Phoenix Fan Fest took place on Nov 11-12th in downtown Phoenix. This is a small show put on by the organizers of Phoenix Comicon.
Who ya gonna call? Ernie Hudson! He was at the event along with Mara Wilson, Jed Rees, and cast members from Willy Wonka and Steven Universe. If you don’t know the names, I don’t blame you. I don’t think there ever was an intention to bring in big crowds with celeb names. As I heard several other spectators mention; this felt like a Comicon from 5 or 6 years ago. Easy parking and access, no crowding, everyone is laid back and having fun interacting and building relationships, etc. Since I attend several cons per year, I actually quite enjoyed the change of pace.
On the technology side, the organizers were testing out RFID technology, presumably to launch it for the big show in May. The chip was in a wristband that attendees wore all weekend. You would scan to enter and to leave just like SDCC. RFID is inevitable and will continue to be used at more events. I just hope they put the chip into a badge by Phoenix Comicon, I really don’t want to wear a wristband for 4 entire days in a row.
Artist Marat Mychaels was there with some awesome exclusive variant covers. He has a kickstarter going on worth checking out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/33693976/savage-eve
Rick and Morty is taking over! The fan base is growing and I am seeing references all over the place. One of the mystery box booths even have a dedicated Rick and Morty mystery box.
The shelves of comics vendors were lined with Deadpool, Spider-man, Justice League, and Metal. I don’t see many Thor keys show up even when he has a movie out. A lot of SDCC foils on display. Vendors were very willing to make deals at this show since traffic was slow. That’s the big advantage of small shows, these are the place to spend $$$. Here are some sticker prices I found but most prices had wiggle room:
Secret Wars #8 – $70
Amazing Spiderman #361 – $75
Incredible Hulk #92 variant – $40
New Mutants #87 – $175
Spectacular Spider-Man SDCC Artgerm – $85
New Mutants #26 – $21
Batman Rebirth #24 Foil – $65
Artgerm Supergirl B Covers #12, 13, 14 – $6 each
Metal #3 Mattina Variant – $9
Spider-gwen 24 – $15
Gotham City Sirens #1 – $85
Metal C2E2 Ashcan – $130
Edge of Spiderverse #2 – $125
Wolverine #1 CGC 9.0 – $100
New Mutants #98 CGC 9.8 – $800
If you are considering Phoenix Comicon in May, they have already announced William Shatner, Dave Bautista, and Michael Rooker for starters. https://phoenixcomicon.com/