Actually, that should be Phoenix Comicon (one “c”, all one word) but however you spell it, it was an amazing event! It was at the Phoenix Convention Center for the first time (instead of Mesa, as in prior years) and moved to Memorial Day weekend instead of January. Because of these two things (and some super-active PR folk), there were about 14,000 attendees. This sounds like it would be starting to big enough to lose that “intimate” feel of smaller events, but that really wasn’t the case.
The exhibit hall, of course, was huge, and there were a few rooms large enough to count the audience in the 1000s, but most of the programming was in smaller rooms, allowing everyone to feel up close. It was probably a good thing that they had so many tracks to divide up the audience. My personal favorites were the scifi and film/tv tracks, where I got to attend a writing workshop with Michael Stackpole, listen to the science advisors for some of my favorite shows, and OF COURSE, see Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi. I didn’t do much with the comics, costuming, gaming, or horror tracks, though I did get to listen to some new bands. I learned a lot about anime because I was volunteering to help with that track, and I got to meet several indy movie directors and actors.
My favorite session was Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi talking about the unicorn pegasus kitten painting. Really, you have to see it to believe it.
I also got to chat with some Star Wars fans in the 501st Battalion – they’re a costuming group that also does charity work. And I went to the “geek prom” where I had the extreme pleasure of introducing my daughter to Wil Wheaton. He was, as always, pleasant and gracious! Oh, and I got to play Rock Band – quite a bit, actually! Pretending to be in a band together is a fun way to meet people.
I was having so much fun, I never did get around to taking very many pictures, but if you want a feeling for what it was like, you can always check out the Flickr stream.
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