Phoenix Comicon 2011 was my first comic book convention, so I write this post with no real baseline for comparison. I started in the exhibitors area, just to check out what was for sale because my wallet seems to open more freely at conventions. Must be something in the $4.00 bottles of water. The vendors were interesting, if nearly completely focused on comic books (big surprise) and art in general. Much of the art was impressive ranging from the standard comic book to the near -pornographic and some very strange variations in between. There was a small game presence in the exhibitor hall. Rynaga had an interesting dice/card game based on an elaborate fantasy world that I will investigate more in a future post.
The 501st Dune Sea Stormtroopers Legion put on an impressive showing of imperial might, but lost some of their mojo because of a 30-foot tall Stay-Puft marshmallow man at the Arizona Ghostbusters group.
A large cadre of coplayers floated about the convention and were often more interesting that the exhibitors! Some choice costumes included various Furry-style costumes, a great Chewbacca costume (My respect to these brave souls. It is Summer in Arizona and Chewbacca is not built for the desert. Surprisingly, no one heat-stroked out.) A variety of high charisma women wearing…ahem…barely enough to stay legal and many costumes I could not even identify their origin. The Aryan blonde woman wearing a full Nazi SS uniform definitely took me aback. It took me a minute to register it was probably from an anime/manga series. Nazi symbols just do not have the same impact in Japan, so you see them more often in pop culture. Still, I found it a bit tasteless.
Mantecoza, the steampunk web series that friend of mine worked on also had a nice booth filled with Steampunk goodness.
High point was a quick signing with Max Brooks of the “Zombie Survival Guide.” I am a big fan and just saw him sitting at a booth before his seminar as I wandered around. Fortune smiles upon the lost.
After fleeing the bazaar of the bizarre, I hit the game area.
Gaming was in the Hyatt, nice venue with lots of tables. Attendance seemed low, but I am not surprised. Unless one of my LFR addicted friends had not decided to go to the battle interactive I would not have heard anything about gaming at Comicon. Since game conventions are few in Arizona I will make an effort next year to get the word out about gaming at Phoenix Comicon. It seems a waste to have such a good venue and empty tables. I have no doubt next year will improve significantly the information percolates though the Phoenix gaming community. RPGs, board and card games all shared the same space. However, the one event I really wanted to experience cancelled for “logistical” reasons, so said the information desk.
Iron GM, the game mastering competition with prizes cancelled at the last-minute. This annoyed me greatly because it was the primary reason I went to the convention and I had high hopes of competing. Notice I said “competing” and not “winning.” I am confident about my GM abilities, but I am certain that others far exceed my skills. Still, it would have been fun. I will keep an eye out for it next year.
I am not really interested in meeting actors or other media types, so I blew off any of those sessions. Though I did note that Adam Baldwin from “Firefly” seemed to have the longest line for autographs.
Overall Phoenix Comicon 2011 was a fun event and I think the gaming will improve next year. I will let you know.
Trask, The Last Tyromancer