Keen Halloween Goes But Fan Fest Stays

phxff_fanfest_logoHey Readers, while last week’s post was actually a guest article on Pat Sponagle’s site all about Cersei Lannister, this one gets back to the reality of conventions and what we can expect in the coming months from Square Egg Entertainment, the showrunners of Phoenix Comicon.

Now Phoenix Comicon is of course still happening over Memorial Day weekend, and we’ll have a post up shortly about all of the fantastic guests they’re hosting this year, but for now let’s get to the nitty gritty of Square Egg Entertainment’s other cons… or as it is now con. Continue reading “Keen Halloween Goes But Fan Fest Stays” »

Dalton’s Time Shift Trilogy Gets Fantastic With The Black Tempest.

TBT-Cover-683x1024Hey Readers,

You may recall last year that I did a review of author Ryan Dalton’s debut novel The Year of Lightning, which also happens to be the first of his Time Shift trilogy. Well, yours truly has had an early chance to read book two, The Black Tempest, and things get fantastic.

If you read my previous review, I was hesitant to read The Year of Lightning, considering it’s Young Adult fiction, a genre I swore off after Twilight and Hunger Games. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say up front that I was equally hesitant to begin reading The Black Tempest, considering it’s a sequel.

Despite several sequels not living up to my expectations over the years, I haven’t sworn off sequels. I’ve just become wary of them, as few live up to the expectations I have. However,  plenty of authors have had good sequels, and now I can say that Ryan Dalton is one of them. Continue reading “Dalton’s Time Shift Trilogy Gets Fantastic With The Black Tempest.” »

Catching Beth Cato at the Tucson Festival of Books and thoughts on Breath of Earth

IMG_20170312_1550525Hi Readers,

This post falls hard into that category of being long overdue, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to post it! In 2015, at Phoenix Comicon, I had the chance to meet and speak with steampunk author Beth Cato. Then, in 2016 , back at the con,  we had a chance to revisit her Clockwork Dagger duology, and to discuss one of her latest books, Breath of Earth, which came out in August 2016. Finally, after half a year of teaching, I caught Beth again at the Tucson Festival of Books to tell her how much I loved Breath of Earth, not just for its awesome steampunk setting, but also for its incredibly empowering characters.  Continue reading “Catching Beth Cato at the Tucson Festival of Books and thoughts on Breath of Earth” »

Modern Thoughts on Disney’s Classic Beauty and the Beast

BeautybeastdisneyHey Readers,

While I’ve got a forthcoming review of the new live action Beauty and the Beast; I couldn’t help think about all that’s been said about the animated classic, particularly in regards to the feminist outlook that Belle was a poor role-model for girls and young women. Now here is one of several articles written based on studies of this film over the years and the message that some say it sends to young girls, regarding the normalization of abuse. I on the other hand have a much different look at the movie.

The article above links to a video at the bottom of this post, and it’s worth a watch, even if I disagree with it. Because if I can put it bluntly, I don’t think the movie sends what the video calls a “dangerous message”. Continue reading “Modern Thoughts on Disney’s Classic Beauty and the Beast” »

Phoenix Comicon Shifts to Paid Staff Model in Surprising Decision

pcc-2017-logoHi Readers,

The last few weeks Phoenix Comicon has had a lot of volunteers and attendees talking about their initial plans to change their staffing model and only accept volunteers who paid to be members of the non-profit group The Blue Ribbon Army.

The initial reaction was not a positive one, but it did open up opportunities for Convention Director Matt Solberg to meet the volunteers who were concerned about the change. One possibility brought up was whether or not the convention would shift from volunteers entirely and move forward with a paid staff model, and volunteers were even given the option on voting on which model they would prefer. Now though, according to Phoenix Comicon, despite “what most of our volunteers selected” (this volunteer included), the convention has decided to move forward with a paid staff model, and I have mixed feelings. Continue reading “Phoenix Comicon Shifts to Paid Staff Model in Surprising Decision” »

Phoenix Comicon Paid Staff Press Release

January 23, 2017
After much deliberation, we have decided to shift to an all paid staff in the operation of Phoenix Comicon and all events associated with Square Egg Entertainment, including Phoenix Fan Fest, Minnesota Fan Fest, and Keen Halloween.
There are many individuals who helped make Phoenix Comicon one of the best run conventions in the country.  To them we owe our sincerest thanks and gratitude.  We hope that many of those who assisted us will apply for the new paid positions as we announce them.  In appreciation for everything you have done for us, those who served as volunteers in 2016 who are not selected for positions will receive two complimentary full event passes for Phoenix Comicon 2017 and 2018 as our gift.
We continue to support Blue Ribbon Army as a corporate member and through promotion of their group and activities.  We look forward to what they can accomplish and are excited to be a part of it.
While this was not the original decision as announced three weeks ago, nor was this the option selected by most of our volunteers, we do believe this is the best decision long term for our company and our conventions based on feedback and concerns raised.  It avoids further controversies as this industry changes, keeps us compliant with changing laws, and increases the professionalism and effectiveness of our team.
As this discussion consumed social media and news outlets over the past three weeks, we have continued to work behind-the-scenes on making our events for 2017 stellar.  We look forward to sharing announcements on our upcoming guests and content at all our shows.
Phoenix Comicon will continue to thrive and be a source of joy for thousands of attendees this year and in future years.
Thank you all for your discourse and feedback,

Matthew Solberg
CEO, Square Egg Entertainment
Convention Director, Phoenix Comicon

Why I hope Phoenix Comicon Uses the Blue Ribbon Army: Update on Staffing Issues

pcc-2017-logoHi Readers,

As many of you have probably heard, Phoenix Comicon is in a bit of a staffing snafu, regarding it’s previously anounced plans to only accept volunteers who are members of the Blue Ribbon Army.

Well, after Matt Solberg sent a clarifying email and I attended one of the Q&A sessions available to volunteers, I feel like the BRA is a much more comfortable solution to the alternatives. Continue reading “Why I hope Phoenix Comicon Uses the Blue Ribbon Army: Update on Staffing Issues” »