2013 Phoenix Comicon: Saturday – Guesstimations & gaslights

Classic Dungeons & Dragons back in print! - Available now @ Dungeon Masters Guild
Say Anything ... Cap Style!
Say Anything … Cap Style!

At last count, I believe there were approximately one-gazillion attendees at the 2013 Phoenix Comicon on this last Saturday (that’s if the Nerdvanatron 9000 was properly calibrated.) But despite nearly wall-to-wall pop culture fans, there seemed to be a big nerdy smile on everyone’s face.

There were a few new genre-themed vehicles on hand at the entrance to the convention hall on Saturday morning, most notably a DeLorean DMC-12 Time-Machine complete with a Mr. Fusion component and a Hover Board in the front seat.

After snapping a few cool costume photos out in the convention halls (see the bottom of this post for our Saturday photo gallery), I attended the Movies from 2014 – 2016 panel sponsored by the “Skewed ‘n Reviewed” website who provided a very quick rundown of the latest news and rumors regarding upcoming genre films.

Of note from the Movies presentation was a rumor that Walt Disney Studios may have plans to purchase the rights to the Hasbro stable of characters (i.e. Transformers, Battleship, and G.I. Joe.) Additionally, there are also potential plans for new films of Conan (with Schwarzenegger), American Werewolf in London, I Am Legend, Rush Hour, Gremlins, Dumb & Dumber and Timecop.

If you are a gamer, there are also rumored plans for film adaptations of Deus Ex, Call of Duty, Halo, Sim City, Angry Birds and even the old Missile Command game. Potential toy related movies that you might see on the big screen include Chucky, Toy Story, Micronauts and He-Man.

Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola
Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola

There are also alleged plans for Disney to create Avatar themed attractions at their parks and supposedly James Cameron has yet another improved 3D process that is going to blow everyone away. Keep in mind that all of this movie news is speculation, but it’s still fun to dream.

Next up was a panel by comic writer Brian Augustyn and artist/writer Mike Mignola (Hellboy) celebrating their classic work from 1989, Gotham by Gaslight. This graphic novel is considered the very first “Elseworlds” book from DC Comics and is one the first comics to explore a steampunk theme; although the creators noted that they didn’t really consider it a steampunk book as it is missing requisite steampunk science-fiction elements.

The creators talked about how they enjoyed exploring the Victorian era and Mr. Mignola jokingly suggested that, “Next time they [DC] have to re-boot the entire universe, why not make it 100 years in the past?” Mr. Augustyn suggested that the book was groundbreaking because it proved that “history is a viable leaping-off point” for storytelling. Mignola added that there was a lot of wild stuff going on at that time.

After the Gotham by Gaslight panel it was time to brave the crowds of the exhibition floor once again in search of an old school comic book to showcase in NERDVANA’s Classic Comic Cover Corner. You can see which book was the lucky selection HERE.

Justice League of Arizona
Justice League of Arizona

I wrapped-up my Saturday Con-experience by taking in the Meet the Justice League of Arizona panel, where I in fact did meet a great group of enthusiastic people who use professional quality costuming to support great causes and charities.

Led by their Commanding Officer, Dustin “Dr. Fate” Dial, who models his organization after the structure of the 501st Legion Star Wars costuming group, the JLAZ ranks include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Nightwing, the Joker, Golden Age Flash, the Scarecrow, Blue Beetle and more.

I was very impressed and inspired by this group’s heroic efforts to mirror their fictional characters’ desires to do good in the world. If you make it out to the Sunday Comicon, be sure to go by the groups’ elaborate photo -op area and meet some of these incredible people. If you can’t make it to the Con, then take a moment to visit their Facebook page.

2013 Phoenix Comicon Saturday Photo Gallery:

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.