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Comicon Culture in Phoenix

Comicon Costume

People like to say something about the West Coast being the Best Coast. Well, for fandom junkies, it really is because it brought about Comicon.

Comicom was put on the map in 1970 as a one day event located in San Diego. This “minicon” was meant to raise both money and interest for a larger convention. Later that year, the first three-day event was held, but it was only the beginning to this great worldly affair. The event was only held in San Diego for over 20 years before space at the event began to max out. The event then grew to affiliate locations, such as Phoenix and Tucson.

If you are ready to discover your inner geek, Comic-Con is the event for you. Phoenix Comic-Con creates guest panels with actors, authors, artists, and any other icons in the pop culture industry. These guests may also offer meet and greets, photographs, or autographs. The panels are typically free, minus the reserved seating section with costs an additional fee. The guests decide whether photographs or autographs will require an extra fee. Typically, they do not charge, but rather ask you to donate to a charity or fund instead.

Another one of the major thrills of the Comicon experience is the costuming, termed cosplay. Cosplay is just a connection of the two words costume and play. Fans come dressed representing characters from every source of media, including movies, T.V. shows, and comic books. The Comicon website warns that some costumes may be extremely risqué and others may be scary for children.

Have you ever wondered where Cosplay and costuming originated? A woman nicknamed Morojo and her partner, Forest Ackerman were huge fans of fiction and produced a magazine together honoring the sci-fi world. In 1939, they attended the first WorldCon, the World Science Fiction Convention put on by Comic-Con International. It was there that they wore the first ever fan costumes publicly. Both are credited with this honor, but Morojo was really the one that had the idea. She created the costumes from scratch, beginning a popular craft for years to come.

Due to the recent events at this year’s Comicon, the Convention Director, along with the Phoenix Police Department and Phoenix Convention Center updated the list of prohibited item list. This new list included weapons of all types, including simulated, or prop, weapons. Those in charge did not want to diminish from the costumes and still allowed empty holsters, masks, signs attached to the costumes, and non-weapon props.

Be sure to bring the whole family down to Phoenix Comicon. Children under 2 years old are free with the purchase of an 18+ pass. Each adult may have two free children under their pass. Children ages 3 to 12 can attend the entire event, including 4 days, for only $10. Activities are held for children of all ages and there are event family specific events.

Are you too impatient to wait for next year to experience the fun? Check out the Phoenix Comicon website for links to their social media accounts. Videos or audio of many of the panels from this year’s event are posted as well as pictures and other information. Additionally, the Tucson Comicon event will take place in early November. If you are ready to dip your feet in, this is a great opportunity to prepare yourself for next year’s Phoenix Comicon. Adults can purchase a membership pass for the entire weekend for just $30!

In the past, being known as a “geek” or a “nerd” was not something most people would have liked to be associated with. Now geek and nerd are desirable monikers. An entire culture has sprung up with it too and Comicon could rightly be accused of being responsible. Except for Halloween, only at Comicon can grown-up people walk around in costume of their favorite DC and Marvel characters. Outside of the big labels, lots of smaller, indie types of cartoons get love at Comicon as well as characters from T.V. and games.

As a t-shirt printer, without the proper licensing, we cannot print images of the most beloved characters; however we can print in some cases references to the character if you’re really creative. Need a custom t-shirt for your next Comicon adventure but aren’t sure whether your idea would fall under trademark protection? Save your t-shirt design idea and contact us to review before placing your order and we can let you know whether we could print your Comicon t-shirt idea.

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