Nerd Culture

Ace Comic Con Is Coming to Glendale — Here's What We Know

Gila River Arena in Glendale
Gila River Arena in Glendale midorigrrrrl/cc by 2.0/via Flickr Creative Commons
Heads up, local geeks: A new comic convention is coming to the Valley early next year. And it’s got some major names behind it.

Ace Comic Con, a three-day event aimed at the geek community, will reportedly take over Gila River Arena in Glendale in January 2018 and offer an “immersive” experience for attendees.

According to the Ace website, the con will run from Saturday, January 13, through Monday, January 15, at the arena. And according to its co-owners, it'll be unlike any other geek-oriented convention.

The event is being produced by Gareb Shamus, founder of the legendary Wizard magazine, and his brother Stephen. Both formerly ran Wizard Entertainment, the multimillion dollar company that organizes several Wizard World cons throughout North America each year.

Earlier this week, the pair announced the launch of their company, ACE Universe, which will put on Ace Comic Cons across the country. The first event will take place in early December at Nassau Coliseum in New York, and Arizona’s version will follow in January.

And it sounds like Ace Comic Con will be a different experience than a typical Wizard World event — or any other con for that matter.

A press release issued earlier this week stated that various Ace Comic Con events around the country will be hosted in arenas instead of convention centers. Programming and panels will be live-streamed on JumboTrons and other screens throughout the venue, as well as over the internet.

In an interview with Newsarama, Gareb Shamus says that the arena setting will give the cons a different vibe.

“That creates a much more intimate space for people. And also, when you go to our arena, you feel like you're going to an event,” he says. “People typically go there for sporting events or concerts … and when they go there, they have this level of excitement that being in an arena creates.”

Shamus also stated that each Ace Comic Con will be “curated and themed” around a certain group of guests that will be featured.

The first event in New York, for instance, will include appearances by actors from DC’s extended universe and the upcoming Justice League film (including Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller). As a result, the con will include programming and vendors focusing on DC comics and its characters.

“The first event is going to have five members of the Justice League there. That's going to give us a chance to do a lot with the comic books and the talent and people who have had influence in the Justice League universe, as well as a lot of stuff comic book-related, of course,” Shamus says. “So we'll be able to theme it toward not just superheroes, but then all the different products and people associated with it.”

When it comes to who and what will be featured at the Valley’s Ace Comic Con in January, that’s yet to be announced. Ditto for ticket prices for the event.

An Ace Comic Con spokesperson told Phoenix New Times via email that details regarding the event at Gila River Arena will be officially announced sometime next week.

Stay tuned, true believers.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.