The arrest led to a complete ban on weapons at the event, prop or otherwise, and heightened security measures on site. This led to even more drama as the days went by. Vendors got into alleged disputes with convention staff and attendees were forced to wait for hours in lines to pass through security checks on Friday. PCC workers did their best to assuage the issues, passing out free water to attendees in lines on Saturday and streamlining inspection processes to cut down on wait times. Despite that, the damage was done. The event’s Facebook page was littered with complaints demanding ticket refunds and attendee traffic was noticeably reduced in comparison to years prior. It was easy to see that more than a bit of wind had been knocked out of Phoenix Comicon’s sails this time around.
While many lamented the issues surrounding the heightened security measures, many attendees and vendors at the event seemed understanding of the response to the incident. Cosplayers took the new ban in stride, adding creative items in place of their prop weapons. A Sith walked around with a sign saying “budget cuts” by the Empire left them without a lightsaber, a Deadshot holstered bananas instead of pistols, and Stormtroopers wielded loaves of bread in place of blasters.
It remains unclear what effect the arrest and prop ban had on the convention’s attendee numbers, but time will tell whether or not this year’s woes for Phoenix Comicon will affect future convention endeavors.
Check out some of the best gaming cosplay and fun seen at the event below: