Batgirl (from Heroes United AZ) at Phoenix Comicon 2016

Phoenix Comicon 2016: Thursday photo recap – Beaker, Batgirl and Burroughs

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Batgirl (from Heroes United AZ) at Phoenix Comicon 2016
Batgirl (from Heroes United AZ) at Phoenix Comicon 2016

Day One of the 2016 Phoenix Comicon has come and gone (three days to go) and I’d wager there was a record crowd for a Thursday afternoon, to go together with the record heat we’re experiencing here in the Valley. Be careful out there and stay hydrated … especially you full-body cosplayers.

While waiting for the festivities to begin on Thursday, I saw a couple of curious sights (besides the usual colorful costumes) that I thought I’d share with you. One was a couple of “entrepreneurs” set up along 3rd Street that were hawking Comicon tickets (i.e., badges.) Now I’m not positive, but I think you need to register for the con through the normal process, either online or onsite at the convention hall, and I would be leery of anyone selling badges on the street.

Phoenix Comicon 2016 - Thursday
Pre-exhibit floor opening congestion!

Another oddity was that the lower level that lies outside the exhibit floor seemed to be off-limits for a particularly long time, whereas guests are normally allowed to mill around in that area prior to the doors opening. Not opening that level seemed to cause extra congestion at the Con entrance; but even weirder was the random countdowns the crowd was chanting that never seemed to lead to anything. Oh well, anything to kill the time while waiting, I guess.

The last oddity I saw was at least one cosplayer (I think), wandering the halls dressed as a blind Matt Murdock. This took me off guard a couple of times because at first I thought it really was a sight-deprived person, and maybe it was, but the whole episode made we wonder about the ethics of cosplaying as a blind man. What do you think…?

Phoenix Comicon 2016 - Thursday
Justice League panel, Comicon staff (l-r) Lita Beck, Jim Smith, Sarah Pelham.

While waiting for the exhibit floor to open, I also sat in on an interesting panel regarding the Justice League and speculation leading up to the highly anticipated film (not out until 2017.) The Comicon staff, including Lita Beck, Jim Smith and Sarah Pelham, engaged a packed house about Batman v Superman and its many faults (including director, Zack Snyder). The “con”-sensus seemed to be that Snyder blew it, but everyone is still excited to see the Aquaman film. There was also a lot of guessing as to how Darkseid was going to fit into the upcoming movie.

Phoenix Comicon 2016 - Thursday
(L – R) Jim Sullos, Cathy Wilbanks, Scott Tracy Griffin (author of Tarzan on Film), Tyler Wilbanks of ERB, Inc. – Table Number- AA1724

For the first time ever at Phoenix Comicon, the late, great-grandfather of pop culture, Edgar Rice Burroughs, is being represented (see table #AA1724.) Without the works of Mr. Burroughs (including Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars) it is entirely likely that Comicon and other pop culture conventions would not even exist. Find out why at two Comicon panels, Friday and Saturday (see details at Bravo to Burroughs: Phoenix Comicon panels probe pulp adventure author’s legacy) — and you might even score an advance screening pass to the upcoming film, The Legend of Tarzan!

Phoenix Comicon 2016 - Thursday
Carmen Sandiego sighted in Arizona!

We found Carmen Sandiego and she’s in Arizona! Don’t make the mistake of calling her Peggy Carter (like I did…).

Phoenix Comicon 2016 - Thursday
Fantasy artist, Gilead, booth AA1614

Fantasy artist, Gilead, from Gilbert, wowed the Thursday crowd evening with some incredible live painting. Learn more about this amazing local artist at

Phoenix Comicon 2016 - Thursday
Beaker’s looking to take in some cool science panels! (Matt Edrich Cosplay – @Diadeverde87)

Enjoy our 2016 Phoenix Comicon: Thursday photo gallery – just click on the thumbnails to see the larger image. Enjoy!


Discuss Literary Adventures at the Facebook group 'For the Love of All Things Edgar Rice Burroughs.'


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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.