Sorry about the delay on getting this up. Louie submitted it a while back and things being hectic I haven’t been able to get it on the site. Thanks to Louie M. who covers conventions for comicsheatingup.net for doing it.
Phoenix Comicon took place over the Memorial Day weekend in Downtown Phoenix, AZ, and is one of the largest comic cons in the country.
The event kicked off with great excitement given their incredible guests list including Dick Van Dyke, Karen Gillan, Danny Trejo, and Jon Bernthal. If you haven’t heard already, on day 1, a man was taken down by police who was carrying 3 handguns, a shotgun, ammo, and knives. Word from people who were there was that security was light for preview night (in years past, there were bag checks at the door and prop checks). Someone noticed the posts this human turd was making on social media and tipped off police. A man carrying that much firepower has bad intentions and I thank God he was caught before he could carry out his plans. He was posting pics of police he wanted to murder and his plans to assassinate Jason David Frank (Green Ranger). Special thanks to the person who reported him, she could have ignored his posts but chose not to.
So now the Phoenix PD and Convention Center had to figure out how to increase security on a show that already started. They did this by banning all costume props and setting up three security checkpoints starting on day 2.
And that’s how one a-hole ruins the fun for everyone. Friday morning was easily the WORST line I have ever waited in for a con. I got in line for the con at 9:50am, and walked into convention center at 12:05pm. I don’t blame PHXCC for this, they are at the mercy of convention center security and Phoenix PD. Security did their best with an unexpected situation. Of course the complaints were high. Personally, I would rather be safe. The party wasn’t going to last forever. I am actually not sure it was ever a great idea for tens of thousands of people to be roaming an enclosed space with fake weapons.
Enough doom and gloom, it was still a great con!
Stranger Comics Panel
Sebastian A. Jones gave a very thoughtful presentation on the elements of storytelling and indy comics. He provided great insight into the diversity of Stranger Comics. Sebastian stated he has had young girls come to his booth in tears that they are being represented in Stranger books. These are the kinds of things he thinks about when he has had producers previously tell him they would green light a Niobe TV show immediately if they change the character to a boy who is white. Presently there are some negotiations with Viola Davis for a Niobe TV show. So we may see a Niobe on the small screen that is true to the original content.
Stranger announced a new comics series, Fey, which will have Jae Lee doing interiors. Jae stated it has been awhile since illustrating a full comic and joked that the release schedule is one issue per year, but he has been waiting years to find the right project to devote himself to. Darrell May has laid the groundwork for a new fantasy world, and world building is one of Stranger’s strengths so I am looking forward to this one. Out possibly by the end of summer
Additionally, Stranger announced Ruining Christmas which will be more in the comedy realm with the above eye catching cover. Also mentioning their Kickstarter which has met its goal and adding some great stretch incentives: HYPERLINK “https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1182319554/niobe-she-is-life-hardcover-and-she-is-death-1-com” https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1182319554/niobe-she-is-life-hardcover-and-she-is-death-1-com
DC Rebirth Panel with Dan Jurgens
First Dan was asked about the topic of reboots. He does not consider Rebirth a reboot, rather it’s going back to the original characters and their history. He stated the problem with new 52 was jumping 5 years in, readers didn’t know what happened and what had not. “When you don’t understand why a character is doing what he is doing, it’s probably not a very good comic.”
“Does it bother you that people like some variants of superman like Injustice Superman?” Dan answers honestly and frankly “yes it does” (room fills with laughter and approval). He goes on to explain that he doesn’t understand why people want to destroy Superman or write Superman with a dark side. He tries not to let it bother him but it does a little. He compared it with how darkness is more suitable for the Batman character. “Batman is who we are, and Superman is who we aspire to be.”
Dan explained that he was brought back to Superman because DC feels he has a certain beat on the character. He strives to keep the storylines fresh, which is why he was a little hesitant at first to write Doomsday again. “The challenge is continuing to have something to say without being repetitive.”
Audience question of “How can we get your version of Superman on screen?” (Loud Applause) Dan stated he doesn’t have much interaction with the movie side, but Geoff Johns does now and he feels Geoff has a strong understanding on who Superman is.
Dan asked room to raise hands based on who likes twice monthly and who would prefer we go back to monthly. Room was split 50/50. Dan stated he liked twice monthly because it is easier to follow story when issues come out more often.
This actor is a true legend, it was also his first comic con. PHXCC utilized their first ever lottery for a panel. I thought it was a great idea because I would rather know if I am getting in or not without waiting hours in line first.
The panel was probably one of my favorite con experiences ever. His energy is incredible at 91. He is a great storyteller, so bummed I couldn’t record this one. I’m sure he appreciated the sea of Mary Poppins and Burts in attendance.
He stated he has just finished filming the new Mary Poppins and explained this is not supposed to be sequel but rather an homage. He will be doing some singing and dancing in the movie. When asked what is was like to work with Walt Disney on the original, he stated “Walt and I were two children trying to find our inner adults.”
Morey Amsterdam wrote lyrics for Dick Van Dyke show theme song that was never used which he sang on the spot. He also told a heartwarming story about the Mary Poppins crew giving him a homemade award when he didn’t win the Golden Globe nomination for best actor in Mary Poppins.
When asked which character made him the most emotional, it was his character in The Morning After. It didn’t end well for that character and DVD was glad it was over when filming ended. He stated the National Council on Alcoholism was initially upset that the character didn’t make it through recovery, but nowadays the movie is played in rehab clinics.
Karen Gillan Panel
Another notable major panel I attended was the beautiful Karen Gillan. Highlights were her doing her deep Nebula voice for the audience, and singing some Frank Sinatra with the voice of Britney Spears. When asked which Guardians movie she enjoyed filming the most, it was GOTG 2 due to the character development of Nebula. Along with the fact she was able to keep her hair while filming the sequel.
Karen responded to the question of what her mixtape would include by letting the audience know hers would be very different, and include a lot of Elvis. If she could play a Disney character it would be Merida from Brave (makes sense!).
The Exhibit Floor
As always the floor is massive with a wide variety of items; shirts, toys, comics (wish there were more though), art, swords, light sabers, anime, and some products that are very, um, derivative…..
There were several comics publishers such as Valiant, Zenescope, Coffin Comics, Stranger Comics, Aspen, and Skybound. Still wish Skybound would do an exclusive for PHXCC! Below are a few notable prices on comics recently mentioned on CHU:
Redneck 1 – $15
Pestilence 1 – $9
Walking dead 167 – $3
All Star Batman 10 – $10
Seven to Eternity 2 – $12
Venom 150 1:25 – $15
Venom 150 dell otto – $30 (One vendor sold 6 by day 2, one of them went to me!)
Venom 150 1:100 – $90
We Can Never Go Home Forbidden Planet variant – $8
Batman 21/22, flash 21/22 lenticulars: $8-12 (Issues sat there all weekend though)
God country 1 -$39
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank 1 – $5
Seven to eternity 1 – $110
NYX 3 – $600 slabbed, $300 raw
Overall, Venom wins the con. Venom was selling like crazy, especially 150. I don’t know if any vendor had to bring back any 150s they brought to the show.
Phoenix Comicon’s next events are Thrill Halloween (9/30) and Phoenix FanFest (11/11). Can’t go wrong with any of their shows! https://phoenixcomicon.com/