Reasons why Phoenix Comic Fest will be better than Phoenix Comicon in 2018

Hey Readers,

 

The great season of cons (which let’s face it is a year round thing now) will be kicking off for many at WonderCon this coming weekend. For yours truly however, I’m looking a little further into the future to what’s ahead at Phoenix Comic Fest.

Now I may have been a bit hesitant to jump on board with the new name, but I can definitely jump on board with some of the changes that we’ll see in 2018, so that we can have a better con…er… fest-sperience!

First, let’s start with the fact that Square Egg by their own admission (and based on interviews I’ve had with Director Matt Solberg) has never run a perfect convention. They always look at the ways that things can be improved. And every year it’s always “that one thing”. One year it had to do with the escalators, another year it was the photo op issues. While other cons which shall remain nameless but vaguely referred to as the Unyielding Sandy Behemoth, rarely acknowledge their issues (like lines, Cosplay is not Consent, and harassment). And even if said Unyielding Sandy Behemoth does acknowledge their issues, it finds ways to explain why they won’t change.

Phoenix Comic Fest is no stranger to change (just take a look at the new name in response to potential litigation). Not only have they implemented changes every year based on whatever the scuttlebutt has been, but also based on attendee feedback of the most recent show. Now last year is a tad of an anomaly given the attempted shooter and how that affected security, props and everything in between (including vendors). And it may have caused disgruntled attendees in more “that one things” than previous years, but the good news is Phoenix Comic Fest is working hard so that doesn’t happen again.

One thing that’s been common for a couple years (and definitely exacerbated last year) was security and lines. Based on the additional security staff (five times more), metal detectors and entrances (DOUBLE) I don’t think waiting in lines in the Phoenix Summer heat is going to be “that one thing”.

And back to the props, as explained in their adorkable video where they encourage folks to “Prop it like it’s hot” on their Facebook page, and on their Behind the Scenes they provide a list of all props that cosplayers will be able to bring, now that the Phoenix Convention Center is no longer restricting or banning props. So cosplayers, prop it up (yours truly is particularly excited by this development). So props will also not be “that one thing”.

Whatever “that one thing” is going to be in 2018, it’s not something that I’m worried about, Phoenix Comic Fest will handle it like they’ve always handled it, which means more and more people like yours truly, will get to enjoy the show.

Here are the things that Phoenix Comic Fest isn’t changing and will continue to have, great guests, awesome cosplay, fantastic panels, games and other nerdiness beyond measure!

And thinking back to the name change, if the core of the show is going to be the same, especially for a show that has worked to improve the experience of attendees year over year when other cons just care about the guest list, then I’ve stopped caring and I’ve started looking forward to May 24th-27th, when I’ll be at Phoenix Comic Fest.

Phoenix Comicon 2017 Game Master Throwdown!

DSCN1339Hey Readers,

While I’ve not yet taken time to post about it, this past January I began an important quest, life changing in both realistic and fantastic ways.  I began a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with friends. In short it’s been awesome. It’s become a new way to connect, think outside the box and have fun.

All of that awesomeness took place at Phoenix Comicon 2017 in various forms. There were exhibitors, panels on the topic and best of all there was a Game Master Throwdown! Continue reading “Phoenix Comicon 2017 Game Master Throwdown!” »

What’s Happening at Phoenix Comicon This Weekend

14681671_10154534307023567_8657440578569897444_nHey Readers

It may seem crazy, but Phoenix Comicon starts TOMORROW! In less that 24 hours geeks from all over will be descending on the Phoenix Convention Center to geek out for their respective fandoms. So while an exhaustive list of the awesomeness would be too long for a single post (and a tad redundant since you can see it all on Phoenix Comicon’s website), your trusty editor will give you the rundown on what she’ll be looking forward to at Phoenix Comicon.

Thursday

14980554_10154325881943855_382259480300581265_nWhile most of my Thursday will spent checking out the exhibit hall and hunting down new sketches for my Carol Danvers Compilation Sketchbook, Thursday evening will be spent battling it out at P.U.G.S. – Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown. How to explain P.U.G.S.? It’s a debate competition where only the strong, knowledgeable, and somewhat absurd survive. Here’s a longer post, where I describe my first battle.

Friday

pcc17_osric_chau_instaThere’s a Doctor Who-se Your Own Adventure panel with a fan written live script reading of a Doctor Who mashup episode where the audience gets to choose how the story progresses.

Also, a certain Supernatural Favorite, Osric Chau will have a panel at 12:30 that day (squee!)

 

Then in the evening, if I progress to the finals I’ll be at P.U.G.S. again.

 

Saturday

There’s much to enjoy on Saturday, a Legible Scrawl panel for To Prove A Villian, their comic-centric podcast. They’ll be doing a live script reading with some of their familiar voice actors.

At noon Diana Gabaldon will be having a spotlight panel. She’s always got great stories about the writing and filming of Outlander, so I’ll be sure to be there.

And at 3:00 actress Bonnie Wright will be having a spotlight panel of her own.

While Dick Van Dyke would have been great to plan and see, the changes with panel fees left many to find other panels to attend.

Sunday

pcc17_karen_david_instaKaren David will be at a Once Upon A Time panel, and while I’ll mainly be attending because I loved her in Galavant I’m sure it will be a fun panel none the less.

Finally, while they don’t have panel times listed, I’ll be spending my free time at the con looking for Geekly Press favorite authors Beth Cato, Ryan Dalton and Wesley Chu!

 

What are your plans for Phoenix Comicon 2017? Let us know in the comments.

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” »

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” »

Straightening Out Some Of Phoenix Comicon’s Volunteer Changes

pcc-2017-logoHi Readers,

While not all of you are local to the Southern Arizona area several of you have probably heard about Phoenix Comicon’s recent change to their requirements for volunteers. Specifically that, as several sources are describing, individuals will have to “pay to volunteer”. Well, as someone who does volunteer for the convention, here are a few things that have been left out of, or ignored in the articles that have been posted to social media (typically with rants from those frustrated by the change). Continue reading “Straightening Out Some Of Phoenix Comicon’s Volunteer Changes” »