Phoenix Comicon 2015 Review
Summer is my favorite time of the year for many reasons: My birthday is in July, Summer Blockbusters are out, Swimming, and Phoenix Comicon! I have been going to Phoenix Comicon since 2010 and have loved it ever since. The food trucks, the cosplay, the chance to chat with your favorite artist/authors, get to meet a celebrity, voice your opinions in panels and so much more. Each year the convention’s attendance increases by at least a few thousand. With more people come changes, but were they for good or bad?
Due to the massive numbers of my fellow geek guys and geek girls wanting to have fun at the con, Phoenix Comicon chose to expand their exhibitorhall to it’s maximum capacity. They shifted various photo booths such as the Star Wars area to the third floor of the convention, which had never previously been used before and added more booths, held the signings/photo ops there and quite a few other aspects.
Honestly, this change was fantastic. I’ve admittedly gotten accustomed to seeing certain booths at Phoenix Comicon year after year, but with the addition of space, more vendors flooded in with their wares and quite a few of them were incredible. I never thought I would get a chance to meet Tumblr artists at the convention but sure enough, I was able to and I loved every minute. It seemed every area was now intentionally separated from one another and thought it worked out quite well.
If I had a peso for every time I saw a ‘Cosplay is not Consent’ banner, I’d be a very rich man, and that is the way it should be! I met with a lot of cosplayers, both in full body costumes while others let a bit more skin show and it seemed both were treated with equal respect. In past years I’ve seen men and women throw snide comments at certain cosplayers due to their disgust at the costumes they saw or catcalling. This year was filled of asking permission for photos, gentle touch when hugging(Also the awkward hand hover xD), compliments given, and even simply cheers of support from fans who passed by. This was apparently a huge opposite from MomoCon which was another convention that was held on the same weekend.
The cosplayers themselves were incredibly kind and generous from cosplay titans like Rosanna Rocha, Dave Turner, Ivy Doomkitty, Lindsay Elyse, Toni Darling, and so many others. I was able to speak with them for a few minutes as a fan first and then revealed to be media looking to interview them. In both instances, they were wonderful. I am aware Arizona cosplayers sometimes get a bad rep on cosplay forums but meeting them in person could easily change your opinion because all of these men and women were humble and modest. Unfortunately, Jessica Nigri was not officially there, although she was spotted at the convention in secret and in cosplay. She did not seem to have much of a presence at Phoenix Comicon last year either.(Click here for something awesome!)
As always, the panels were entertaining, intriguing, and yet all seemed to be running at the same times. I have no real complaints to offer here because this is a time management issue on my end and there are only so many time slots for events. As a writer, I was most interested in the panels specifically about how to improve your writing or simple author discussions. A lot of the ones I wanted to attend were one Thursday and Friday during the traditional work day. I was unable to get the days off so I completely missed a good chunk of the convention. However, that was an issue on my end.
To be honest, this was one of my biggest expenses. I work in Scottsdale and spend an average of $12 for lunch which includes a coke and the meal with a side. At the convention, a bowl of mac and cheese alone is $15. For three chicken tenders and some fries was $8 I believe. The quality was not the best, especially for those prices. They also offered Food trucks but that required you to stand in line during summer in over 100 degree weather. This was my least favorite aspect of the convention and has convinced my friends and I that if the prices do not go down or if the quality does not improve, we may just smuggle in food and drink for future conventions.
One positive aspect about the food was the seating area the convention floor offered. In past years there would be a few tables sprawled out that were occupied immediately by tired con goers. This year they brought in a lot more seating and it was a blessing on Saturday or Sunday where we would fly around attempting to get interviews from various people.
The roster of guests they featured this year were: Jason Momoa, Edward James Olmos, Katee Sackhoff,Summer Glau, Mary McDonnell, Ron Perlman, Christopher Lloyd, and many more. Although I love me some Battle Star Galactica, Hell Boy, Game of Thrones, and Back to the Future I really was only excited to see Admiral Adama and he only appeared on Friday during traditional work hours for his panel. There were no A lister geek celebrities like previous years with John Barrowman, Stephen Amell, Nathan Fillion, etc. Although this could just be personal preference, I know a legion of back to the future cosplays were there, as well as Starbuck cosplayers.
Although the celebrity guests were not as huge and despite the food being criminally overpriced, the expansion and the good vibes all around regarding the cosplayers, fellow con-goers, guests made up for their flaws. This has been my absolute favorite Phoenix Comicon to date and whoever organized the event should keep on being incredible and handling everything because it was incredible.
Did you go to Phoenix Comicon? What did you think of it? Comment below!