Little Canadian, Big Arizona: One Canadian’s experience at Phoenix Comicon


I recently came back from a trip to Phoenix, Arizona. Normally this probably wouldn’t be my first destination choice for a vacation. Coming from a small town in cool Canada, I can’t exactly handle dry heat well, but this was different. I was going to Phoenix Comicon!

This actually wasn’t my first year at PCC. I had gone last year, but it was literally the second convention I had ever gone to, so I really didn’t know what I was doing. This round I had a slightly better idea of what to expect.

This years attendance was estimated to be around 80,000 people. Which is mind-boggling to me. That’s 66,000 more people than the entire population of my hometown, in one building over the course of a weekend…. like what?! The convention building it was held in was huge. The layout was changed slightly from what I remember from last year, I got lost on more than one occasion.

This year had 4 levels. The downstairs area, which held the vendor hall. The main floor/ground level, which held the food court and registration. The 2nd floor held rooms for panels and the 3rd floor held guests and cosplay groups. The only thing I had issues with was the fact that there weren’t enough signs letting you know which direction led to where. I found the corridors and escalators confusing. Escalators going down on one side of the building, escalators going up on the other side. Stairs leading to dead ends, corridors and stairs on the ceiling… like Jareth’s castle from the Labyrinth. Okay, maybe not that bad, but still confusing none the less. There were volunteers to explain the layout if you needed but for out of town con goers like myself, a little more direction would have helped.

The guest/cosplay hall seemed to be an issue as well for a lot of people that I talked too. They felt it was too disconnected from the rest of the convention and many people, myself included didn’t even realize there was anything on the third floor until later on in the weekend.

I did check out a few panels, but most of my time was spent exploring the vendor hall and the grounds outside. There were a variety of food trucks as well as nearby restaurants within walking distance. I recommend checking out The Arrogant Butcher, seriously. They have the best soft pretzels and fondue and it’s only a 10 minute walk from the center.
Aside from all the delicious american food there were also some pretty cool model cars on display and live bands playing outside daily. So there’s a little bit of everything for everyone to enjoy!

I’m big into the cosplay scene, so of course I was dressed up everyday. Everyone was incredibly nice and supportive of my cosplay choices. Even when I wore the new Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn, which hasn’t been very popular with fans, I was greeted with smiles, high fives, hugs and pictures!

The amount of talent I saw from other cosplayers was insane, and like many of them I spent my afternoons outside, sweating to death, doing photo shoots for my costumes. The things we do for cosplay. Crazy I know, but it’s something I really enjoy doing!

Phoenix Comicon seems to be one of the more popular conventions now, with fans coming from all over. Most of my ‘con’ friends have been made at this particular convention. So to anyone questioning whether or not they should go next year, let me put it simply. 10/10 would recommend. Go, have fun, meet new people, meet some old friends and have a good time. You’ll probably bump into me as well, cause I know I’m definitely going back next year!

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