Phoenix Comicon: A more intimate geek experience

May 24, 2012

Friday marks the 35th anniversary of the first Star Wars movie, which spawned a generation of sci-fi fans. In Phoenix more than 30,000 people are expected this weekend for the 10th annual Phoenix Comicon which brings together science fictions buffs and comic book fans. Al Macias reports from Phoenix.

Phoenix Comicon Who you gonna call? (Photo by Al Macias - KJZZ)
Phoenix Comicon Characters abound at Phoenix Comicon. (Photo by Al Macias - KJZZ)
Phoenix Comicon Giveaway winners pose with their prizes at the Phoenix Comicon. (Photo courtesy of @PhoenixComicon)

JILLIAN SQUIRES: Can you send a runner to the Avatar booth and have them send a representative out.

AL MACIAS: That’s Jillian Squires on the exhibit floor. She’s the marketing director for Phoenix Comicon. She’s responsible for making sure the Avatars, super heroes, vendors and attendees are all happy. The event is a gathering of sci-fi fans, comic book readers and pop culture followers.  Squires says the Phoenix event has grown by 50 percent each of the last two years.

SQUIRES: And there’s only going to be about 30-35,000 as opposed to San Diego’s 150,000, so you’re not fighting for the attention of the actors artists as you would there.

MACIAS: If the projections are right, the costumed blue-skinned attendees will make this the largest event this year at the Phoenix Convention center. That translates to an economic impact of $5 million or more with a ripple effect to hotels and local businesses outside. Inside the convention vendors hope to make money selling everything from light sabers to comic books, not everyone here is to make a buck for themselves. Monica Igielski is with the Arizona Ghostbusters franchise. She stands in front of that famous ambulance.

MONICA IGIELSKI: We are a non-profit costume group. We run around dressed up as ghostbusters to help promote local charities in our area.

MACIAS: Back on the exhibit floor Squires is working things out. While many displays focus on cool superheroes, Squires says one of the events this year aimed at helping out those who may not be quite so cool.

SQUIRES: Geek speed dating is a new thing this year we are trying out … you know sometimes it’s hard for geeks to meet each other. So we set this up with age brackets where they get 5 minutes with each other and we’re rushing them through just like regular speed dating but at least you know you have one thing in common being a geek.

MACIAS: And in case that doesn’t work, there’s always the chance to talk to William Shatner, Captain Kirk. Yes he’s scheduled to be here.

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