Phoenix Comicon Day 2 and 3

Friday I was volunteering at the Youth Art Room table for Phoenix Public Library at Comicon. We saw a ton of people and made a bunch of free buttons and they made some cool masks. I even made one. I took a pic of this guy dressed up like Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon because it was a cool costume and I knew my son would love it (he did). There was also a guy dressed up as Pyramid Head from Silent Hill with an enormous foam head and sword, who looked something like this (pic below).

Toothless - Day 2 Comicon

Pyramid Head

Saturday was the first day I’d really had to browse the exhibit hall. This is the first real weekend of official summer weather here in Phoenix, over 100 degrees. So that plus mixing with over 1000 people in one large space means a lot of sweaty bodies and not much air conditioning getting around. I felt like this year, more so than two years ago, there was a lot less for reasonable prices.They were charging almost as much for kid’s shirts as adults. Plus there didn’t seem to be as many authors, or at least not as many cool ones. I totally missed Diana Gabaldon and by the end of browsing through the exhibit hall, I wasn’t interested in any panels, just going home. I did get a free Star Wars book and two pairs of cute earrings, so it wasn’t a total waste. Plus I caught a glimpse of actors Edward James Olmos, Summer Glau, David Morrisey (played in Walking Dead), and Jason Isaacs (who played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies). I sadly missed seeing Karl Urban (Eomer in Lord of the Rings, and of course Dr. Bones in both the new Star Trek movies) and I think Ron Perlman (star of Hellboy and Sons of Anarchy) would’ve been fun to see too. Sadly I couldn’t get anyone’s autographs because at $30 a pop, I don’t think so. I’m perfectly fine with observing from a distance.

I totally forgot to bring my phone with me yesterday, so I have no pics to share. But I will include some that our local newspaper took of costumes that I thought were particularly cool. As with the first and second days, there was a lot of video game/anime/manga-influenced characters, with a couple of historical figures thrown in for good measure. I even saw a guy dressed up like a British Red Coat. The light rail is definitely the way to go to get there, even though the walk back to my car afterwards (in the heat after walking quite a bit for past few days) felt like a million miles away. I’m pretty much a people person and my job is basically customer service, so I’m used to dealing with people all the time, but man, that was way too many people. I was feeling seriously claustrophobic.

King Arthur and Patsy - Day 3 Comicon

King Arthur and Patsy from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (I saw these two on my way out)

Steampunk Ghostbuster - Day 3 Comicon

Steampunk Ghostbuster

Steampunk Storm - Day 3 Comicon

Steampunk Storm from X-Men

Phoenix Comicon 2015 – Day 1

I haven’t been back to a comic convention since I went to my second one (though my first major one) two years ago. Again this year, the library is allowing people to help out in the Youth Art Room at Phoenix Comicon and I jumped at the chance to do it. I missed it by two weeks last year. Extra added bonus, I got a free full event pass to the event! So I went today to pick it up, despite only having about 4-5 hours of sleep last night, which was mostly my fault as I had stayed up to read more of the third Outlander book, Voyager. The author, Diana Gabaldon, is supposed to not only be signing copies of her book on Saturday but also doing a panel at Comicon, so naturally I will be going back. I am a latecomer to the Outlander series, having only discovered it about a month or so ago after finally getting to watch the first season of the new Starz show, highly recommended if you haven’t seen it yet. It has a bit of everything in it, for guys and girls. I mean how can you not totally lust over actor Sam Heughan’s version of Jamie Fraser, with his long curly red hair, kilt-wearing, Gaelic speaking, Scottish-accented self! (Note: the pics below don’t really capture the hotness as well as I would like, but you get the idea.) I was definitely enthralled, but the show actually has a really good storyline too, except for the fact as I found out after reading the first book, that the first season only covers about 40% of the actual story. Not to mention, if you read further in the books, you discover that Jamie’s incredibly strong yet vulnerable, well-read, and pretty smart. So pretty much the perfect fictional man…Le sigh.

Jamie Fraser in KiltJamie Fraser shirtless

Anywho, back to my original story. I decided to pick up the event pass, which I assumed would be a pretty quick thing but the process dragged on for an hour. I was thankfully saved by the lovely volunteer coordinator who not only waited in line with me to get my pass at the correct location but also showed me where I was supposed to go tomorrow. I was impressed by the kinds of kids programming they had available there, which is great as there was a ton of kids. I had a little time before I had to go pick up my son from daycare, so I decided to walk around and see if I could check out the Exhibition Hall (example pic below at bottom of page), where the main vendors, authors, comic book artists, and celebrities were going to be. Only problem, as I found out, was that the freaking hall didn’t open up until 4pm and I had to stand around for roughly another hour before I could get in. Plus then I only had an hour to browse before I had to leave. I did get some free stuff from Dark Horse Comics and bought a couple of things while there, but as usual, most of the cool stuff was out of my price range.

Comicon logo

If you’ve never been to a Comic Convention, it can be a little overwhelming, but still pretty fun. It’s definitely the best place to be as nerdy as you want and celebrate that fact, as well as wearing whatever costume from popular culture you can think of – mostly today there were a lot of video game, anime, manga/comic, movie and TV show characters. There was a guy dressed up as Butthead from Beavis and Butthead (it was more of a giant head), there was a gaggle of girls dressed up as My Little Ponies (both shows originally were popular and came out when I was a kid, and I know for certain most of these kids weren’t even born then, but that’s a whole other thing), a kid dressed up like a tape recorder, a guy dressed up as a Nintendo Game Cube, someone with a whole Loki costume, many girls in scantily clad outfits (mostly anime characters I think), one really cool looking Red Royal Imperial Guard (ala Star Wars), a kid in a Darth Vader costume, a kid in a full Stormtrooper costume, and tons more. The energy there is crazy. For example, about 10 minutes before we were allowed to go into the exhibition hall, one of the staff guys starts getting everyone to make noise, i.e. screaming and clapping and we all did it. Mostly b/c we could be loud and also because I think most people (or at least me) were tired of standing in line and just wanted to get in already. It’s a good thing I’m not claustrophobic because the amount of people in there was insane! And it was a freaking Thursday, a day I figured most people wouldn’t be there because they had to work. While I had been waiting in line the third time to get my pass, the vounteer guy told me they were expecting anywhere from 75-90K people this year. I can believe it. Last year they apparently had over 77,000. They’ve got an impressive list of actors there again this year, and I am hoping to see some of them, at least from afar as I can’t afford to get signatures or have a photo taken at $30+ a pop. Last time I was there, they had John Barrowman, star of Torchwood and several Dr. Who episodes, who is so campy but I love him. After my 3 hours there today, I was tired, had sore feet and felt totally drained. I will be back tomorrow morning to do my volunteer shift as part of my work shift and then have to come back to work in the library in the afternoon. Hopefully my feet will stop throbbing by then.

Phoenix Comicon Exhibition Hall