#PhoenixComicon 2017 is in the can, as they say—though that’s an expression open to interpretation. This year was interesting in many ways.
Security went from none to overdone quickly, when a man calling himself “The Punisher,” showed up wearing body armor and carrying loaded weapons. He was determined to take out the #GreenPowerRanger, a/k/a #JasonDavidFrank (as well as a few cops while he was at it). Why the Green Power Ranger, nobody knows. The incident could have been a nightmare scenario for all, but the pathetic mental case posted his intentions online. Someone from California saw his posts and contacted the authorities. Had Thursday’s security been tighter, the incident might have been avoided. As you can imagine, on Friday, the lines wrapped around the convention center with a two to three-hour wait for bag checks and wands (not the Harry Potter kind). Fortunately, Saturday and Sunday went slick as snot on a gold tooth. (I know that’s disgusting, but it’s a quote from my book, TRANSMUTED. Had to be done.) Otherwise, a great con as usual.
The highlight for me (my blog, my opinion, my, my, my . . . we’ve discussed this before guys), was literally (using the old definition) back-to-back writing workshops which spanned the four days. So many I was forced to choose between different topics sharing the same time slot. About a 50/50 split between free and $10 at the door. I attended all that I could, and all were worthy.
My favorite was the best-selling/award winning author, #TomLaVeen “Sizzling Dialogue” workshop. He brought his acting chops to make his presentation fun as well informative. I don’t think I’ve generated as much energy over my lifetime as he exerted in one hour. And I have two pages of great notes for my future writing reference. If you have an opportunity to attend a Tom LaVeen workshop, don’t hesitate—even if you’re not a writer.
Next up for worthy content was the NYT best-seller, #MichaelStackpole workshops (many, many, many of them throughout the con). He tends to cover the basics of each topic in a uniform delivery mode. Sometimes you have to check to confirm which of his workshops you’re in at the moment. But I always find a jewel among the pebbles. I wish he’d throw in an intermediate or advanced presentation once in a while.
Some of the “workshops” were simply author panels (always free) discussing particular aspects of their genres and careers. At times you can learn as much from the panels as you would glean from a workshop presented by, perhaps, a more prominent author. Regardless, the author panelists are always entertaining.
I attended writing-related programs exclusively except for one celebrity panel and two #LegibleScrawl live script readings (and the Kids Need to Read charity poker tournament which I won’t mention, except to say my $$$&$ went to a good cause).
#AlanTudyk Spotlight Panel was great. As with #NathanFillion, Alan usually gives a signed promotional item from his movies or Con Man to each person who asks a question. This year he forgot his bag of goodies and was signing his hotel room soap, shower cap, shampoo, miscellaneous receipts, old boarding tickets, etc. It was funny. I also stood in line two hours to get his autograph on his cover issue of the Serenity #DarkHorse comic. Note: Alan Tudyk is habitually late to every event. But his lines are sooo long that you still have to get there early and wait, and wait, and . . . still waiting.
#LegibleScrawl panels are becoming some of my favorite events of the con. Legible Scrawl is a local theater group whose members write original fanfic scripts to read live (and they have a podcast). Unfortunately, I could only make two of the four offerings this year, and more unfortunately, I tossed my program before making a note of the panel titles. One, I know, was “Doctor Who-se.” Doctor Who wanders from one fan universe to the next at the direction of the audience. Believe me, it was a lot funnier and entertaining than my description. Another was a Harry Potter-related mystery, also hysterical, and with an ending that begs a sequel. Check out their website: http://www.legiblescrawl.com.
That’s it for Phoenix Comicon 2017. My guess is, at well over 100,000 attendees, discounting the gun-carrying nut case on the first day, a great time was had by all.