The Valley’s premier pop culture event, Phoenix Comicon, kicked off Thursday afternoon with what has to be record attendance for its opening day. Throngs (yes, throngs) of costumers, comic fans and other odd crime-fighters packed the Phoenix Convention Center to begin a long weekend journey of geekery.
If you have been there and back again, then you are going to find many significant changes to the layout of the event this year, and even though the Con showrunners have been pretty good about communicating the reorganization, even PHXCC veterans may find themselves having more than one “lost in space” moment. To help, let me get you hip to some of the things I learned on Thursday’s trek.
The More You Know
- Badge registration is now located on the far North side of the building where the main convention entrance is located (off of 3rd street), just enter the main building like normal, hang a left before going into the food court, go past the escalators that go down to the convention floor and keep walking as far as you can. When you reach the North wall, make a right and keep going until you reach the registration room.
- As you are walking to the registration room you’ll notice a big seating area to the right, take note of this as its the perfect spot to review your program after you pick up your badge. I believe this is also the expanded seating area for the food court (but don’t sever my hand off if I’m wrong.)
- When picking up your badge, you’ll also want to peruse the new PHXCC “official merchandise” section that is inside the registration room. They’ve got some pretty sweet swag this year.
- If you are looking for Steampunk programming, most of it has been located at the Renaissance Hotel, and to get there: when you are facing the main 3rd street entrance to the Comicon, turn around and walk straight across the street, through the adjacent “West” building, jump onto the sidewalk at Adams St. and keep walking West, straight past the Hyatt Regency and across 1st Street. until you arrive at the Renaissance. Once there, just check with the PHXCC Information Booth for the location of your respective event.
- A lot of the programming has been juggled around this year, so pay close attention to your program and don’t assume that your favorite panel is going to be at the same location that it has always been before.
- Here are some PHXCC maps [links] you will find handy: Hotels | Main Buildings and Level Layouts
Hopefully those helpful hints will save you some shoe leather. Now on to our Thursday PHXCC photo recap:
As mentioned, the Thursday attendance at PHXCC was massive, which makes one wonder what Saturday’s crowd is going to be like. Suddenly you realize why some of the big changes have been made to this year’s convention; this thing is expanding like it’s on Pym particles and the con planners are making moves to keep up with the growth.
The doors to the exhibit hall opened at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, and attendees waited “patiently.” Some posing for pictures, while others attempted to get the enthusiastic crowd clapping and chanting some indecipherable nerd code. Excitement was in the air!
The doors opened on the 2015 Phoenix Comicon and it didn’t take long for the exhibit hall to fill up with fans. Many vendors commented on the large size of Thursday’s crowd and predicted a productive and successful convention weekend.
Utilizing space-age high-speed photo technology we were able to capture this rare image of Pietro Maximoff (AKA Quicksilver from X-Men: Days of Future Past). I’m not sure what happened after snapping this picture, but I distinctly remember hearing Jim Croce singing. Weird.
We stopped by to check out the amazing new Brose Brothers’ Production booth (#11093) and it is Steampunktacular! Read our recent interview with Casey and Ben Brose HERE, or pick it up in print in this Sunday’s East Valley Tribune.
Arizona’s Cult Classics cinema revival showrunner, Victor Moreno, is located at booth #13080. Check out his awesome art and ask him about the upcoming screening of Jaws, which they’ll be showing on the same day the film debuted 40 years ago. Get more info HERE.
Like cats? Dig superheroes? Then the fantastic feline art of Jenny Parks is something you’ll want to see (booth #3127). We picked up a Siamese cat Wonder Woman print for our Siamese cat, and even got it personalized for her. She was characteristically unamused.
If you are looking for local authors, be sure to head to the Northeast corner of the exhibit hall, where you’ll find talented creators like Sharon Skinner, author of The Healer’s Legacy and The Nelig Stones. Find the Brick Cave Media booth at location #16122.
Add Amazing Arizona Comics booth #12115 to your must-see list at Phoenix Comicon. Creator, Russ Kazmierczak, is also a Nerdvana contributor, and his comics are a fun mix of Arizona geopolitical satire and superheroes. A copy of Russ’ Amazing Arizona Comics is one of the best and most entertaining bargains of the convention, and you might even get a free sketch out of him to boot.
But wait, there’s more! Peruse our gallery of Thursday’s PHXCC photos below (just click the image to see it larger – yes, our photos also utilize Pym particles.)
Get details and updates on Phoenix Comicon 2015: phoenixcomicon.com
Read all of our Phoenix Comicon countdown coverage: Phoenix Comicon 2015 Countdown