a replica TARDIS and lifesize Dalek wondering around. There was something to do for all ages.
|Party Like a Time Lord
Phoenix ComiCon is not designed to be exclusionary, it is just the opposite. Every type of fandom is welcomed and included in programming, types of celebrities, and special events. The show wants to bring together these groups and host a big show to celebrate all things pop-culture. It was a large show without the chaos and all the fun of other big conventions around the country. If you missed this year’s Phoenix ComiCon, 2013 plans are already under way and can be found at their website: www.phoenixcomicon.com
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By Martin Bright