Phoenix Comicon 2017 (#PHXCC2017) was definitely different than other years. For starters, attendance on Thursday remained at its escalated level (last year attendance was easily double on Thursday than previous years) so I found there were more people to interact with as early as 11 AM than in years prior. This was both a good and bad thing. The good being that more people attended the noon panel I hosted with Amber Brite and the bad being that security did not seem prepared for the level of enthusiasm which may have led to them missing the armed assailant who was plotting to murder Jason David Frank (aka the Green Power Ranger).
Thankfully, a good Samaritan brought the plot to the authorities’ attention and violence was avoided. Unfortunately, the presence of such an individual spun into action a plan for banning all props and prop weapons from the convention for the remainder of the event. You can still read the details on Phoenix Comicon’s Updated Prop/Weapon Policies HERE. This change caused a ripple effect in programming with numerous costume and crafting panel cancellations. This, unfortunately, did impact attendance of remaining costuming panels as rumors of their cancellation led to assumptions that none were being hosted from Friday forward. Despite these changes, the remaining four costuming panels that I participated in were successful and the convention moved forward.
Here is a quick summary video of our time at Phoenix Comicon 2017…
The energy at this event was enriching and supportive. Fans and staff alike worked together to better the convention experience as lines to gain entry increased. In fact, on Friday, the convention director extended exhibitor hall hours so attendees who were stuck outside would have more time to visit their favorite artists and vendors. These extended hours increased attendance at night and made for some interesting interaction with attendees during my night time panels. Here is a shot of the “Become a Cosplay Master” panel that I hosted as ThermoCosplay (my cosplay handle) with the help of StevieSpade Cosplay and Lina (who is a part of ThermoCosplay).
Overall I would say this event was a success. Panelists were given a side entrance to ensure on time entry to the convention however; many attendees waited in 100 degree weather before they were admitted to the event. From the stories I heard and the lines I witnessed some attendees are hoping new contingency plans are established for next year’s event. In the interim, fans of Phoenix Comicon who missed out on showcasing their props can look forward to Phoenix Fan Fest in the fall. Hopefully new security measures will prevent further banning of costume props/weapons. As always, here are a few photos from the event to keep you in high spirits. Fan girl on!