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Phoenix Comicon 2013: Our Complete Coverage

Costumed attendees of Phoenix Comicon's preview night.
Costumed attendees of Phoenix Comicon's preview night.
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman

ZOMG! Did you go to Phoenix Comicon's "preview night" on Thursday evening and see that full-sized mockup of the Mos Eisley Cantina? What about that gruesome zombie created by the peeps from Making Monsters at the Chamber of Fear booth or the first night of the Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown? No, huh?

There's still three more days to catch all of these things, as Comicon proper officially kicks off today and runs through Sunday afternoon.

See Also: 10 Must-See Events at Phoenix Comicon 2013

Those who did drop by the Phoenix Convention Center for the evening-long preview got the honor of witnessing these things without the rampant mob that will fill the venue today and on Saturday (traditionally, the two biggest days of Comicon each year).

Sadly, they're not serving blue milk (or any other beverage for that matter) at the Mos Eisely Cantina recreation at Phoenix Comicon.
Sadly, they're not serving blue milk (or any other beverage for that matter) at the Mos Eisely Cantina recreation at Phoenix Comicon.

Without long lines of people silently urging them to hurry up, these early birds got to revel in a re-creation of one of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope's most memorable milieus -- which was created by a cadre of local Star Warsian enthusiast groups, including local chapters of the Mandalorian Mercs, the 501st Legion, the Droid Builders Club, and the Rebel Legion -- and re-enact Han Solo's blowing away of Greedo. (Sadly, it loses a point or two by having what appeared to be a laser beam coming from the barrel of the Rodian's gun, thus reinforcing the reviled Special Edition retcon that Greedo shot first. Tsk tsk.)

And don't shoot first.
And don't shoot first.

Attendees could also linger at pretty much every booth in the Exhibitor Hall and converse with hundreds of artists, vendors, cosplayers, and fellow die-hards without getting bumped around or crowded.

Personally, we got the chance to speak with such local nerd-friendly creatives as Iron Druid Chronicles author Kevin Hearne and Amazing Arizona Comics artist/writer Russ Kazmierczak (whose newest issue casts Sheriff Joe Arpaio as a supervillain known as "Darkpaio," who rules over "Parallel Earth-1070" in despotic fashion), among others. Plus, as always, there were a wealth of cool and cute costumes.

Russ Kazmierczak of Amazing Arizona Comics
Russ Kazmierczak of Amazing Arizona Comics

And if you're somehow unsure of who to see, where to go, and what to do during at the event over the next three days, peruse the rundown of all of Jackalope Ranch's vast amount of Comicon coverage over the past few weeks and months, which follows. And be sure to check back early next week for a variety of slideshows and recaps of what went down.

See you out in the Exhibitor Hall.


John Barrowman (a.k.a. Captain Jack Harkness)
John Barrowman (a.k.a. Captain Jack Harkness)
BBC

Doctor Who and Torchwood's John Barrowman Talks Phoenix Comicon, the Face of Boe, and Chasing Down the Bionic Woman

John Barrowman is one of Phoenix Comicon 2013's biggest celebrity guests. That's because Whovians everywhere love his portrayal of the sexy and sassy Jack Harkness on Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood.

Jackalope Ranch had some burning questions for Barrowman, who's scheduled to appear from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, May 26, the Phoenix Convention Center. He responded with tales of chasing The Bionic Woman, his take on the Face of Boe, and 51st-century (non-existent) promiscuity...Read More.

See Also: John Barrowman (a.k.a. Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and Torchwood) Is Coming to Phoenix Comicon


Hellboy creator Mike Mignola
Hellboy creator Mike Mignola
Dark Horse Comics

Mike Mignola on Hellboy 3, Sending the Character to Hell, and If He'll End Up There, Too Let's just get this out of the way: Renowned comic book creator Mike Mignola has no earthly idea if Hollywood will ever get around to making Hellboy 3, the third cinematic portrayal of his signature red-skinned character. It's a question that the 52-year-old artist and scribe will get hit with often at various events, and we're certain that fanboys and geeks alike will be asking it during Mignola's visit to this weekend's Phoenix Comicon, where he'll appear from Friday through Sunday...Read More.

 

A trio of geek girls partying after dark during last year's Phoenix Comicon.
A trio of geek girls partying after dark during last year's Phoenix Comicon.
Benjamin Leatherman

Seven Must-Attend Nightlife Events and After-Parties During Phoenix Comicon 2013

If there are a few pieces of helpful advice we can impart to people attending Phoenix Comicon, which kicks off less than 24 hours from now, it's these tips: Drink plenty of fluids, take frequent opportunities to rest, and know your physical limits.

Not only will it help the body endure the hours of hiking to events at the Phoenix Convention Center and nearby hotels, but it will allow you enough energy to partake in any of the nightlife events or after-parties (both official and unofficial) that will occur over Comicon weekend. That includes the seven different events that will go down at places like the Hyatt and Renaissance, as well as at other nearby venues after the Exhibitor Hall closes at night...Read More.

See Also: Phoenix Comicon Schedule: Concerts in Costume and an "Adventure Time Rave" Await Music Fans


The main Exhibitior Hall at Phoenix Comicon.
The main Exhibitior Hall at Phoenix Comicon.
Benjamin Leatherman

10 Must-See Events at Phoenix Comicon 2013

[Approximately] 40,000 people will invade downtown Phoenix for one reason: to geek out as hard as possible during Phoenix Comicon. During the annual Memorial Day weekend convergence of pop culture, sci-fi, fantasy, and (of course) comic books, there are plenty of things they'll be doing. Like interacting with any of the estimated 300 special guests, hanging out at after-parties both official and unofficial, roaming the expansive exhibition halls, or stopping by one of the more than 1,000 different geek-oriented panels, lectures, seminars, or workshops...Read More.


The Far East meets a galaxy far, far away: Allen Amis' Samurai Boba Fett armor that took seven months to build.
The Far East meets a galaxy far, far away: Allen Amis' Samurai Boba Fett armor that took seven months to build.
Courtesy of Allen Amis/Anarchy Squared Creations

Anarchy Squared Creations' Allen Amis on His Infamous Samurai Boba Fett Armor, How Hard Rock Inspires Costume-Making, and More

When Valley prop maker/costume creator Allen Amis, who operates Anarchy Squared Creations, trotted out a full suit of samurai armor remixed with one of the sci-fi's most infamous rogues, it nabbed him worldwide acclaim and serious geek points across the Internet. Sites like i09, Neatorama, and others dug it hard.

Last year, the 40-something Chandler resident unveiled a Samurai Boba Fett costume at Phoenix Comicon that took him more than seven months and a couple thousand in change to construct. Given geekdom's unending groking of the Star Wars villain, it's no surprise what happened next...Read More.

 

Cara Nicole as AZ Powergirl at one of the many comicons she attends each year.
Cara Nicole as AZ Powergirl at one of the many comicons she attends each year.
facebook.com/AZPowergirl

Cara Nicole (a.k.a. AZ Powergirl) and Her Superheroine Cosplay

If you've attended Phoenix Comicon at any point over the past couple years, it's likely you've seen Cara Nicole dressed in costume in the Exhibitor Hall, probably as her best-known alter ego AZ Powergirl.

Frankly, she's pretty hard to miss, even among the crowds of countless cosplayers that regularly attend the four-day event each year, as the statuesque blonde bombshell is fairly unforgettable when wearing the wowie-zowie red, white, and blue ensemble inspired by the DC Universe's Power Girl...Read More.


The Chambers of Fear booth at last year's Phoenix Comicon.
The Chambers of Fear booth at last year's Phoenix Comicon.
Courtesy of Paul Boyd

Travel Channel's Making Monsters to Feature Chambers of Fear's Booth at Phoenix Comicon

Chambers of Fear owner Paul Boyd tends to get a little excited when describing everything that his company will be featuring at Phoenix Comicon this year. It's only natural, considering that the local haunted house's booth at the event will be twice as big as last year's and will sport even more monsters and frightening freaks wandering about.

And then there's the thing that Boyd's really excited about: the fact that the stars and crew of the Travel Channel's Making Monsters will be on hand at the Chambers of Fear booth during the first night of Comicon creating a spectacularly creepy creature while filming an episode of the television program...Read More.


Val Hochberg's epic depiction of Wonder Woman, which will appear on Phoenix Comicon's guest badge. See more Badge Art Contest winners via this slideshow.
Val Hochberg's epic depiction of Wonder Woman, which will appear on Phoenix Comicon's guest badge. See more Badge Art Contest winners via this slideshow.
Art by Val Hochberg/Images courtesy of Phoenix Comicon.

Phoenix Comicon Reveals 2013 Badge Art Winners

The hard-working braintrust behind the annual comic book/pop culture megafest, which invades the Phoenix Convention Center over Memorial Day weekend, [have] revealed the badge art for 2013. And, as in year's past, the pieces are amazing, amusing, and definitely easy on the eyes.

The results of the badge art contest, which was determined by a combination of an online voting process and other factors by organizers, includes the 20 most popular entries overall from this year's field, as well as the 13 pieces that ultimately will be worn proudly by Comicon patrons, staff members, special guests, and attendees...Read More.

See Also: - Phoenix Comicon Begins Voting For This Year's Badge Art Contest - Phoenix Comicon Kicks Off Its Annual Badge Art Contest

 

Author Timothy Zahn
Author Timothy Zahn
Courtesy of Phoenix Comicon

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Scribes Timothy Zahn, Terry Brooks, and Other Authors Coming to Phoenix Comicon

The special guest announcements for Phoenix Comicon just keep on coming. Organizers of the annual four-day geek spectacular have been keeping busy the past couple weeks continuing to reveal the newest additions to the already star-studded lineup for [2013's] event via their Facebook page.

And although most of their latest news have involved celebrated figures from the world of comic books (natch), local bookworms and word nerds should be pleased at the fact they've also announced that a host of noted science fiction and fantasy authors are scheduled to turn out as well...Read More.


From Left: Firefly's Jewel Staite, Stargate's Amanda Tapping, and True Blood's Kristin Bauer.
From Left: Firefly's Jewel Staite, Stargate's Amanda Tapping, and True Blood's Kristin Bauer.
Fox/Syfy/HBO

Phoenix Comicon Announces Sci-Fi/Fantasy Sirens and Comic Book Legends as 2013 Guests Browncoats, Gaters, and Fang-Bangers of the Valley, we've got a suggestion for your Christmas wish lists: A full, four-day admission package to Phoenix Comicon 2013. That's because organizers of the have announced that some of the female badasses from your favorite science fiction and fantasy-oriented TV programs are going to be special guests at the event.

Jewel Staite, who portrayed pixie-like starship mechanic Kaylee Frye on Joss Whedon's beloved cult Fox show Firefly (as well as Dr. Jennifer Keller on Stargate Atlantis), is scheduled to appear at Comicon's 2013 edition. She's not the only alumnus of the planet-hopping Stargate multiverse who will visit the Valley as Amanda Tapping (a.k.a. Samantha Carter) will also appear...Read More.


The Babylon 5 space station.
The Babylon 5 space station.
Warner Bros.

Phoenix Comicon Announces First Wave of Guests for 2013, Including J. Michael Straczynski and the Cast of Babylon 5 Nerds of the Valley who've been waiting with baited breath to learn who's headlining next year's Phoenix Comicon finally got their answer this morning. Organizers of the annual four-day event, which goes down around Memorial Day, began announcing some of the special guests for the 2013 version of the 'con within the last few hours on Facebook and the news is likely to delight fans of iconic science fiction series Babylon 5

J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of the series (as well as a prolific sci-fi and comics author in his own right), will be appearing at Phoenix Comicon, as well as a big chunk of Babylon 5's cast...Read More.

Phoenix Comicon takes place today through Sunday at the Phoenix Convention Center. Daily admission prices vary from $20 to $35 while a full event membership is $60.

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