Phoenix Comicon 2011 (Part 1)
By Libbi Rich

Some wise person once said “No matter where you go, there you are.”  I think I heard it first in one of my favorite movies, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, and later at some kind of 12 step meeting.  Well, it’s true; you are stuck with you whether you’re in Paris, New York, San Francisco, Tehran, or even Phoenix.

Fortunately for me, there has been a comic convention pretty much everywhere I’ve found myself, and Phoenix Comicon has turned out to be one of the best.  I attended my first PCC in 2009, at the Mesa Convention Center.  It was packed with vendors, artists, actors, writers, geeks, freaks, and cosplayers galore.  Too galore, actually.  The con was so successful that they moved to the much larger Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency in 2010.  Although the Red Rover games played on the lawn in 2009 were missed, the larger space was well used and appreciated.  Adding the ballrooms at the Hyatt was a fantastic move; they accommodated some of the best events of the year: the Zombie Beauty Pageant, Calabrese Concert, Geek Prom, and (my personal favorite) Wil Wheaton’s Rock Band Party.  The entire con was fantastic, the venue terrific.  And it was still too small.

This year, Phoenix Comicon will be held Thursday, May 26 – Sunday May, 29 in the much larger North Building of the Phoenix Convention Center, with programming also at the Hyatt Regency, once again, but with twice the ballroom space.

The guest list is beyond belief:

Stan Lee, Leonard Nimoy, Todd McFarlane, George Takei, Adam Baldwin, Billy Dee Williams, Bruce Boxleitner, Cherie Priest, John Scalzi, Wil Wheaton, Elvira, Kristin Bauer … And those are just the names that even geek-challenged individuals would recognize.  The list of luminaries goes on and on and on.

If you had to carry around the convention’s programming guide, you might hurt yourself: panels and workshops; contests and gaming; concerts and parties; and more!  And I haven’t even mentioned the Artists’ and Authors’ Alleys or the vendor hall yet!  Good thing there’s an app for that:  Guidebook is available for both Apple and Android devices and features schedules, maps, and everything else you’ll need to get through the weekend.  You can download the app from the Apple App Store, Android Marketplace, or through your phone’s browser via the Guidebook link.

Online registration is still open, and you can purchase photo ops with many of the top name guests along with your passes.  You can also purchase tickets for extra-special events (more info in upcoming posts) including Geek Prom, “Storytime With Wil Wheaton“, Hammer Improv (featuring cast members from The Guild), and other mind-blowing happenings, when you order your Con memberships.

And this, oh, my sisters and brothers in geekdom, is just the beginning!  I will be posting continuously for the next four days leading up to preview evening on Thursday, when I will begin live blogging from the con.

I’m going to need serious sustenance for this assignment!  Post your favorite geek foods and beverages in comments!

Coming up next: Arizona Talent Rocks the Con!

Libbi Rich (40 Posts)

Middle-aged punk princess; pop culture hound; geekgirl; liberal activist and general shit-stirrer; reader of nanopunk/cyberpunk/comics/ anything-I-can-get-my-hands-on; wife and mom.