Nerd Culture

Phoenix Comicon Is Now Phoenix Comic Fest

One of many things at Phoenix Comic Fest that it's organizers will be rebranding.
One of many things at Phoenix Comic Fest that it's organizers will be rebranding. Benjamin Leatherman
Phoenix Comicon is starting out the new year with a new name.

Organizers of the annual pop culture and geek event have announced that, as of today, it will now be known as Phoenix Comic Fest.

That’s right, the “con” part of its name is now gone.

Square Egg Entertainment, the Phoenix-based company that runs the event, sent out a press release on Tuesday, January 2, announcing the rebranding.

And it hints at the possible reason behind the name change.
“In recent months, the use of the word Comic-Con, and its many forms, has become litigious. We would prefer to focus on creating the best events and experiences for our attendees. Therefore, effective immediately, our event held annually in Phoenix in the spring will be rebranded as Phoenix Comic Fest.”

(It isn’t the first time that the event has undergone a name change as it was previously known as "Phoenix Cactus Comicon" from 2002 to 2009.)

click to enlarge The new logo for Phoenix Comic Fest. - SQUARE EGG ENTERTAINMENT
The new logo for Phoenix Comic Fest.
Square Egg Entertainment
Square Egg also said that they will change the event’s website and other assets over the next week to reflect the new name. As of this writing, they’ve already updated the event's Facebook and Twitter accounts and have posted an updated logo for the event.

A Square Egg spokesperson told Phoenix New Times on Tuesday that they wouldn’t be able to immediately comment on the matter.

Based on the company’s statement, however, it seems like the rebranding is probably due to the recent federal court decision involving a lawsuit between San Diego Comic-Con and the Salt Lake Comic Con.

If you’re not familiair with the matter, the companies behind both events have been battling in U.S. District Court in recent years over who has the right to use the term “comic con.”

In December 2017, a jury decided that SDCC owned the trademark to the term and that organizers of the Salt Lake event were using it improperly.

Needless to say, the court decision has caused shockwaves in the geek convention scene since it came down.

More than 100 events across the U.S. currently use the term “comic con” in some fashion. And while SDCC reportedly allows other companies to use the term if they pay a licensing fee, a few events are considering name changes in the wake of the court decision, including Salt Lake Comic Con and the Central City Comic Con in Yakima, Washington.

We’re guessing that Square Egg wanted to be ahead of the curve.

Phoenix New Times will continue to monitor the situation. Stay tuned.

Phoenix Comic Fest 2018 runs from Thursday, May 24, to Sunday, May 27, at the Phoenix Convention Center. Daily admission is currently $20 to $45 and a full event pass is $80.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.