The Amazing Arizona Comic Con is making like the Invisible Woman and vanishing from the local geek scene, possibly for good.
Organizers of the annual geek gathering, which focused largely on comic books and artists, announced last week they were pulling the plug on the 2017 edition for multiple reasons.
A message posted to the event’s website stated that its parent company, Amazing Comic Conventions, canceled their upcoming cons in both Arizona and Houston due to “changes in guest policies, the comic market, and [the] social climate.”
“Phoenix and Houston are both strong fan communities with multiple genre celebrations throughout the calendar year,” the message stated, referring to the competition that its conventions had in both markets.
Amazing Arizona Comic Con was originally scheduled to take place on February 18 and 19. The event first launched back in 2010 at the Mesa Convention Center and took place annually through this year.
According to the announcement, Amazing Comic Conventions will instead focus on its events in Hawaii and Las Vegas and will “re-evaluate” if it will continue to put on cons in either Arizona or Houston in future years.
New Times was unable to reach anyone with Amazing Comic Conventions for additional details or comment. However, the company’s owner Jimmy Jay discussed the cancellations in an exchange on the Facebook page of local comic book store owner Jesse James Criscione.
And, basically, it sounds like it could be due to Arizona geek scene (and geekdom in general) being a bit oversaturated with events.
“The marketplace is much different than when we started organizing conventions 6-plus years ago - with a number of fan events in Phoenix (and in Arizona) have [sprung] up, not to mention a strong store retail presence doing signings, sales, and promotions,” Jay wrote.
Renowned comic book artist and outspoken provocateur Rob Liefeld, a frequent Amazing Arizona guest, participated in the same Facebook discussion and (as he’s wont to do) had an opinion on the matter.
“I did 26 conventions through 2015-2016, coast to coast. The landscape has indeed changed. Wizard is going tits up as we speak, their cons are cratering. Many smaller shows have attempted to rise, clogging up the landscape with their disappointments," Liefeld wrote. "The change over in guest priorities from fans is visible. I believe Amazing is doing the right thing in playing to their strengths and ditching the overly competitive, saturated Arizona marketplace.”
Liefeld also voiced a sentiment that a lot of fans of Amazing Arizona Comic Con are likely feeling right now.
“The Amazing Arizona shows were always a tremendous success for me the five years I attended. I personally, believe they were taken for granted,” Liefeld wrote. “They will be missed.”
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.