My introduction to comic books started back in the late 1980’s. I was just a kid who didn’t want to shop in fabric stores with my mom so I would visit the comic book store next door and read the early runs of Spiderman, Fantastic Four and any other early Silver Age Marvel comic that didn’t look like it would violate my youthful religious innocence. By the time the 90’s rolled around comics changed into dramatic works of art that now had very vivacious lady characters and very graphic stories filled with wild violence and terrifying cover art… so instead of reading comic books I would enjoy the early superhero movies like Richard Donners “Superman”, Tim Burtons “Batman”, Star Wars and Star Trek. I even enjoyed the Adam West “Batman” series and George Reeves “Superman” show. I can admit now that I use to also watch “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” in the 1990’s because it was a superhero show and that was A-ok for me at the time. I’m not proud of that, but I can admit it happened.
Alright let’s fast forward to current day…
Now that I’m a grown ass man I decided it was time to revisit those “scary” comics I missed during the 90’s and beyond. Turns out, I was just an innocent young lad and time has, as it always does, stripped that innocence away and run it over, burned it, beat it, stepped on it, kicked it, punched it, stabbed it… I could go on but I think you get the point. I’m no longer that innocent religious young boy. Again, I’m a grown ass man reading comics! YEAH! So anyway, I’ve been welcomed into the fold of the Abnormal Entertainment family and we discuss comics, movies, tv shows, quality beer, funny commercials, music and life in general. ( http://abnormalentertainment.blogspot.com for those curious and prepared for adult conversations unfiltered, raw and comical.) Well, while in Phoenix I had the opportunity to be part of the media team for Abnormal Entertainment and the adventure began…
My first day was Friday, May 29th 2015 and I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I met the group at Hooters at the Arizona Center for lunch and then from there we were on the move. We had a few things we needed to accomplish… promoting the panel we were hosting that evening, promoting the short animated film “Blasto the Clown” premiering Sunday, capturing images of con goers and the list goes on. What a festival! The expected attendance was approximately 80,000 people over the course of the weekend and I believe they reached that if not went over. Two buildings, 3 floors and nonstop activities, panels, demonstrations, exhibits, vendors, photo displays, automobiles, food trucks, musical acts and an area to build legos with your kids or by yourself. Oh, let’s not forget “Artist Alley” where famous artists and writers would set up shop so you could shake their hand and chat with them about their craft and their career.
The one thing above all else that still makes me smile is that I didn’t see or hear about a single incident. I can’t recall being anywhere with that many people and not needing at least two cops to subdue some wild person acting out, sober or otherwise. Everyone there was so nice and so pleasant. It was like Canada took over the Convention Center and Symphony Hall for the weekend in costume. If you ever have a chance to experience a comic con I’d recommend you try it. It’s an experience like you won’t have anywhere else.
Friday nights panel went well and the responses we received from those in attendance were very positive. It was fun being able to hang out afterwards and chat with those who cared to share their thoughts with us. They mentioned how they appreciated the interactions we had with them while having a comical but informed and intelligent back and forth about the topics discussed. (We didn’t have to pay anyone to say nice things either so we saved money there which is always nice.) There were also group activities afterwards like the “Jedi Lightsaber Walk” which is precisely as it sounds. You walk around downtown Phoenix wielding your lightsaber in a group of likeminded individuals. They were incredibly easy to spot downtown Friday night.
Saturday I spent the entire day with “Matt the Camera Man” walking around handing out fliers to cosplay enthusiasts whose picture we took and chatting up folks. For fun, we had pedometers going for both of us and I believe we both clocked in over 10 miles of walking each. Quite a long day.
Sunday we had the animated film “Blasto the Clown” premier which also went over well. We got a few laughs and that’s all we were going for. We just wanted people to enjoy what was trying to be accomplished and the feedback we received indicated we achieved our goal. Afterwards, I was able to walk around what I referred to as “Automobile Alley” and take some pictures which was nice.
Finally, I decided we needed to stop by the booth cosplay model Lindsay Elyse was at before we departed for the last time. Lindsay had an incredibly warm and welcoming personality which was quite endearing. The reason I felt we needed to stop by was simple, she was our “Lap Marker” as we walked the exhibition floor. Every time we passed her booth we knew we had completed another lap on our promotional and photo campaign. I felt it was appropriate to thank her for her contribution even though she was unaware. She found the whole thing amusing so that was a positive experience.
In closing, along with Lindsay’s thumb up, I also give an additional two tan thumbs up to the Comic Con experience.