IncreaseBlue’s Phoenix Comicon Re-cap

29 05 2012

The 2012 Phoenix Comicon has concluded and was the stomping ground for many a nerd, geek, otaku, and gamer over the entire four days it was held last weekend.

Numerous panels and events peppered the convention so that few were left without anything to entertain them. The Pause Button’s own IncreaseBlue covered PCC and offers her thoughts below on how it all went.

After soaring upwards for years up and out of the confined Mesa Convention Center, building steam with huge pop-culture guests, and bursting with panels that covered any and all inches of the nerd spectrum, the Phoenix Comicon appears to have stumbled in the 2012 event.

Having a lot of space was a plus for the convention again this year.

Logistics and Space-

There’s no denying that the Phoenix Comicon was big–it was beyond big. Now fully encompassing the underground halls and two floors of the Phoenix Convention Center, as well as multiple rooms in the Hyatt Regency and Renaissance hotels, the event literally forced attendees to rack up the miles on their pedometer to sample everything it had to offer.

Now while this massiveness was appreciated in the exhibitor hall where wide aisles made browsing and shopping a lot easier, it was cumbersome when attempting to pin down what events to go to. Often I heard attendees considering aloud not going to panels simply because it was a trek or they were afraid of going to the wrong place. While this isn’t entirely the con’s fault (human exhaustion and/or laziness aside), when panels go empty because they’re too far from the main hub of action there is a problem.


Speaking of panels, that was one factor that seemed to be extremely lacking in a sense of flow or consistency. Some events went without certain guests (such as the “Voicing a Video Game” one which was missing Vic Mignogna without any explanation or mention from moderators), while others had no-show panelists completely.

Still others ended unbelievably early according to staffers, lacked room preparation, and some events suffered from mismatched room space vs. the crowds they drew. An example of this was a round of the Brain Eating Competition, which was at capacity in the first few minutes of opening up since the room was small.

The large ballroom selected for big events such as the Masquerade had ample seating for fans.

On the flip side, larger crowd-drawing events such as the Star Trek guest panels and Masquerade were held in the ballrooms, which afforded tons of room for attendees. Panel content also covered a range of geek topics from the usual Star Trek, Star Wars, anime fun, to brony culture and obscure video games and movies. While there was no end to what you could do, the scheduling and arrangement of the programming seemed extremely off-kilter and badly in need of management.

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