Nerd Culture

Shit People Said at Phoenix Comicon 2017

The scene inside one of the Exhibitor Halls at Phoenix Comicon 2017.
The scene inside one of the Exhibitor Halls at Phoenix Comicon 2017. Benjamin Leatherman
Geeks can be a garrulous lot. That is to say, they often love to talk, particularly when it comes to their fandom for movies, games, comics, and other geeky topics du jour.

And we heard a lot of them talking at this year’s Phoenix Comicon.

They also had stuff to say about the event itself, particularly while geeking out, having fun, and enjoying all the sights and scenes of the four-day event, which took place from May 25 to 28 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

And, yes, there were also those who felt frustrated over some of the last-minute changes to Phoenix Comicon 2017, like the prop weapons ban and increased security.

Geeks weren’t the only ones talking, however. Phoenix Comicon’s array of special guests were also quite verbose during their appearances and Q&A sessions. Many cracked jokes or had funny stories, while others were poignant and profound.

And then there was Dick Van Dyke, the esteemed icon of stage and screen, who offered plenty of quips during his packed panel on Saturday, May 27.

Here’s what we heard during Phoenix Comicon 2017.

Geeks geeked out.
“This has been the best day of my life!”

And stated their opinions.
The Force Awakens was total crap and The Last Jedi doesn't look like it's gonna be any better.”

Not to mention some of their hopes.
"If anything ever happens to me, I'm gonna go to Make a Wish and tell George R.R. Martin to finish the damn book."

Others enjoyed the silly spirit of Comicon, like when a horde of Sesame Street-style Yip Yip aliens exited a T.A.R.D.I.S.
“That’s too fun!”

click to enlarge A Deadpool/Sailor Moon mashup. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
A Deadpool/Sailor Moon mashup.
Benjamin Leatherman
There were also Deadpool cosplayers about, of course saying Deadpool things.
"The smell of Cholula is strong."

Certain folks got salty, however, once the prop weapons ban was announced on Thursday afternoon.
“One guy ruins it for everybody.”

Some took it in stride, though.
“This is my only day as Harley Quinn. Luckily, the rest of my cosplay doesn’t involve props.”

Or were kind of zen about it.
“I’m not letting my props define me.”

Others used the ban as fodder for jokes.
Attendee #1: “You can’t say ‘Superman’ or ‘Spider-Man’ anymore.”
Attendee #2: “How come?”
Attendee #1: “Because they banned s-words.”

Some Phoenix Comicon attendees had other concerns.
"I don't usually get my ticket this late. My mom usually buys it for me in like December."

click to enlarge BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Benjamin Leatherman
Overall, many attendees were excited to see some of the special guests.
"I'm a huge fan of Michael Anthony Hall. This panel should be great."

Some got a little too excited.
"Ooooh, somebody tooted. Did you toot?"

It wasn’t the only mention of ... um, gaseous anomalies at Phoenix Comicon 2017.
Garret Wang joking around with the sign-language interpreter at his panel: “Fart. Fart. Fart. Fart.”

Wang also described how fellow Star Trek: Voyager star Tim Russ would crop-dust his fellow actors.
"He would walk from his tactical station over to my station on the bridge and go, 'Hey bubba, how you doing? I got a present for you.' Pbtpbtpbt! And then walk away."

There was a lot of respect for some of bigger guests, even those who weren't making fart jokes.
One father to his son: "If Michael Rosenbaum calls you a kid, then you're a kid. It's the law."

click to enlarge Authors Timothy Zahn (foreground) and Kevin J. Anderson at their duel panel at Phoenix Comicon 2017. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Authors Timothy Zahn (foreground) and Kevin J. Anderson at their duel panel at Phoenix Comicon 2017.
Benjamin Leatherman
And the guests respected their fans right back ... we think.
Star Wars author Kevin J. Anderson: "We go to tons of conventions and all you people are very strange … in a good way.”

Some guests spoke about important issues in geekdom.
Author V.E. Schwab on the role of women in fiction: "We are still quarreling with this idea that women can both be powerful and women. They feel like they either have to give something up of their female-ness, of their womanhood, to be powerful figures."

And dished on some of their greatest creations:
Star Wars author Timothy Zahn: “Someone asked if Mara Jade was based on a real person. I wish.”

Or talked about how they're just like the rest of us.
Kevin J. Anderson on watching the first Star Wars: “We had to change our underwear. This wasn't something we'd ever seen before.”

click to enlarge Karen Gillan of Doctor Who and Guardians of the Galaxy. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Karen Gillan of Doctor Who and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Benjamin Leatherman
Phoenix Comicon's Q&A panels offered the chance to ask guests any kind of question.
Karen Gillan on her personal Awesome Mix: “It'd be a very different Guardians of the Galaxy with my music tastes.”

Actors got to delve into their most famous roles at their Q&As.
John de Lancie on his My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic character Discord: "I didn't think of it as cute. I thought of it as, 'Ohhhh ... this guy is a very sort of a flamboyant Oscar Wilde,’ for those of you who know Oscar Wilde."

Or have a mutual appreciation society going on.
David Anders to his Once Upon A Time co-star Sean Maguire: “I think you use your bow better than Stephen Amell.”

click to enlarge Dick Van Dyke reacts to the size of the crowd at his Q&A panel at Phoenix Comicon 2017. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Dick Van Dyke reacts to the size of the crowd at his Q&A panel at Phoenix Comicon 2017.
Benjamin Leatherman
Phoenix Comicon attendees packed Dick Van Dyke's Q&A, however.
Dick Van Dyke: "This is a bigger crowd than Trump had."

And the iconic actor offered plenty of bon mots.
"We are in a group called ‘If you're not in the obit [section], have breakfast.’ It's me Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Ed Asner ... only members 90 years old and up."

Including poking fun at himself and his most famous roles.
"I think I got the Mary Poppins job because I kept going in front of the Banks' house and pretended to pee in the bushes."

And sharing his opinions.
"Julie Andrews winning the Oscar for Mary Poppins was good revenge for not getting My Fair Lady."
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Dillon Rosenblatt was the social media editor at Phoenix New Times from 2016 to 2018. Originally from New Jersey, he is a graduate of Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.