Final Wrap-Up: Phoenix Comic Fest 2018

Phoenix Comic Fest 2018 is in the books.

PHX Comic Fest logo

Finally getting a chance to wrap-up coverage of my Memorial Day weekend spent at Phoenix Comic Fest (PFC). See previous days’ coverage Here, Here, and Here.

This is just going to be a laundry list of things that stick in my mind from Day 4 of the event, and the weekend overall, that I may or may not have addressed in previous coverage:

  • Decided to go to a panel on Westworld Sunday morning, first thing. Instead of a fairly informative discussion about the show, it was basically a regurgitation of who everyone is, some key moments (several of which were incorrectly explained, some of which the audience—including me—had to correct on the spot). There had been an early attempt to marry WW’s data collection to the Facebook scandal as if it was the equivalent, or the first time it happened, but a reminder that Google has been collecting individual data for years, and on a larger swath of web activity than Facebook, quickly derailed that discussion. Really, it felt like an opportunity for 3 fans of the show to shoot the shit about it in front of an audience. And one of the three “panelists” was basically worthless, at that. Sad.
  • The addition of the RFID wristbands this year was good (as the last few events in Salt Lake have proved), as it allows for more accurate tracking of those who enter and exit the facility, providing organizers with very detailed statistics about unique visitors, busiest times, etc… so long as attendees are “tapping OUT” as well as “tapping IN,” which they weren’t in Phoenix.
  • I get the appeal of having a smartphone app for your event so you can push updates/notifications and everyone can have the entire schedule of panels, guest signings and photos –ops at their fingertips, but I’ve found most of them are lacking. PFC’s app would throw up a notification, but when opened, would simply go right to the app, with no way of getting to the notification. Basically, if you couldn’t get the info from the short notification indicator on your phone, you were SOL.
  • This is not a dig on Dan Fogler, but I was surprised we couldn’t use cash at his table. I don’t know why that would be the case; his assistant said they COULDN’T take cash, not WOULDN’T take it. I’ve never seen that before, and I’m not sure how many other guests might have had that issue/policy/whatever, nor can I think of why that might be the case. It’s just strange.
  • Was not surprised to see that UltraSabers wasn’t at this year’s event after last year’s PR debacle [Editor’s note: I own 3 Ultras.].
  • Just a note for conventions in general, about their weapons/costuming policies: check for inconsistencies, please. I can’t tell you how many conventions have contradictions like “no wooden props,” followed by “if your sword is made of wood, it’s okay” type entries. What’s up with that? Hire an editor. [Editor’s note: I’m an editor. Just saying…]

Overall, though, a very enjoyable weekend. I look forward to probably trekking down south again next Memorial Day for what will now be known as Phoenix Fan Fusion, as they have re-branded and aligned themselves with Minnesota and Las Vegas Fan Fusion events.

I may take the 6 hour drive down to Vegas for FF later this year, actually. Who doesn’t love Vegas?

Till next time!




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