Monday, May 23, 2011

9 Reasons Everyone Can Enjoy Phoenix Comicon

It's interesting to see dyed-in-wool readers' reactions when I tell them I'm going to Phoenix Comicon.  I get a lot of weird looks, a lot of people who dismiss me, and I've even had a few people call into question whether or not I could really be a book lover if I went to Comicon.  No joke.  One person I was talking to said, "Comicon?  So, you like, read comics the whole time and hang out with geeks?  No thanks."

After I explained that Phoenix Comicon not only crosses boundaries, it opens horizons, that person literally said, "If that's the case, they wouldn't call it Comicon."

So.  I'm here to tell you that Comicon is not just for comic book nerds.  It's for everyone who has ever geeked out about anything, so here are nine common objections I've heard and my rebuttals:

1.  But don't you have to dress up in like some sort of nerd/dork/geek gear to go?  I'm a living witness that you don't have to dress up to go to Comicon.  In fact, when I asked Aprilynne Pike and Lisa McMann if they'd be dressing up for Comicon at their Changing Hands event, they both responded in the negative.  I'm not either in case you're wondering.  A lot of people do, and it's great!  It's an element of the con that cannot be planned, but is still wholly entertaining, and at times, awe-inspiring.  And if you want to dress up, but have no idea where to start, there's a whole category of programming on Costuming so you can be prepared for next year.

2. But aren't the only writers in attendance comic book writers and illustrators?  Um, no.  There is a large list of awesome authors in attendance, including the aforementioned Aprilynne Pike and Lisa McMann as well as J.S. Lewis and Tom Leveen.  The list of paranormal and even contemporary young adult authors in attendance is impressive.  There are sessions on how to get published and how to start writing books, and even on writing girl power into YA. The panels are moderated, but they're a great way to interact with authors that you might not see on a daily basis.

3.  But even though I say I'm a reader, I'm not that into reading.  Well, if you're not that into reading, but you are that into sci-fi tv like True Blood, Buffy, or Battlestar Galactica or Fringe (not to neglect the Star Wars or Star Trek, because those are definitely represented), there's a celebrity guest for you.

4. But even great music and great TV stars aren't enough for me.  Well, how about great bands?  Last year featured A Life of Science (of which I'm a huge fan) and Kirby Krakle, which were both great, and I wouldn't have discovered them if not for the con.  This year, there are way more options, but I'm particularly looking forward to Giant Girlfriend and Halocene.  There's something there for everyone.

5. But sitting around listening to people talk about what they do is boring.  Then participate in the Zombie Walk, or the Zombie Beauty Pageant, eat some brains, or join up and play some board games with fellow con-goers.  I'm totally looking forward to the live Pirate Swordfighting!  Seriously though, there are a lot of activities to do at Phoenix Comicon.

6. But I'm more of a physical activity person.  Then, my friends, dance!  The Geek Prom, which supports Kids Need To Read, The Anime Rave, and the Steampunk Ball are all events where you can get your freak on.  Literally.  Plus, the energy they exude is unparalleled.

7. But I'm really more of a movie person.  Which, my friends, is why there is a film festival at Phoenix Comicon.  The local horror block which features "Zombies are my Neighbors" as it's first Thursday night installment is impressive on its own.  So, get your film critic hat on and go have some fun!

8. But I'm not a geek!  Dude.  Embrace the fact that you're interested in this programming.  It's amazing. Just admit that there's something here for most people.  I'll admit that if you only read contemporary fiction and you would really rather watch Pride & Prejudice than Chuck, then fine.  But I for one am thrilled to see Major John Casey is in attendance.  Wait, sorry, I mean Adam Baldwin.

9. But aren't these things expensive?  Um, no.  Hour for hour, Phoenix Comicon works out to less than a dollar an hour.  If you purchase a membership before 5/25, it's only $35 for all four days.  I don't know of a better deal in Phoenix.

Some tips though:

  • Bring your own water bottle.  Water bills can get pricey at these things.  Bring your own bottle and fill it up at the drinking fountain.
  • Eat lunch offsite if you can.  The food at the con is really pricey, but it's not horrible if you can't bring yourself to leave.  
  • Use the My ConQuest planner on the Comicon site to plan the activities you want to attend, or you'll end up missing a lot of them.
  • Bring a backpack.  Or you'll end up making a zillion trips to the car.
  • Ride the Light Rail.  It stops right at the convention center and is significantly cheaper (and closer for that matter) than parking your car unless you're going with a large group in which case a fifteen passenger van parked for ten or twenty bucks might be more frugal.
  • Keep an open mind, and be fun.  Celebrate creativity.  And make a new friend or two while you're there.  It's easy enough to do.
  • View the entire schedule here:
So, tell us will the I Heart Monster team see you there?  


Valia Lind said...

Ha! I love this post!!!! I'll be there for sure! I got my ticket forever ago!!!! :-)

I Heart Monster said...

Woot! So glad you already bought your ticket, Valia! If you see one of us (we're wearing I Heart Monster buttons on our lanyards) be sure to say hi!

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

Man, sounds awesome!! If I were anywhere near Arizona I would so be there. It's my dream to go to San Diego Comicon at one point in my life (and I am not a comic book nerd at ALL, but I am a huge book and TV geek, so there you go).

Alexa said...

I'm planning on going, I just need to purchase the tickets tonight when I get off of work. I hope to see you there, I'm sure we are going to end up going to some of the same panels.

Valia Lind said...

I'll be sure to look for you! Its my first time and Im draggin my best friend with me! Im super excited! :-)

sRy_ said...

I would like go there someday^^

Jonathan said...

Great post, my friend! You better believe I shared it. :)