The weekend is over, which means we have to go back out into the “real” world. But, before the post-con blues set in too heavily, take a look at the highlights from what we’re officially naming as the best Phoenix Comicon ever.
From humble beginnings
Phoenix Comicon was not always the 80,000 attendee spectacle that it is today. The first Phoenix Comicon was actually held in the nearby city of Ahwatukee in June of 2002, when a few hundred guests paid a $3 entrance fee for the one day, six hour event. TrekMovie first attended in 2009 by which time the Grand Canyon State’s largest con had moved to (another) suburb Mesa, AZ and entertained an estimated 7,000 guests over the course of three full days. 2010 marked the first time the PhxCC would be held in its current venue (actually in its namesake city this time!) in the downtown Phoenix Convention Center. From there, attendance ballooned to over 70,000 in 2014 and around 80,000 this year.
The best PhxCC to date
It’s been an exciting journey watching PhxCC grow over the past few years. While the guys in charge, relatively new to the “big” convention scene, still make mistakes (don’t we all?) they are extremely good at listening to their fans. And, it shows. This year was definitely the best organized the event has ever been. With tons of great fan-led panels, entertaining celebrity guests (plus photo ops and autographs for collectors), a HUGE exhibit floor, and lots of FREE stuff to do including live music, free photo booths, and parties, there was never a dull moment. Below are just a few of our favorite things from PhxCC 2015.
Some of our favorite panels
There was some pretty great programming in store for con-goers in Phoenix this year. The most unexpectedly entertaining panel had to be Spoof N’ Cinema: Star Trek The Animated Series put on by a troupe from National Comedy Theater. The comedians simply played an episode of Star Trek TAS, on mute, and supplied their own voices, music, and even sound effects. The result was more hilarious than I can describe in this post. Suffice to say that if this panel happens again next year, I’d highly recommend you attend.
The most information packed panel had to be the Movies of 2016-2018 panel hosted by Gareth Von Kallenbach of Skewed and Reviewed. Gareth told us all about movies to come in the next three years: Toy Story 4, Sherlock Holmes 3, Avatar 2, Deadpool, Lego Batman, Pacific Rim 2, a live action Captain Underpants, and way too many super hero movies to name. Boos filled the room when Gareth brought up the recent comments by Simon Pegg that Paramount ditched the original script of Star Trek Beyond for being “too Star Trek-y”.
Our favorite day was probably Friday, which featured a ton of Star Trek panels and events, including the premier screening of Star Trek Continues Episode 4 “The White Iris”, which you can now watch for free online.
After the screening, the cast and crew of Star Trek Continues hosted a panel and an autograph session.
— Charlynn Schmiedt (@ohtheprofanity) May 30, 2015
The best of the science track this year (which was great, by the way!) has to be the Inside NASA panel on Saturday, which featured NASA scientists studying all kinds of projects including Mars, asteroids, and more. The best part? The person to ask the best question was awarded a 3D printed scale figure of Bennu, a small dark near-Earth asteroid which will be visited by NASA spacecraft OSIRIS-REx in October 2018.
Some of our favorite vendors
There was so much to see, do, and buy at this year’s PhxCC. I think I spent more this year than any con I’ve been to in the past, and I love every single one of my purchases. Some of our favorite vendors include The Subtle Geek selling hand-made subtly styled geek accessories, Ukiyo-e Heroes selling woodblock and giclée prints of pop culture icons in the style of ancient Japanese art (I challenged the artist to try his hand doing Star Trek versions!), SuperHeroStuff selling clothing and accessories, Chick-Lit Designs selling stuff for us geeks who love to read (including a Star Trek Kindle case), and Tribble Toys selling (you guessed it) tribbles and tribble accessories!
Star Trek wristlet from The Subtle Geek
“Pocketing a Wager” giclée print from Ukiyo-e Heroes
Lots of gear for your favorite superhero
Chick-Lit Designs Star Trek ebook reader cover
Get yer tribbles here! From Tribble Toys
Outside of the panels and exhibit hall, there were tons of events and attractions to keep us entertained, including a replica of the Original Series transporter room available for free photo ops courtesy of local fan club United Federation Phoenix, an outdoor stage where local bands (often in cosplay) entertained the thousands of guests enjoying some local flavor via the several food trucks lined up on 3rd street (our official recommendation? Two Fat Guys Grilled Cheese. YUM).
And, if you had the urge to jam inside the exhibit hall, why not grab a pair of these light-up acrylic drum sticks and entertain the masses?
Some of our favorite cosplay
You’ve gotta appreciate the non-Trek stuff, too!