Phoenix Fan Fusion

Phoenix Fan Fusion
Phoenix Fan Fusion 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 Fan Fusion 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 the event, by then known as 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. After the 2018 convention, the event was renamed Phoenix Fan Fusion to avoid trademark disputes with the San Diego Comic Con.

While earlier editions of Phoenix Fan Fusion 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 have included Stan Lee (Marvel Comics), 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 Fan Fusion 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, a film festival, a cosplay contest, and other events and attractions.

Phoenix Fan Fusion

Photo: Benjamin Leatherman




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