So I went to Phoenix Comicon, this year! It’s kind of like the more notable San Diego Comicon, but divide the size by approximately half and add the dread of going outdoors to do anything (it got up to 117 degrees Fahrenheit). This is technically my third time attending PHXCC (cool abbreviation? Cool abbreviation.) I had gone once when I was sixteen, and I also went last year, but only for one day. But this year, I went for two long days, and enjoyed every second of it! I mean, despite my legs and feet screaming at me from the several hours in a row that I spent standing/walking, it was still a blast.
I cosplayed as Louise Belcher from Bob’s Burgers on the first day! Here’s a little selfie of that:
This is my first time cosplaying as a very recognizable/popular character while at a convention. I had done a super rushed cosplay once before in my life where I threw on a robe and said I was a character from this anime where so many guys wore black robes, but this is actually my first real cosplay (and the robe didn’t even look half as similar as their robes. Good job, teenage me.)
Dressing as Louise ended up being a TON of fun, too! Being recognized and interacting with cosplayers of the same show made for such a memorable day. I had an unspoken bond with every Louise that I saw, and we gave each other a head nod or a wave. There was something so special about knowing I could approach any of them confidently, because I at least would know that we had some common ground for interaction. Heck, I wasn’t even the only male Louise there! The other one I ran into was even kind of attractive! I could have went for that, but I didn’t act on the “something special” that we had as two Louise cosplayers. Oh, the regret.
My favorite run-in with a Bob’s Burger’s cosplayer was with a girl who was cosplaying Linda. She was wearing the infamous “spice rack” around her chest, and when she pointed me out in the crowd, I shouted “Oh my god, mom, you’re so embarrassing!” She then responded by saying that I was grounded. Definitely a much better encounter than the guy who followed me asking if the burgers I was using was made of human meat, which took me a hot second (literally, since it was sweltering, outside) to remember that it was a reference from the show. It was in that moment that I had to keep reminding myself that I was dressed as a popular character, because I was a little caught off-guard, but he also drug it out by awkwardly following me and talking about how human meat would be a bit saltier. I was starving, sweating, and my black shoes were efficiently making my feet sizzle, so you could only imagine how I felt about some guy semi-stalking me: really great.
But on top of all that, a really sweet lady asked for a picture with me!
It was so flattering because I felt like her cosplay was a much bigger display of talent than mine, but she still wanted a picture with me! I was ecstatic! She said she appreciated the gender-bent nature of my cosplay, so I was pretty happy about that. Validation!
Later on in the day, I went to a few panels. The first one was about how to get your novel ready for publication, which ultimately had some good advice, but it was put in such a way that didn’t make me feel all that encouraged to try and get a novel published. Granted, I’m sure his job wasn’t to encourage us, but more to be like “hey, it ain’t easy, but you gotta do it.” The second panel I went to was about romancing people in video games (more from the LGBT angle, though) and how games have gone from forced romance narratives to “look at all these people you can choose to date!” I went because I knew one of the guys on the panel (you did GREAT, Robi), but the topic did genuinely interest me. It was fun to hear how they make dating decisions in video games, even if they were video games I hadn’t played, which I fully blame on having a full-time job while also trying to put creative content out into the world. BUT, I digress.
The last panel I went to was a panel with a popular Youtuber named Mr. Creepypasta, whom I just now discovered has over a million subscribers! I didn’t realize he was such a popular guy at the time, but it’s cool that I got to see him, nonetheless! He told a few funny stories in his own, upbeat storytelling tone, and then told some more scary stories, all off of the popular Creeptypasta website. Personally, I didn’t find the stories to be scary, but he told them really well. One of the more memorable moments of that panel was my friend and I laughing about how Mr. Creepypasta said that a story would scare the pants off of us, which gave us the imagery of our pants soaring into the front of the room and hitting the back of someone’s head. It doesn’t sound that funny, but what was funnier is the fact that we couldn’t stop giggling about in amongst the large crowd of silent listeners. I almost cackled about it again while writing this paragraph. What a good time.
The costume contest was the last convention-related thing I did that day, which wasn’t nearly as entertaining as I hoped it would be, but I feel like the most important part was that everyone who entered got to show off their gorgeous costumes. I did see a cool dance number to Kerli’s “Tea Party” with a group of Alice in Wonderland cosplayers! That had to have been my favorite part of the costume contest. The commentator/host of this whole event tried a little too hard to be funny, and he was sweating a lot, though I couldn’t tell if it was because no one laughed at his jokes, or if it was because he was in a stormtrooper costume. I mean, those things are pretty thick. Regardless, he was still pretty great!
I didn’t dress up the second day, but I did represent by showing up in my Magic Girl Squad shirt from Lookhuman:
Because I, clearly, am a magical girl, and lattes are my source of power.
I only saw one panel on the second day, which was basically an open discussion of The Walking Dead, which was very well-organized! It was called “Talking Dead AZ,” but unlike the actual Talking Dead show, the whole audience was involved in the discussion. After the panel, they got all of the Walking Dead cosplayers who were in the room together for a pic!
Can we please talk about that Rick Grimes, though? Bless him for looking so much like Rick to begin with!
After the panel, most of the day was spent by spending too much money on things I didn’t need at the Exhibitor Hall. The thing I’ll tell you about these exhibitor halls though is that, no matter whether you decide you want to buy anything, it’s still so amazing to see all these companies that sell their unique, geeky goods, and to see so many artists who pour their hearts into their work and show them at gigantic events like these. I usually make it a point to buy prints from these artists because the work they do on them is SO good, and they deserve to make even more money for their work than what they sell them for at these conventions. I will be showing all of what I got at this convention in a video on my channel, so be on the lookout for that!
The last major thing I did at the convention was go through the room where they had a ton of interactive displays. They had a REALLY cool Resident Evil one with a zombie inside of this phone booth-esque thing, and an Albert Wesker cosplayer was standing outside of it. Kinda wanted a picture with it, but also kinda didn’t want to approach the cosplayer. He was so in character, that I was definitely not about trying to approach him, but I mainly didn’t want the zombie girl inside popping out at me. However, I should have at least done it for the truly high quality picture that I could have gotten out of it. Ugh, what was I even thinking?
I did manage to walk out of there with this picture, though:
I might not have the power of Thor, but I am pretty good at poppin’ the booty on accident. So there’s that.
ALSO, a really cool part of being in this room was seeing the booths where all the celebrities were meeting the convention-goers! Alex Kingston, who plays River Song in Doctor Who, was there, Billie Piper who plays Rose Tyler from the same show was there (though not on that particular day), as well as Mark Pellegrino, who played Lucifer in Supernatural! I thought hardcore about going to his booth, but it was cash-only and I’d really only consider paying for meeting a celebrity if it was someone I was borderline obsessed with (even then…it’d take some heavy consideration). So, Mark Pellegrino, I’d like to say I’m sorry. You’re great and handsome and funny and you’re probably not actually reading this, but hey! At least I got to be in the same room as you. I cherish that unspoken, one-sided moment that we shared.
Overall, the time at Phoenix Comicon was such a blast. I mean, I left that day feeling like I had been run over by a bus, I felt my bank account judging me for the amount of money I spent, and if my legs had voices, they would have been screaming expletives at me. I was even so tired that five coffees couldn’t have reversed the fatigue I felt, but I wouldn’t have wanted to spend those two days in any other way. It was great, and if I’m still melting away in Phoenix by the time next year rolls around, I hope to be back again.
Here are a few other random pics I took while at the convention!