Monday, December 7, 2015

Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest, A Cosplay Winter Wonderland

Fan Fest was held in Glendale Arizona at University of Phoenix stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals football team. The entrance/exit had gourmet food trucks all lined up and ready to feed the hungry fans who were arriving, leaving or just enjoying the incredible weather of Glendale in December. It was sunny and mid to high 70 degrees (F) outside which makes for an enjoyable day. The fans who showed up dressed in costumes must have been very happy with how cool the temperature was considering how elaborate some of the costumes were. People dressed up in full Storm Trooper gear as well as countless Deadpool’s and Harley Quinn’s for everyone to admire and take photos with. The energy level was high at Fan Fest and once again the folks at Phoenix Comicon provided us a convention to share our hobbies and passions with like minded folks.

As I approached the entrance to the floor level, where all the vendors had their booths, I noticed that there were more people in CosPlay than not. At least that’s how it appeared to me. The attitude of patrons were mostly pleasant and agreeable. They all understood that there are people who enjoy taking photo’s of such spectacles and were happy to pause, pose and smile for the cameras when asked. There was even a CosPlay contest that took place upstairs on the stage outside for everyone to vote on their favorite costumed individual. Overall, the CosPlay was done well and the folks who spent time dressing up did quality work. 

As I walked the floor with some of the Maskerpiece Theatre family I couldn’t help but stop and look at some of the vendor booths that were set up. Comic Book shops from around Arizona and Southern California were present as well as local shops and medieval weapon makers. There was surprisingly fewer vendors selling comics this year which surprised me however I was able to find a few that were worth while and I was also able to make some purchases. The folks working the vendor booths were, for the most part, quite pleasant and talkative. I enjoyed meeting some Southern California folks who run “Canon Comic Shop” and chatting new comics as well as personal favorites. Overall, a quality experience meeting all these delightful people.

This year I noticed the food options that included more than just roasted almonds available on the floor of the stadium. A smart adjustment that allowed patrons to stay on floor level and eat instead of having to go up stairs to get food at the food trucks. The amount of walking that occurs is high and reducing the number of steps taken is surely a positive. By 
having food options available down stairs near the vendors I felt was a success. 

The artist alley had some enjoyable booths to stop by and purchase sketches or prints at. It’s fascinating to see the artist at work and also to see their completed works which were many. Again, I got the sense that even the artists were enjoying their time at Fan Fest due in part to their agreeable nature when dealing with people. The celebrity signing and photo area seemed to be quite popular as well. Located right next to the artists you had the opportunity to meet celebrities from your favorite TV shows or films.

Overall, the Fan Fest was enjoyable. If you are into CosPlay it’s a great convention for you. The weather is close to perfect and everyone is so nice and polite. If you are into buying comics, this is the one area that could’ve been improved on. I felt like there weren’t enough comic shops being represented but that’s not the fault of Phoenix Comicon. That’s the stores responsibility to submit a booth permit, so I’m a little confused as to why more shops didn’t. It was nice to see the gourmet food trucks also. If you haven’t, you should try the food trucks in Phoenix or attend a food truck festival. The cooks know what they’re doing in those tiny kitchens.

Phoenix Comicon will be back next May and I’m looking forward to all they have in store for the fans and enthusiasts!

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