Phoenix Comicon originally started as Phoenix Cactus Comicon, debuting in 2002 as a mere one-day, six-hour event. Fast-forward 12 years and the convention has ballooned to a four-day extravaganza (June 5-June 8, 2014) featuring programming all day (and in some cases, all night) long. As I prepare to embark on this journey for a fourth year in a row, I have to consider that 2014 might end up being the biggest show in the convention’s over decade-long history. Looking at the guest lineup for this year, I am absolutely floored that convention director Matt Solberg and his team of employees (and volunteers) are able to put together such a massive show, which reads like a fantasy draft for any and all geeks.
Bruce Campbell. Nathan Fillion. Stan Lee. Adam West. John Barrowman. Stephen Amell. These are just a fraction of the names that will be appearing at the event, with guests that range from current pop culture icons like the aforementioned Fillion or Campbell to childhood legends such as West, Lee, and even three of the original members of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers cast. In the past, Phoenix Comicon has set a theme for their guest list, with last year’s Babylon 5 reunion pulling in an enormous cornucopia of special guests, and this year’s theme appears to be “dreams come true.” Where else could you find an event where Cary Elwes will be rubbing shoulders with Richard Dean Anderson? How about John Rhys-Davies and John Ratzenberger occupying the same building? All that and more will be possible at Phoenix Comicon 2014 this year.
If that’s not enough, Phoenix Comicon 2014 is pulling out all the stops to be sure that comics are a well-represented aspect of the show, with an even larger lineup of comic book artists, writers, and creators than year’s past. Spawn creator Todd McFarlane will on hand Sunday to host a retrospective look at Stan Lee’s career, as well as sign autographs. Comic book legend Chris Claremont, the influence behind a large majority of the X-Men film series (including the most recent X-Men: Days of Future Past) will be on hand to talk to fans and speak about his illustrious career in the industry. Two guests I’m particularly anticipating are Tony Moore and Francis Manapul: the former is the original artist for “The Walking Dead” and the latter is the former artist on “The Flash” who is now working on “Detective Comics.” Both are incredible artists and my hope is that I can buy all of the artwork either might be selling. I’ll just need a few extra walls in my house, which might be the only thing Phoenix Comicon doesn’t have for sale. Yet.
To run down the list of other programming available at Phoenix Comicon 2014 would take a lifetime (a geek version of Family Feud, debates about the new Doctor Who, a geeky burlesque showcase) but trust me when I say that there’s something for everyone at this year’s convention. Tickets are currently on sale and range from just $15 (for Thursday only) to $70 (for the full four-day experience, highly recommended). Prices will go up on June 4 so get those tickets now if you haven’t already done so. There are also photo ops to purchase as well as tickets for extra events (like the Geek Prom), so be sure to buy those before they are all sold out as well. Above all else though, if you’re going to Phoenix Comicon 2014, have fun. If you aren’t going, save up your money for next year and be jealous of those of us that are going.