Wednesday: Phoenix Comicon Convention Report

So, for the next couple of weeks–due to my adventures coming up–Wednesday will be devoted to convention reports.

This past weekend I was at Phoenix Comicon, which is both reportedly the only Comic Con that drops a C, and also reportedly was rather small until only a couple of years ago. This year there were around 46,000 people (their count) turning the styles to make it in. At those kinds of numbers they couldn’t really even keep track of whether people had badges in the panel rooms, so who knows how many actually paid to get in.

Based on the sheer amount of (redundant, in a lot of cases) programming, we only had a few things we specifically wanted to see. We drove the 13 hours overnight starting Thursday around 5pm. On Friday we met up with the Arizona Steampunks at their Steampunk 101 panel. We hadn’t slept yet, so I probably hallucinated about half of that panel, but it gave me some diabolical mod plans for later this year.

We spoke with Jason and Dianne(sp) about doing a sistership with the Wild Wild West Con–we tend to have more guests than they do, and we have different philosophies, but I think our audiences would appreciate each other.

On Friday afternoon I got to hear Nichelle Nichols (Uhura from ST:TOS) speak. She’s a hilarious spitfire even at 83. One person asked her a question about her stance on gay marriage. I admired her ability to answer in such a way that everyone would believe she agreed with them regardless of their stance–one can’t be too careful I suppose. I know from following Takei that she’s actually very supportive of equality. Makes sense, she WAS the first Black Woman on television.

I do contend that “first interracial kiss” with Kirk though. I just rewatched TOS and she kissed Spock in episode 3 (might have been episode 2), before she even officially met the captain.

Friday night we managed to pass out for like 9 hours, thank goodness. Saturday morning was quieter than I expected, but still hectic.

On Saturday Afternoon I was at an Author Chair Dancing event. It was supposed to be like Twitter live–Delilah S. Dawson, Sam Sykes, John Scalzi, Kevin Hearne and Leanne Renee Hieber. It was a hilariously good time. I finally got to meet Delilah by harassing her at her table later.

This year the PCC folks were hosting the bulk of the Babylon 5 cast for the Bab5 20th anniversary. I’ve met Claudia Christian before, and technically Robin Atkin Downes and Pat Tallman as well (previous Starfests when Bab5 was still running). It was still really cool to see most of the cast on stage Saturday night.

Sunday was quieter. We were mostly just interested in seeing the Lantern City preview panel. Unfortunately, Bruce Boxleitner couldn’t make it. We also found out it won’t be premiering for a couple more years. But the panel was still awesome.

I also attended a panel by the Apocalypse Girls on “con saturation.” Apparently Arizona has dozens of cons as opposed to Denver’s 8 or 9 cons. The giant nature of PCC (due in part to San Diego Comic Con influence, I am sure) has also made it difficult for many people to really get to know the less huge authors/artists/etc. The twitter flurry afterward from some of my favorite web comic artists somewhat follows the same thoughts.

Ultimately, I hope AnomalyCon can draw big crowds some day…but it’s important for us to keep our perspective and maintain our “for the people” attitude.

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