As expected, the crowd at Saturday’s Phoenix Comicon was kaiju huge, nevertheless things seemed to go on without hitch — a testament to the planning and patience of the convention staff and organizers. But as most pop culture convention veterans know, Saturday is the best day to avoid the craziness of the exhibit floor and kick back by taking in some of the incredible panels the Con has to offer.
We started out our day by attending the “Creator Rights” presentation by GeekLawFirm.com attorney (and self-proclaimed “professional swearer”), Ruth Carter, who was enthusiastic, entertaining and most importantly, she knows her nerdy law. The panel was co-hosted by comic book creator Javier Hernandez, who shared his experiences navigating the legal pitfalls of bringing his comic (El Muerto) to film. Ruth is also hosting a “Fan Art/Fan Fiction and Copyright” panel on Sunday, so if you ever wondered whether that cool image of Iron Man you created (or bought) was legal, you might want to attend.
If you didn’t make it to the Jim Steranko spotlight panel on Saturday, then you missed out on a fantastic time. The legendary “most interesting man in comics” wowed the crowd for over an hour with amazing tales of breaking into the comic business and of motorcycle adventures that would make Evel Knievel blush. Steranko is as entertaining as a spoken word storyteller as he is an illustrator, and that’s pretty darn good. Don’t miss this Sunday’s Classic Comic Cover Corner for more on Jim Steranko.
Next up was the Steampunk Fashion Show, always one of the most popular events at Comicon; and this year’s soiree had some spectacular offerings, including a giant robot with a working buzzsaw appendage. See the gallery below for a sampling from each participating model; but of special mention is Bill Mullins’ Steampunk Marvin the Martian, who stole the show — complete with sound bites from the beloved cartoon alien. Another great costume was worn by the lovely Jocelynne Simone as a Cthulhu charmer.
We wrapped up our day by attending the “Walking in Two Worlds: Native American Comic Art vs. Stereotypes” panel, with speakers Ann Marshall (Heard Museum director); “Super Indian” creator Arigon Starr; Navajo tribal member Olivia Scott (moderator), “Captain Paiute” creator Theo Tso; and Lance Polingyouma, also of the Heard Museum. The panel discussed the Native American perspective of comic book creators and their struggle to end the stereotypical way that their people are portrayed in comics. They made me very excited to check out this summer’s “Super Heroes: Art! Action! Adventure!” exhibit at the Heard, which focuses on “American Indian artists [who] are making art associated with superheroes.”
Please peruse our gallery of Saturday’s PHXCC photos below (just click the image to see it larger.)