Phoenix Comicon

Phoenix Comicon
Photo: phoenixcomicon.com
Phoenix Comicon is an annual pop culture convention held in Phoenix, Arizona. What started a small one-day event has become one of the biggest fan conventions in the United States. In 2016, the convention attracted over 106,000 visitors from Arizona and out of state.

Phoenix Comicon was founded in 2002 as Phoenix Cactus Comicon. It was a one-day event that lasted for six hours and featured a handful of local exhibitors and creators. The convention drew 432 attendees. The event begin to grow in both size and attendance during the following years. Its program expanded to include Q&As with comic guests from out of state, workshops and masterclasses, and film trailer screenings. Among the first guests of honor at Phoenix Comicon were comic book artists Todd Nauck (Wildguard) and Marv Wolfman (The Tomb of Dracula, The New Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths).

In 2006, Phoenix Comicon became a two-day convention and was relocated to the Mesa Convention Center. This was the first edition of the convention to encompass other elements of pop culture beyond comic books such as science fiction, fantasy, films, television series, anime, manga, horror, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, etc. It was further expanded to three days in 2009 and four days in 2011. As of 2017, it is held at Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Hotel.

While earlier editions of Phoenix Comicon featured mainly comic book writers and artists as guests, bigger names began to attend the convention as special guests as soon as it expanded to encompass all things pop culture. Past special guests include Stan Lee (Marvel Comic), Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek), George Takei (Star Trek), William Shatner (Star Trek), Alex Kingston (Doctor Who), Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, DC Extended Universe), Nathan Fillion (Firefly), John Barrowman (Torchwood, Arrow), James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), and many others.

The program of Phoenix Comicon is similar to that of other multi-genre conventions held across the world. It includes panels, workshops and masterclasses featuring comic industry professionals, Q&As, autograph sessions and photo ops with celebrity guests, a large exhibitor area, the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival, a cosplay contest, and other events and attractions.

Phoenix Comicon

Photo: Benjamin Leatherman



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