Nerd Culture

Stuff People Said at Phoenix Fan Fusion 2022

Comic book creator Brian Pulido talks to the crowd at Phoenix Fan Fusion 2022.
Comic book creator Brian Pulido talks to the crowd at Phoenix Fan Fusion 2022. Benjamin Leatherman
Phoenix Fan Fusion attendees say the darndest – and nerdiest – things. And when they turned out for by the thousands for the 2022 edition of the pop-cultural convention from May 27 to 29 at the Phoenix Convention, they were in the mood to talk while in the midst of geeking out.

They gabbed about the event, its wealth of cosplayers and special guests, all the various sights in the exhibitor hall, and everything else about the event.

And while they were talking, Phoenix New Times was listening. What follows is a compilation of things we overheard during all three days of Fan Fusion, ranging from funny quips, excited utterances, random observations, and a few different complaints.

Here’s a rundown of what people were saying.

People coped with long lines and the heat while in line for Phoenix Fan Fusion.
“It better be good this year since we're waiting forever to get in.”

A few made regrettable choices.
“Maybe wearing all black was a mistake.”

Some folks still can’t get used to the event’s new name.
“They call it Fan Fusion [now], but it will always be Phoenix Comicon to me.”

People were blown away by the crowds inside Fan Fusion’s Exhibitor Hall.
“This is literally the busiest place I've ever seen in my whole life.”

And by all the fantastic costumes on display.
“I didn’t know people could come up with stuff this good.”

People were eager to interact with their favorite cosplayers.
Person #1: “I know that there's a cosplayer here that I really want to meet.”
Person #2: “So do you want to try and find them?”
Person #1: “Well, I don't want to be weird about it.”

Some wanted to see if others shared their particular fandom, like one woman in costume.
“I'm so excited. I haven't seen anybody doing my anime yet.”

Others were worried about potential exposure issues with their costume.
Cosplayer #1: “Can you see my nipples in this costume?”
Cosplayer #2: “Yeah. Just use your cape to cover them.”

Meanwhile, outsiders couldn’t comprehend all the costumes, like one Uber driver.
“There are some colorful characters out there today. With some of them I just go, ‘What the fuck is that?’”
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Phoenix Fan Fusion's version of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Benjamin Leatherman
One of the highlight of Fan Fusion came when dozens of Spider-Man cosplayers gathered for a photo op in the West Building.
“All the Spider-Men are doing the Peter Parker dance!”

It wasn’t the only unique experience to be had.
“Did you say you want to meet up with a sword?”

Other folks found ways to enhance their Fan Fusion experience.
“This is so much better when you're stoned.”

Or reacted to what their parents were doing.
"Ewwwww, what did my mom post?"

Down in the Exhibitor Hall, people were geeking out …
“I can’t believe I met Chuck Norris. I mean, the real Chuck Norris.”

… While some were talking politics …
“We should just start over with all younger people because all these old bastards are running [society] into the ground. And then we start taking care of everyone.”

… Or admiring the impressive Lego displays at the Cactus Brick booth.
“It took you 30 hours to build that? I can barely do anything in 30 hours.”
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Imperial Snowtroopers in the Star Wars area at Phoenix Fan Fusion.
Benjamin Leatherman
Others were worried about the realistic-looking displays in the Star Wars area.
“This trash compactor isn’t going to, like, turn on, right?”

Or were in a mood to dance.
“How do you like my moves? I’ve been playing Fortnite through the entire pandemic.”

Collectible mugs sold by Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda Pop Co. were everywhere.
“Why does everyone have those metal cups? Where can I get one? Are they giving them away?”

As were cosplay props.
“What's with all those colored zip-ties on their swords? Does that mean they’re special?”

After a few hours of walking around, some were looking for a place to chill out.
Person #1: “We should find a place to sit down.”
Person #2: “That would be smart.”
Person #1: “Are we smart?”
Person #2: “Never!”
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The crowd outside of the Exhibitor Hall during Phoenix Fan Fusion 2022.
Benjamin Leatherman

Or they balked at the long lines and steep prices at food vendors.
“There’s no way I’m waiting an hour for a $10 slice of pizza.”

Elsewhere, people were making random observations about others …
“She’s just a very strong heterosexual.”

… Or about gaming.
“Why does every Rogue in [Dungeons & Dragons] have be all stealy stealy?”

Throughout Fan Fusion, people were having fun during various programming events, like this call-and-response from outside Todd McFarlane’s panel.
“That’s immature and stupid.”
“That’s why we do it.”

They also had strong reactions to the packed crowd gathered for Patrick Warburton’s panel.
“Crap on a cracker.”

Over at a staging of the comedy musical La La Lando, local cosplayer and actor Derek Jeremiah Reid was being just as suave as the intergalactic gambler and scoundrel.
“You got some of that Wookie cookie? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Once you have Wookie, you ain't have no other cookie.”

By the end of Phoenix Fan Fusion 2022, people were ready to head home and decompress.
“I really need a shower after this.”

But were already eager for Fan Fusion 2023.
“Look at the bright side: Only like 360 days or whatever until the next year.”
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Chris Coplan has been a professional writer since the 2010s, having started his professional career at Consequence of Sound. Since then, he's also been published with TIME, Complex, and other outlets. He lives in Central Phoenix with his fiancee, a dumb but lovable dog, and two bossy cats.
Contact: Chris Coplan
Jennifer Goldberg is the culture editor and Best of Phoenix editor for Phoenix New Times.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.