This year’s PHXCC had everything from a brand new Awesome Hour to shenanigans with John Barrowman to a convention-center-clearing fire alarm.
It was certainly memorable, and a whole lot of fun for me and Anne.
We got to Phoenix Thursday evening, and prowled the con floor during preview night. I picked up some really great art and some Team Hawkeye stuff (Hawkguy is my favourite comic this year), and caught up with some friends who I only see at cons, but never have time to talk to when we’re there.
Friday was pretty quiet during the day, giving me tons of time to vist with the people who came to meet me and get my autograph on stuff. I never felt rushed, which made me really happy. The photo-ops at Phoenix CC were really brilliantly run, too. I never felt like a single person was rushed, I got to talk to everyone, I had all sorts of fun posing for silly pictures, and I think everyone left happy.
Friday night, I did my awesome hour, which ended up being an awesome hour and twenty minutes, almost 40 minutes of which was me doing a stand up set I’ve been working on since January. It ended up being way more dirty than I intended, but the audience (just over 1100 people!) didn’t seem to mind, and actually seemed to find it pretty funny. It was tremendously fun for me, and allowed me to introduce the concept of the cum-slick Zamboni to our mutual horror and delight.
Uh, you should probably not read the end of that previous paragraph if you’re easily offended.
Saturday was incredibly busy from the moment we walked into the convention center until we left about 9 hours later. The cosplay at the show was just amazing, as you’ll see in the photos I’m attaching at the end of this post.
Sunday was … eventful. After a morning of meeting people, signing things, an incredibly fun panel with John Scalzi that I hope ends up online, and picking up the last few purchases I wanted from the vendors, I was in my final photo-op of the convention, when the fire alarm went off.
Fire alarms go off at cons all the time (the fire alarm in my hotel went off on Saturday night, because teenagers think that sort of thing is awesome and hilarious. Memo to teenagers: you are wrong. It is not either of those things. It is childish and annoying and can end up actually hurting people if there’s a panic. Also, walking up 14 flights of stairs because the elevators were shut off makes me want to kick you in the face nine times) so I looked up, when “huh, some jackass pulled the fire alarm,” and prepared to keep taking pictures. But that’s when the staff of the con came into the photo area and made it clear that this wasn’t a joke, it was a real thing, and everyone needed to get out of the building. Right now.
Yeah. 40,000 people needed to get out of the building. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, a lot, as it turns out … but nothing did. It further turns out that nerds are great at following directions, not panicking, and leaving the safe confines of our preferred gathering — the convention — for the deadly exposure of the outdoors and our natural enemy, the Sun.
We were outside for about 15 minutes before the fire department sounded the all clear and let us all back inside. I wasn’t ever able to get a completely official report, but I understand that there was smoke in a meeting room that had nothing to do with our convention.
I will share one observation: I’m 40, and I’ve been dealing with this sort of thing my whole life. Fire alarms go off, and most of the time it’s a false alarm. No big deal. But when I looked around at the younger people, the teenagers and the twentysomethings, I saw a real fear in their eyes as they waited to find out what was going on. I heard lots of them talking about the bombing in Boston, and how they were genuinely afraid that there was some kind of bomb or something inside the building. It says something about the different worlds we’ve grown up in, that my first reaction was “not this again” and theirs was “oh shit I hope it’s not a bomb.”
After the all-clear was given, we moved back into the building, and I went back to resume photos. It took a bit of time, but the attendees came back in, and I stayed for about another hour to get as many photos taken for as many people as possible, before I had to go to the airport.
A funny thing happened at Phoenix Comicon this year: I never got exhausted. I never felt completely drained or burned out. Sure, I got tired (it’s a lot of work and requires a lot of emotional energy), but I never felt … used up. I also felt this way leaving Ottawa Comicon, and I’m hoping to get a hat trick at Denver Comicon this weekend, because a week from today I start production on season 2.5 of Tabletop and it would be great to go into that energized, instead of wiped out.
I’ll explore why I’m feeling this way instead of the other way on a future episode of Radio Free Burrito. Now, it’s time for pictures from the convention, which I’m putting behind a jump, because there are a lot of them:
FIRST UP: THE HAND TURKEY.
I was asked by a couple to do a hand turkey. So of course, I had to go a little crazy with it:
For the .0000001% of you who don’t get the reference: Trogdor.
NEXT: THE TATTOO OF DOOM.
I was happy to see this guy’s Avengers tattoos … then he showed me this and I squeed.
PEOPLE GET EXCITED AND MAKE THINGS!
So this first thing here is a Wesley Crusher … made using the Sheldon Cooper head from an existing model. It’s perfect.
So how about a Matryoshka doll, based on ME!
Here’s the whole set:
The whole reason we made Lil’ Wils was so people would get excited and make outfits for him. This delighted me.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
I made some Cards Against Humanity cards. Do not look at these pictures if you take the world SUPER SERIOUSLY and/or can’t laugh at things.
“Conan, what is best in life?”
I love that I’m seeing Booker and Elizabeth cosplay all over the place.
This couple is cosplaying as Fargo and Claudia, from Warehouse 13 and Eureka! #TEAMPARRISH.
Missy asked me to give Ensign Helmet Hair a beard. I think I nailed it.
I teamed up with John Kovalic and Dreamland Toyworks to make a little Wilthulu, and finally got to see one for the first time at the con.
FINALLY: I closed out the con in #TeamHorseMask, cheering on my LA Kings.It was a fantastic convention. Thank you to everyone who came out, and to all the attendees who made me feel more awesome than I am.