I am at the Phoenix Comic Con this weekend and thought I would share some of the interesting things that occur at one of these events. The first official one started in 1964 although you could say that since they were based on the old science fiction conventions of the 1930s, it was in the 30s. However nowadays they are comprised of everything to do with what is considered genre fiction, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, animated movies, TV shows, or cartoons. Basically: geekdom. We use the term “comic con” as a simple way of describing it.
The big one is, of course, San Diego’s Comic Con that has 130,000 people crammed into San Diego’s convention center. Even though there is over six hundred thousand square feet, it is an immensely packed convention. Phoenix Comic Con is much the same way because it has been growing by leaps and bounds — going from 432 attendees to almost 80,000 in 14 years. Luckily Phoenix knows how to do AC so even though we have so many people attending during a heat wave, it isn’t that hot. I have been to conventions that don’t know what they are doing with AC and it is really important since a lot of people dress up in costumes that have got to be suffocating in the heat.
Typically the conventions happen this way: a section for gaming, a section for panels, a section for famous people. And, of course, everywhere is for cosplay:
Gaming is both electronic and table top. Back in the day, there was Dungeons & Dragons (and the myriad similar games), the standard Monopoly, The Game of Life, and a few others. But now you have an almost infinite array of different games to pick from. I have about a dozen and they are all fun but very time consuming. At Phoenix Comic Con they have one floor of the Hyatt hotel turned completely over to table top gaming so people can learn about new games, play with friends, and just relax.
Electronic gaming is set up where you can do mass playing, contests, and other things that gamers do with those things. Generally it is not as big a deal at Phoenix Comic Con. But that’s not to say they don’t take it seriously. Very seriously:
This is where people get to discuss the things they enjoy. This is where Frank would shine since he could do a panel on Don Quixote and spend an hour telling everyone in extreme detail about the themes as the apply to some random sci-fi movie. [R2-D2 as Don Quixote and C-3PO as Sancho? Yeah, I could do that. -FM] Or talk about sixties sci-fi movies he may have seen since he doesn’t watch anything after 1980. [With good reason! -FM]
The big thing that comic cons are known for is the cosplay. People like to dress up as fictional characters and while everyone is familiar with the storm troopers, as you see above, there is a lot more variety these days.
From Bob of Bob’s Burgers to a bulky Transformer to a Viet Cong swamp zombie, there’s something for everyone:
There are a lot more, of course, but you get the idea. But if you really want insanity, you’ll have to go to a gun show.