The month of May means Memorial Day Weekend, and if you’re in Phoenix, that means Phoenix Comicon. The comic book/movie/video game/every geek thing imaginable convention has grown exponentially over the past few years. This year’s convention takes over the Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix from May 25 to 28. This year’s guests should expect the unexpected, whether they are con regulars or getting in touch with their inner geek for the first time.
11. THE ROOTS
Phoenix’s biggest comic convention started as Phoenix Cactus Comicon in June 2002 and was a one-day, six-hour event in Ahwatukee. Now, it takes up four days in the Phoenix Convention Center.
10. GET SOME CLASS
If you’re gonna hang with some of Phoenix’s biggest geeks, you’d better be pretty smart. The programming at Phoenix Comicon ranges from discussions about science and politics to onstage Mad Libs Harry Potter fan fiction to a class specifically designed to teach you how to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
Comicon always brings some of the biggest names in books, movies, comics and gaming. This year’s guest list includes Alan Tudyk from Firefly, Bonnie Wright from Harry Potter, Danny Trejo from Machete and even Dick Van Dyke!
Last year’s con set attendance records, with more than 106,000 attendees and approximately $5 million in revenue for the city of Phoenix.
This year’s con hosts PUGS (the Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown). Geeks whose expertise range from Star Wars to Mario Kart will duke it out for the bragging rights of being Phoenix’s biggest geek. The smackdown is free for anyone at the con.
6. FIND YOUR ESCAPE
This year, the convention will feature two escape rooms, testing attendees’ wits and skills. The two experiences, “X-Child” and “The Cell,” will test just how geeky you really are.
5. SHOW ME
The con hosts a variety of shows and parties throughout the weekend, including “Talk Nerdy to Me: A Byte of Burlesque,” a burlesque show of video game and comic characters, as well as a Drinks With Authors meet-up and an anime muscle-man Macho Café experience.
4. GEEK ALL YEAR LONG
In 2014, the convention expanded to host a smaller convention during the fall and winter months called Phoenix Fan Fest. This past year’s fest featured Millie Bobby Brown and John Cena.
3. FEST IN A CON
Phoenix Comicon hosts its own film festival throughout the convention’s duration, showcasing sci-fi shorts and features, teen, adult and kid cartoons and even comedies and documentaries.
Cosplay and costumes are taken super-seriously at Phoenix Comicon — everyone does it! You might see a character from Jurassic World chatting it up with a character from Fallout 3. The convention even hosts a masquerade costume contest.
1. FAST PASS
That’s right! Phoenix Comicon has reached Disneyland status. One membership option for the convention is a Phoenix Fast Pass, which includes full event access for all four days and dedicated line access for photo ops and autograph sessions. Proceeds from the first 100 passes go entirely to Kids Need to Read. For more info, visit phoenixcomicon.com.