This year’s Phoenix Comic-Con was quite a memorable one, not just for me since this was my first year ever there, but most certainly everyone there. There was an assortment of fun and interesting panels there, their guest lists this year were solid, and for those who wanted to be a hero in some way, they could donate blood. They had something for everyone! So, to get to what most likely will have people talking for quite a while was how this Comic-Con began. On Thursday May 25th, what could have been another tragic event, was prevented by the Phoenix Police Department and the quick action of one person. A 31-year-old man named Mathew Sterling was arrested after he managed to make it within the convention center, approximately the second-floor area, armed with some intense weapons including three fully loaded guns and a knife. His main target was well-known and beloved actor Jason David Frank aka Green/White Ranger of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fame. The suspect was claiming to be The Punisher there to settle a score with JDF that was started 15 years ago. He even had a reminder on his phone saying “Kill JDF.”

Thankfully due to the efforts of the Phoenix PD, whom Frank extended his heartfelt appreciation to. Another person who deserves some huge thanks is Rayko Dig. She was the one who alerted the police to what the suspect was intending to do. He was sending pictures of police around the convention to Rayko and describing his malicious intentions for that day. I am so happy that we didn’t have another senseless massacre so soon after what took place in Manchester, because along with so many people here in Arizona, I would most likely of lost so many near and dear to me personally. So again, thank you so much to everyone that day who did their part to prevent what could have been a very tragic memory for the Valley of the Sun.

Despite a horrible thing almost happening the first day of PCC, there still was a bit of a damper for those there who are hardcore into the cosplay scene of the Comic-Con experience. Because someone managed to sneak past security with real weapons, there was one other option besides shutting everything down. That option was unfortunately a complete ban on cosplay props. For anyone who knows the struggle of putting time, energy, and money into making some epic cosplays would know that it feels like a punch to the face to not be able to bring in props. But this somber mood didn’t last too long. The solution? One only one fit to come from the mind of an insane man. Phoenix Comic-Con could ban props and weapons, but could they ban bananas? Obviously not, since #banana-con became a thing.Phoenix Comic-Con

You didn’t have to look far to find a Deadpool cosplayer with a banana. Dominic Moore, who is part of the AZ Deadpool Corps, was the one who decided to put bananas in his gun holsters, and everyone else followed suit. Started about three years ago by Jeremy Colwell, the AZ Deadpool Corps have become some local celebrities in the area. They were the reason everyone had a healthy snack and got a good laugh. It was the best way to fight back and turn an unpleasant situation into a good one. I can’t mention this year’s Phoenix Comic-Con without mentioning another local group of celebrities in the Arizona Convention circuit who are prepared for trouble and always makes it double. They are affectionately known as Team Rocket AZ. If you have been to any of the conventions out here in Arizona in the last few years, then you for sure have seen their members around, usually in groups of 2 or 3, and may even have been lucky enough to catch them in their ever-popular flash mob performances. If you have, then you know what a treat these guys truly are. This year they treated Con goers to their cover version of “You’re Welcome” from Disney’s Moana.

Besides walking around and seeing what awesome cosplays fellow convention goers have come up with, is the fun and informative panels. Like I mentioned before, this was my first ever time I went to PCC. Before this, I have only been to smaller conventions, so I was quite blown away by the panel list. Besides the obvious panels from actors and artists, they quite literally had something for every type of nerdy interest, from people sharing every facet of their passions to the science of Power Rangers. I only attended two out of the four days, so I had to really choose wisely when it came to what panel to attend. I am a horror movie fan, so the two that really stood out to me among the sea of geeky goodness were under that section, and I was not disappointed at all. They were a horror movie trivia panel by Blumhouse Productions and Ghost Baiting hosted by Jay and Marie Yates.

Saturday was when I attended the trivia panel. It was very well put together and more fun and interactive then I was expecting. The whole room was broken up into teams and each round we had to answer 5 questions related to horror movies. I was part of a team that won the second round so I managed to get some horror movie DVD’s, Dead on Appraisal and Run Hide Die. The panel I attended on Sunday was better than I was expecting, which honestly, I had no idea what to expect. It was about ghost baiting and it was a panel of crew members from Crossing Over Paranormal Society, who explained to us about their experiences with the paranormal and how they assist clients who encounter hauntings in their homes. They showed us videos and played audio sounds for the audience. For those who are into ghost hunters, be sure to look up Jay and Marie Yates to learn more of what they do, they were quite interesting and captivating to listen to.

One of the greatest ways to cement a memory is a tattoo, and it seems like that was one of the ways hardcore nerds forever captured their love of art and all things that spark from it. Isaac Mackenzie and Cory Young were some of the amazing tattoo artists there at this year’s Comic-Con. They were there representing their shop H. Kane Studio. I have been lucky enough to get some work done by Isaac. He is such an awesome guy whose passion for his craft shines through in every piece he creates. I was happy to see him and the rest of his fellow artists rocking in their element every time I passed by their booth. From what he I heard, they were booked all four days of the convention.

Speaking of astounding art, I need to mention some of the gems I came across while strolling down Artist Alley this year. If only I wasn’t super broke during this entire Comic-Con, otherwise I would have definitely bought up a bunch of Nikki Abrego’s artwork. Whether it’s her own spin on beloved characters, such as the gorgeous picture of  Umbreon and Espeon together called “Cosmic Love”, or something called upon of her own whimsical imagination, Nikki surely knows how to completely capture the strong innocence and captivating wonder of everything she draws.

Another pair influential artist who were found this year showing off their craft and using it to spread empowerment and strength one page at a time. One Nation: Out of the Darkness is about a young Muslim girl named Hadiya who must decide the cause to which she should pledge her allegiance to and learn the price that must be paid for her choice, because no matter how high the price, some things are worth fighting for. Written by Brad Faye and Alexander Martin, these two have been making their rounds at local conventions promoting this and other amazing works by them as well as the rest of other talented artists they share the pages with. Congrats to everyone who was there this year sharing their amazing gifts and talents with us convention goers, broke or not!

I honestly couldn’t of asked for a better time this year for my first time going to Phoenix Comic-Con, despite being too broke to buy everything I laid my eyes on and my feet having blisters upon blisters. I got to see so many remarkable artist who could draw beautiful things that I could only wish I could create, panels that taught me astounding things while surrounded by like-minded peers, and original and quite comical cosplays (#spicyinPHX). Like I touched on at the beginning of this article, It could have been a year marked with terror and tragedy but as quickly as it could have gone sour, we made it sweet. With bananas. BargerComicsEntertainmentIndie ComicsMoviesMusicRecent PostsTV ShowsAZ Deadpool Corps,Crossing Over Paranormal Society,Dead on Appraisal,Deadpool,Espeon,ghost baiting,green ranger,H. Kane Studio,Horror,Horror Movies,Jason David Frank,Jay and Marie Yates,Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,One Nation: Out of the Darkness,phoenix comic con 2017,Phoenix Comic-Con,Pokemon,punisher,Run Hide Die,Tattoo,Team Rocket,Team Rocket AZ,UmbreonThis year’s Phoenix Comic-Con was quite a memorable one, not just for me since this was my first year ever there, but most certainly everyone there. There was an assortment of fun and interesting panels there, their guest lists this year were solid, and for those who wanted to...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?