It’s all over for this year, but attending Phoenix Comicon indeed is a fun time whether you’re a casual fan or a media member trying to get a unique story. While there are long lines for some things and a lot of walking to do, there’s no shortage of fun. It’s certainly an interesting way to spend a Memorial Day weekend. There were a few problems, like the Phoenix Convention Center serving mainly Pepsi and Frito Lay products but that’s hardly the fault of the Comicon decision makers. Yes, Cat Galaxy still is boycotting them and if you attend the event next year, get your alternate beverages and food at a local eatery. Food and drinks are also pretty expensive. Another issue the con faced was Alexis Cruz from Stargate SG-1 cancelling at the last minute. SG1 fans were certainly hoping to see him.
The Star Wars and Trek fans were certainly out in full force. Of course, the diehard Trekkies definitely came to see William Shatner and the Next Generation Crew. The ballroom was packed but the most memorable moment for any sci-fi fan is to meet their favorite actors and actresses.
Cat Galaxy certainly met it’s fair share of the well known faces from sci-fi. Meeting Tony Amendola, Marina Sirtis, Erin Grey, and Gil Gerrard were indeed great moments. They were all approachable. Amendola who played Master Bra’tac in Stargate SG1 as well as had other roles in TV and films mentioned he was a cat lover and has one cat. He also shared the exploits of one his neighbor’s cats as well. It’s too bad Isis wasn’t at the convention because she enjoyed watching the series.
Marinia Sirtis aka Counselor Deanna Troy certainly has a soft spot for animals and she mentioned she has dogs. One fan during the ST:TNG panel asked the actors from the show who their heroes were. It’s no surprise that Sirtis’s response was “those who save or rescue animals.” There were a few cheers from the audience, but it indeed made makes the Cat Galaxy universe smile because animal rescuers have indeed a tough task saving animals and if anything defines the word hero, it’s those who dedicate their time and energy to rescue cats and other 4-legged creatures.
Erin Gray, like Sirtis was indeed a nice lady and at one time in her life had cats. She has a soft spot for animals and shared a story about how she got her dog. Apparently, her husband wanted the dog after visiting a local animal shelter and she wasn’t too keen on the idea. With her busy schedule she felt it’d be too much. Needless to say, she kept the dog. It’s hard to imagine Colonel Wilma Deering with a dog but Grey in real life has one.
Gil Gerrard is neither a dog person nor a cat person. In fact, he has birds. He didn’t talk to much about them but you can genuinely tell that just like his character Buck Rogers, you can tell he’s pretty welcoming.
One the final day of the con, we ran into Wil Wheaton. He is approachable and like many of the attendees mentioned, he’s a sci-fi buff and indeed will walk amongst the fans. Of course, when asked if he was a Harry Potter fan (yes, the Cat Protector dressed as Harry Potter to get in the spirit of Comicon) he said “No, but my kids love Harry Potter.” Nonetheless, Wheaton is nothing like Wesley Crusher in real life. He seems to enjoy the conventions just as much as the fans do.
The biggest thing about the convention isn’t the memorabilia, the books or the costumed characters, but the people you meet. A lot of them are very friendly and will stop to talk to you. Many will talk about their favorite video games, sci-fi show or movie or anything else that interests them. Sometimes, they’ll even want their picture taken with you. Just like last year, many of the artists and exhibitors we ran into are cat lovers. They’ll even share their pictures.
One young artist named James Bear certainly likes to draw cats, as he and his parents have one. Greg Mannino who has produced and drawn his own comic book called The Cowl talked about his cat and now at the Cat Galaxy studio one of his drawings now sits. It features a plant-like creature with a cat. I think the Comicon committee might want to encourage more cat exhibitors. We encountered plenty of writers including Ginny Koch who’s written a series of books called Touched By An Alien mentioned that a couple of characters in the book are cats. What a boost for cat lovers, which shows they indeed have a high place in sci-fi.
This year’s Comicon was a packed event and one can imagine that next year it’ll get even larger. While San Diego’s comic convention is still by some considered to be the ultimate event, Phoenix’s may overtake it. We’ve read online that some attendees that often attended the one in San Diego will now be coming to Phoenix instead. There’s a fun atmosphere and it’s acceptable to dress up as your favorite sci-fi, comic book, or fantasy character and have fun. In fact, talking to Comicon staffers it’s encouraged. A plus next year would be more Harry Potter and other original characters. Of course, that isn’t Comicon’s job but the fan’s decision to do that. Maybe next year, we’ll see more wizards and individual creations. All we can say is, well done Comicon crew and thanks for the memories. You obviously worked hard work this year and knocked it out of the park. I guess all we can say is, we’ll see you next year when Phoenix Comicon 2013 arrives.