Another Phoenix Comicon came to a close on Sunday. We’ll hear in the coming days whether or not the attendance records were broken again this year, but there was surely another temperature record broken; which would certainly make the 2016 show THE hottest pop culture convention ever! (Call Guinness Records now… and pass me a cold Guinness as well!)
Nerdvana attended a couple of excellent panels on Sunday and first up was the “Get Your Arse to Mars” discussion hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and moderated by aerospace artist/systems engineer, Michelle Rouch. The guest speakers included Grant Anderson (President and CEO of Paragon Space Development Corporation), Dr. Peter Smith (Phoenix Mars Mission), Geoff Notkin (science writer and television host), and Dr. Bruce Bayly of the Southern Arizona Research, Science & Engineering Foundation (SARSEF).
The Get your Arse to Mars panel was extremely entertaining and educational, and when Dr. Smith assured us that it was NOT 114 degrees on Mars I was ready to sign up for the next trip – with visions of Dejah Thoris in my head. (Stay tuned for a full article on the Mars panel, after we’ve recuperated from the weekend’s big event.)
Next up was the “Poetry of Comics” panel, where local comic book artisans/poets, Birdie Birdashaw and Russ Kazmierczak, spoke about the cryptic and magical language shared by the two mediums. Mr. Bradshaw even provided a demonstration of his impressive haiku prowess by writing verses on the fly, while Kazmierczak entertained the crowd with some of his own pop culture themed poems.