Attending the Phoenix Comicon (Or, How I Learned to Stop Caring and Just Eat Brains)
It would be easy to dismiss an event like Phoenix Comicon by pointing out all the nerds and laughing at their elaborate Ouran High School Host Club costumes or their excitement over the presence of Spawn creator Todd McFarlane. Make no mistake, there were plenty of "nerds" (in the most traditional sense of the word) at this weekend's event, held at the Mesa Convention Center. But if you scratched the geeky surface, you would've found some pretty cool things: a zombie brain-eating contest, an appearance by 7-foot-3 actor Peter "Chewbacca" Mayhew, and lots of people wandering around who didn't seem to give a crap what anyone thought of them, which is always pretty cool in my book.
On a large patch of grass outside the convention center, about 50
In addition to the events, there was also some great people-watching, "celebrity" sightings, and, of course, the merch. Lou Ferrigno, a.k.a. The Incredible Hulk, was charging $20 for Polaroids with him. I was going to ask if I could just take one of him on my digital for free, but he looked as though he could turn green and start whaling on people at any second, so I thought better of it. Instead, I set my sites on checking out some awesome costumes -- of course, there were the requisite Star Trek and Star Wars getups, but I also saw a Blood Elf Paladin from World of Warcraft, tons of anime characters and, strangely, Buckethead, formerly of Guns N' Roses. It was pretty much in keeping with the theme of the weekend: sure, why not?
Overall, it appeared to be a fun -- albeit overrun with high school students -- weekend. For such a large event, it seemed well organized, though a little more clarification on the individual programs would have been nice. Also, why put Wil Wheaton, a.k.a. Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation in such a small room? Despite little kvetches, though, if you're a sci-fi/anime/comic book/gaming fan, you likely walked away happy.