This past weekend was my first adventure to the Phoenix Comicon. It had it’s humble starts in 2002 and has been growing ever since. In 2009, it grew to 7,000 and was forced to move to it’s current location, the Convention Center in downtown Phoenix. The convention was was split between the center and the Hyatt across the street. Both locations were nice with a great downtown vibe. My main concern is that the layout was sprawling over multiple levels so it was a little tricky to navigate. Here were a few more thoughts:
There were some massive lines to get in. Attendees buying badges on site had to wait in line about 30+ minutes. Later in the day, there was a line to get onto the showroom floor. As people left, more were allowed in. I had to wait in line for about 20 mins. This must have exceeded their attendance expectations.
The showroom floor was what you might expect from a smaller con- an eclectic mix of toys, collectibles, and junk. My main complaint is that it had very little comics. Also the Autograph signing area was not accessible to common traffic so no glimpses of C-list stars.
The gaming section held across the street at the Hyatt was a pretty impressive section. It’s a dedicated location and really felt like the gaming community was given it’s space to have fun. It wasn’t crammed in the corner with a few folding tables. Thumbs up!
Overall, I had a great experience and would consider returning. However, from what I understand, the traditional dates have moved from Spring to late May. For most places that would be just fine but in Phoenix it was already feeling like a twin-sun summer on Tattooine. No surprise there were no Chewbacca cosplayers. While Phoenix CC has a lot of areas to grow in, it has a ton a potential and I look forward to visiting it again in a few years.