The last three years have taken a hit on many of the events and activities within the Arizona geek community. I’m happy to say though, that Phoenix Fan Fusion, the pinnacle of fandom and revelry, is returning from May 27th through May 29th, 2022. This year’s lineup of guests, panels, and special events proves that you can’t keep a good convention down.
Guests Attending Phoenix Fan Fusion
Fan Fusion has always been an opportunity for actors, authors, cosplayers, and comic book artists to connect with their fans. This year, big names such as Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Felicia Day (The Guild), Patrick Warburton (The Tick), and Doug Jones (The Shape of Water) are all in attendance. Other notable actors include Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek Voyager), Anthony Rapp (Star Trek Discovery), Diane Guerrero (Encanto), Tim Russ (Star Trek Voyager), and J.J. Cohens (Back to the Future). While this list seems a bit light compared to other Fan Fusion years, the most anticipated guests are actually voice actors.
Beaming in from Futurama are Billy West and John DiMaggio, the voices behind Phillip J. Fry and Bender the Robot. Sailor Moon fans can rejoice as Katie Griffin (Sailor Mars), Linda Ballantyne (Sailor Moon), and Cristina Vee (Sailor Mars) are all attending this year. And for Disney fans, Phoenix Fan Fusion doesn’t disappoint. Voice actress Jodi Benson (Ariel from The Little Mermaid) and Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh) are both expected to be there all three days.
If you are a bibliophile, Phoenix Fan Fusion has you covered. While most of the authors attending are in the fantasy genre, there is still a wide variety of tales to tell. Authors such as Erin Jade Lange (Mere Mortals), Heather Walter (Malice), and Tom Leveen (Hell World) can scratch your horror itch. Meanwhile, James Owen (Here there Be Dragons), Jennifer Roberson (Sword-Dancer), and Lisa McMann (The Unwanteds Series) are more high fantasy and immersive world-building. Other authors include Suzanne Young (The Program), Ryan Dalton (This Last Adventure), Romina Russell (Zodiac), Marissa Meyer (Heartless), and Axie Oh (The Girl who Fell Beneath the Sea). You can check out their full list of authors on the Phoenix Fan Fusion website HERE.
Comics & Artists
A featured favorite among Fan Fusion attendees is the Artists Alley, which is located in the lower level Exhibitor Hall and in the Hall of Heroes. Comic artists and writers come from all over the country to connect with their fans and autograph their work. There are too many artists to name here but I want to point out that comics have come a long way from just superhero stories. Artists like Jay Fotos (Spawn), Mike Maclean (Zack and the Zombie Exterminator), and Mark Kidwell, focus on the macabre and horror themes. On the other hand, artists such as The Janimal, Travis Hanson, and Megan Withey, tend to draw more kid-friendly fairs. Artist Alley is sure to be a hit with any comic fan in your family. Check out who else will be there HERE.
Cosplay & Costume Groups
Arizona has a thriving community of cosplayers and costumed groups. These local craftspeople have become synonymous with Phoenix Fan Fusion. Returning to the convention are the Arizona Autobots, AZ Tardis, Heroes United, Justice League Arizona, and the Phoenix Ghostbusters. Cosplayers attending this year include Naomi Moonz, Ryann Key, Momo Karino, Heartless Aquarius, and Tara Cosplay. But don’t let these skilled artists stop you from wearing your own cosplay. Part of what makes Fan Fusion so dynamic is the welcoming community and excitement between fandoms.
Programming at Phoenix Fan Fusion
Every year, Phoenix Fan Fusion hosts a wide variety of celebrity panels, signature events, and parties that go late into the night. They host thousands of hours of activities, so much that you would not be able to attend all of it the full weekend. Fan Fusions programming is organized by fandom which means there is something for everyone to attend. Whether you’re a Trekkie, a Jedi, a Potterhead, or a Hobbit, you can find a panel with knowledgable geeks in that field.
But their programming goes beyond just panels of information. Phoenix Fan Fusion has a gaming hall, a kids’ activity room, writing workshops, escape rooms, and so much more. This year, their signature events include Baby Yoda’s 51st Birthday Bash, Geeky Burlesque, Dragstravaganza, Free Stand-up comedy, and trivia to make even the most die-hard fans look like newbies. And let’s not forget the annual Masquerade, Fan Fusions Costume Contest for everyday people. Find out more about their programming HERE.
How to Attend
Phoenix Fan Fusion is Memorial Day weekend, May 27th through May 29th at the Phoenix Convention Center. You can buy memberships for the Full Event, or for each individual day. Ticket prices are varied and do go up as the event gets closer. You can buy tickets at the door, but it’s best to purchase ahead of time, as there is no guarantee that tickets will still be available that weekend. Kids ages 3-12 can get a Sidekick pass that gives them access to the kids’ activities room, and all-day activities that are not rated 18+. Children under 3 are free to attend. Buy your tickets HERE.
Phoenix Convention Center is located in the heart of Downtown Phoenix, near the Arizona Science Center. There are a few parking garages that offer pre-paid and reserved parking, however, most parking in that area can get pretty pricey. An alternative to driving downtown is to take the light rail to the Washington/Central Ave or 3rd St/Jefferson stops. You can find more information on the Valley Metro’s website.
Phoenix Fan Fusion does not allow certain items such as real and replica firearms, however, props and armor are allowed. They have a Zero Tolerance Policy for harassment and discrimination of any kind and you can be removed and banned from attendance if you do not follow the guidelines.
Many hotels in the downtown Phoenix area offer a discount if you are attending the convention. I do recommend booking your hotel early, as the rooms fill fast, and may already be sold out.
COVID-19 Update: There are no restrictions on attendees, nor required proof of vaccination status, in order to attend an event at the Phoenix Convention Center. In accordance with the CDC guidelines, unvaccinated individuals should continue to practice social distancing. Face coverings are recommended indoors for all individuals regardless of vaccination status.
Discover Your Inner Geek
Whether you are new to geekdom or a seasoned Browncoat, Phoenix Fan Fusion has something for everyone. So grab your lightsabers and sonic screwdrivers and we will see you there!
Laurel Way is a writer for film, television, websites, and blogs. She is based in Phoenix, Arizona in the U.S., and has two fat cats and a loving husband. Laurel is a geek to her core and loves all things within horror, sci-fi/fantasy, and more. When she is not writing films, she is watching them, and her go-to movie snack is popcorn and Milkduds.