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Phoenix Fan Fusion
Phoenix Comicon logo.png
Phoenix Fan Fusion Logo
Status Active
Genre Speculative fiction
Venue Phoenix Convention Center
Location(s) Phoenix, Arizona
Country United States
Inaugurated 2002; 18 years ago
Attendance 57,853 in 2018
Organized by Square Egg Entertainment

Phoenix Fan Fusion (formerly Phoenix Comicon and Phoenix Comic Fest) is a speculative fiction entertainment and comic book convention held annually in Phoenix, Arizona. It was founded as the Phoenix Cactus Comicon in June 2002, and originally consisted of a one-day six-hour event held in Ahwatukee, Arizona. The convention plays host to comic related panels, programming events, art contests, and autograph signings for all ages. It is a four-day event (Thursday-Sunday) held during the summer at the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix. On Thursday evening prior to the official opening of the event, there is a preview for professionals, exhibitors, and select guests pre-registered for all four days.

Originally showcasing comic books, science fiction/fantasy and film/television, and related popular arts, the convention has expanded over the years to include a larger range of pop culture elements, such as horror, anime, manga, animation, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. In 2016, the convention set an attendance record of 106,096, and reportedly generates approximately $5 million in revenue for the city of Phoenix. Then-Phoenix Comicon also began to expand programming into the surrounding hotels starting in 2013, including the Hyatt Regency, Marriott Renaissance and Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotels.

History and organisation

Phoenix Convention Center by Gage Skidmore
The Phoenix Convention Center has hosted the annual convention since 2010.
Phoenix Comicon attendees (34895948835)
Phoenix Comicon 2017

The first Phoenix Comicon was held in June 2002 as Phoenix Cactus Comicon. It was a one-day convention for six hours held at a Best Western in Ahwatukee, Arizona. Admission was $3 per person and there were 432 attendees, along with a few local creators and exhibitors. The following three years, the convention was held at the Glendale Civic Center. The size of the convention and the attendance were doubled from the previous year, and the Sunday morning six-hour length of the convention was maintained. The convention began to bring out some guests from out of state including Spider-Man artist Todd Nauck and comic legend Marv Wolfman. The programming was increased to include Q&A's with guests, how-to workshops, and film trailer presentations.

In 2006, the convention was held at the Mesa Convention Center in Mesa, Arizona, for the first time in its history. It also became a two-day convention, with Friday preview night, and had guests such as voice actors Johnny Young Bosche and Greg Ayres. The exhibitor room was dramatically expanded, as was the amount of programming offered. This was the first convention to expand beyond comic books into the greater pop culture community, including Anime, Manga, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Cosplay. Attendance was over 2,600 people for the weekend. The convention was held in January from 2007 to 2009, at the Mesa Convention Center. Attendance jumped past 3,200. 2007 was considered the conventions first foray into media guests, with Feedback, the winner of "Stan Lee's Who Wants to be a Superhero" attending. In 2009, the event was expanded to 3 days, with a Thursday preview night. It was also announced at the 2009 convention that due to an overwhelming attendance of around 7,000 people for that year, the convention in 2010 will be moving to the Phoenix Convention Center the next year, along with the dates changing to the end of May.

Beginning in 2010 the convention was held on Memorial Day weekend, at the Phoenix Convention Center and Grand Hyatt Hotel in Phoenix. This change was due to the large increase in attendance, and the availability of funds to hold the convention in a larger venue. Bigger names, such as Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, and Stan Lee also attended the convention as special guests. One of the highlights of the 2013 event include the world premiere of "Pilgrim of Eternity", the first full-length episode of the award-winning Star Trek Continues fan film web series and a sequel to "Who Mourns for Adonais?". In 2014, due to a scheduling conflict, the convention was moved to the first week of June as opposed to Memorial Day weekend. The convention also expanded its presence into the South and West buildings of the convention center, as well as nearby hotels including the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Marriott Renaissance Hotel and Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. The 2015 and 2016 convention took place the weekend after Memorial Day weekend at the Phoenix Convention Center, and further utilized the convention facilities, including expanding to the third level ballroom in order to accommodate a larger amount of attendees for popular media guests.

Beginning in 2017, the convention again took place on Memorial Day weekend at the Phoenix Convention Center, with the same being true through at least 2019.

On May 25, 2017, the first day of the convention, a man was arrested after posting to Facebook his intent to kill police officers, and was found in possession of several firearms and knives. The man believed he was the Punisher, and intended to kill bad police officers, along with actor Jason David Frank, who was attending the convention as a guest. Security changes were made for the event to include the banning of prop weapons primarily relating to any sort of gun which included cardboard and foam. Other weapons needed to be deemed safe by security. Although vendors were still allowed to sell toy weapons, they were to be sealed and to be taken off the premises immediately after purchase. These new rules also resulted in the cancellation of several panels focussed on making prop weapons. The attendance for the convention showed a steady decline the following days after.

In January 2018, the convention was renamed Phoenix Comic Fest. This is to avoid use of the term "Comic con", which is a registered trademark of San Diego Comic-Con International that was recently upheld by a U.S. court in a lawsuit against Salt Lake Comic Con. Bracelets were to be given to attendees in place of laminated passes. Saturday of the con, a fire alarm caused an evacuation just before 8pm, many fans stayed just outside the convention center. At 9:30pm though it was determined as a false alarm, what was left of the scheduling for Saturday night had to be cancelled and rescheduled for safety reasons. The following morning it was announced that attendees who had purchased a Saturday pass were able to trade in for a Sunday pass as compensation for Saturday's incident. The convention hours were extended as well. During the 2018 convention, it was announced that the convention would again be renamed in 2019, taking the name Phoenix Fan Fusion.

There was one casualty to this fan fusion: in 2020 when officials saw the COVID-19 pandemic as grounds for scrapping. That was deferred to 2021.


Stan Lee at Phoenix Comicon by Gage Skidmore
Stan Lee addressing attendees at the 2014 Phoenix Comicon.

Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, evenings at the convention include events such as themed prom parties, the annual Masquerade costume contest, and a Film Festival with several different prize opportunities.

In 2014, Phoenix Comicon also began a partnership with NASA, allowing attendees to participate in the FameLab program, as well as hear from NASA representatives at various panels throughout the convention. Phoenix Comicon also partnered with media guests and entertainers to offer special events outside the convention, including a performance by Brian Posehn, Myq Kaplan and Mike Drucker for their comedy group Comedy Mutant, as well as a one-man performance of Star Wars, presented by Charlie Ross.

Like most comic-book conventions, Phoenix Comicon features a large floor space for exhibitors. These include media companies, as well as comic-book dealers and collectibles merchants. And like most comics conventions, Phoenix Comicon includes an autograph and photo opportunity area, as well as the Artists' Alley where comics artists can sign autographs and sell or do free sketches.

The convention also offers attendees the chance to purchase exclusive collectibles. Most such exclusives are licensed properties of movie, comic book, and animation characters.

For the first time ever, Phoenix Comicon held a separate event in December 2014, titled Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The convention functioned as a smaller version of Phoenix Comicon, maintaining its usual elements of panels, workshops, and exhibitors, while expanding its focus on comic book artists, and fan interaction with its various media guests. Convention organizers stated that they saw a desire from their audience to host a convention in Arizona during the winter, but due to costs involved with renting the Phoenix Convention Center, and blocking off rooms at nearby hotels, the decision was made to host the Fan Fest in Glendale at University of Phoenix Stadium. Several television and media guests attended the first ever Fan Fest, including David Ramsey, Colin Baker and Michael Biehn, among others, including several dozen comic book artists and creators. In 2016, the Fan Fest was moved to the Phoenix Convention Center, and took place in October, rather than December. The Fan Fest event was officially canceled by Square Egg Entertainment in June 2018.


Phoenix Fan Fusion/Comicon/Comic Fest

Date Location Attendance Special Guests
1 June 2002 Best Western Hotel,
Ahwatukee, AZ
432 None
2 April 2003 Glendale Civic Center 780 None
3 April 2004 Glendale Civic Center 690 None
4 April 2005 Glendale Civic Center 680 Todd Nauck, Marv Wolfman
5 September 23–24, 2006 Mesa Convention Center 2,600 Christine Auten, Greg Ayres, Josh Blaylock, Johnny Yong Bosch, Shannon Denton, Eyeshine, Christy Lijewski, Jen Quick, Armand Villavert Jr.
6 January 27–28, 2007 Mesa Convention Center 3,200 Shannon Denton, Crispin Freeman, Tiffany Grant, Matt Greenfield, M. Alice LeGrow, Angel Medina, Vic Mignogna, George Pérez, Jen Quick, Amy Reeder Hadley, among others.
7 January 26–27, 2008 Mesa Convention Center 5,200 Maral Agnerian, Greg Ayres, David Beaty, Jeremy Bulloch, Svetlana Chmakova, Luci Christian, Shannon Denton, Walter Koenig, Jeph Loeb, Peter Mayhew, Ed McGuinness, Dawn "Kaijugal" McKechnie, Angel Medina, Michelle Ruff, Armand Villavert Jr., Mark Waid, Wil Wheaton, Andrew Wheelan, among others.
8 January 23–25, 2009 Mesa Convention Center 7,000 David Beaty, Lou Ferrigno, Tiffany Grant, Erin Gray, Matt Greenfield, Reuben Langdon, Yuri Lowenthal, Tara Platt, Christophe Tang, Wil Wheaton, among others.
9 May 28–30, 2010 Phoenix Convention Center,
Hyatt Regency Hotel
13,988 Stan Lee, Wil Wheaton, Lou Ferrigno, LeVar Burton, Felicia Day, Jonathan Frakes, Genie Francis, James Marsters, Philip Tan, Greg Capullo, Mike McFarland, John Scalzi, among others.
10 May 26–29, 2011 Phoenix Convention Center,
Hyatt Regency Hotel
23,001 Stan Lee, Wil Wheaton, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Sandeep Parikh, Jeff Lewis, Cassandra Peterson, Billy Dee Williams, Paul McGillion, Todd McFarlane, Max Brooks, Bruce Boxleitner, Jaime Paglia, Aaron Douglas, Alex Albrecht, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Vic Mignogna, Kazha, Brina Palencia, Ernie Hudson, John Scalzi, Cherie Priest, Robert J. Sawyer, among others.
11 May 24–27, 2012 Phoenix Convention Center,
Hyatt Regency Hotel
32,127 William Shatner, Ed Asner, George Pérez, Greg Horn, Yvonne Navarro, Jeff Mariotte, Jeremy Bulloch, Vic Mignogna, Kazha, Arthur Suydam, Gil Gerard, Erin Gray, James A. Owen, Gini Koch, Billy Tucci, Weston Ochse, Tony Amendola, Stuart Immonen, Kathryn Immonen, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Colin Ferguson, David Finch, Garth Ennis, Craig W. Chenery, Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Lou Ferrigno, Jon Bernthal, among others.
12 May 23–26, 2013 Phoenix Convention Center,
Hyatt Regency Hotel,
Marriott Renaissance Hotel
55,313 John Barrowman, Nichelle Nichols, J. Michael Straczynski, Bill Mumy, Claudia Christian, Jerry Doyle, Peter Jurasik, Jason Carter, Robin Atkin Downes, Andrea Thompson, Michael Forest, Tracy Scoggins, Julie Caitlin Brown, Mira Furlan, Walter Koenig, Pat Tallman, Stephen Furst, Cindy Morgan, Garrett Wang, Kristin Bauer, Amanda Tapping, Jewel Staite, Sam Witwer, Michael Rooker, Alexis Tipton, Gigi Edgley, David Franklin, Dean Cain, Chandler Riggs, Laurie Holden, Yuri Lowenthal, Vic Mignogna, Tara Platt, Grant Imahara, Wil Wheaton, Chris Gore, Tara Strong, among others.
13 June 5–8, 2014 Phoenix Convention Center,
Hyatt Regency Hotel,
Marriott Renaissance Hotel,
Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel
77,818 Bruce Campbell, Nathan Fillion, John Barrowman, Adam West, John Rhys-Davies, Mark Sheppard, Don Rosa, Mark Bagley, Patrick Rothfuss, Danny Glover, John Ratzenberger, Stan Lee, Brian Posehn, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Todd McFarlane, Walter Jones, David Yost, Austin St. John, Richard Dean Anderson, Charlaine Harris, Manu Bennett, Dean Lorey, Crispin Freeman, Jim Butcher, Todd Haberkorn, Jason Spisak, Cary Elwes, Stephen Amell, Michael Rooker, Kelly Le Brock, Catherine Bach, Amber Benson, Dean Lorey, Sonny Strait, Paul and Storm, among others.
14 May 28–31, 2015 Phoenix Convention Center,
Hyatt Regency Hotel,
Marriott Renaissance Hotel,
Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel
75,501 Summer Glau, Jason Momoa, Paul Cornell, Mike Zeck, Edward James Olmos, Charisma Carpenter, Renee Witterstaetter, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jim Beaver, William Tucci, Scott Sigler, Lou Ferrigno, Weston Ochse, Yvonne Navarro, Van Jensen, Michael Shanks, Alexis Denisof, Alyson Hannigan, Barry Bostwick, Christopher Lloyd, Chuck Huber, Danielle Panabaker, David Morrissey, Jason Isaacs, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Lexa Doig, Mary McDonnell, Max Brooks, Nell Campbell, Patricia Quinn, Ron Perlman, Tom Kane, Roger L. Jackson, Veronica Taylor, Vic Mignogna, Todd Haberkorn, Chris Doohan, Michele Specht, David Baron, John Layman, Mike S. Miller, Brian Pulido, Art Adams, Todd Nauck, Eric Basaldua, Michael A. Stackpole, Bret Blevins, Joel Gomez, Don Rosa, Jacen Burrows, Brett Booth, Jae Lee, Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá, Jim Steranko, Norm Rapmund, Rafael Albuquerque, Ryan Ottley, Tim Vigil, among others.
15 June 2–5, 2016 Phoenix Convention Center,
Hyatt Regency Hotel
106,096 Alex Kingston, Billie Piper, Oded Fehr, Mark Pellegrino, Timothy Omundson, Bob Morley, Arryn Zech, Caitlin Glass, Caity Lotz, Dan Starkey, David Fielding, David Ramsey, D. C. Douglas, Emma Caulfield, Eve Myles, Gates McFadden, Glenn Morshower, James Marsters, Jess Harnell, Kane Hodder, Sam Jones, Patrick Rothfuss, George Perez, Kara Ashley, Ksenia Solo, Lee Majors, Lindsay Wagner, Martin Kove, Maurice LaMarche, Neve McIntosh, Nolan North, Ralph Macchio, Robert Beltran, Sean Astin, Tony Todd, Troy Baker, William Zabka, Mike Zeck, among others.
16 May 25–28, 2017 Phoenix Convention Center,
Hyatt Regency Hotel
80,703 Dick Van Dyke, Alan Tudyk, Karen Gillan, Bonnie Wright, Jon Bernthal, Elden Henson, Kevin Conroy, PJ Haarsma, Gabriel Luna, Curtis Armstrong, Danny Trejo, Anthony Michael Hall, Vic Mignogna, Sean Schemmel, Christopher Sabat, Todd Haberkorn, Teddy Sears, Karen David, John de Lancie, Osric Chau, David Anders, Sean Maguire, Rachel Skarsten, Michael Rosenbaum, Neal McDonough, Ciara Renée, Garrett Wang, Robert Duncan McNeill, Jason David Frank, Osric Chau, Ryan Hurst, Peter David, Robin Hobb, Terry Brooks, Michael A. Stackpole, Arthur Suydam, Norm Rapmund, Dan Jurgens, Diane Pershing, Diana Gabaldon, Kevin J. Anderson, Timothy Zahn, Dan Wells, Jim Shooter, Jae Lee, Frank Beddor, Sam Sykes, Myke Cole, Pierce Brown, Jim Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, among others.
17 May 24–27, 2018 Phoenix Convention Center 57,853 Tim Curry, William Shatner, Wil Wheaton, Michael Rooker, Dan Fogler, Sean Gunn, Greg Grunberg, Jason David Frank, Jeremy Bulloch, Michael Chiklis, Ming-Na Wen, Sean Maher, Adelaide Kane, Eddie McClintock, Graham McTavish, Manu Bennett, Linda Larkin, Paige O'Hara, Rebekah McKendry, Sam J. Jones, Charles Martinet, Bryce Papenbrook, Trina Nishimura, Barbara Dunkelman, Justin Briner, Steve Blum, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Greg Capullo, Scott Snyder, Jae Lee, Alan Davis, Todd McFarlane, Bob Camp, Brian Azzarello, Brian Pulido, Dan Parent, James Tynion IV, Marguerite Bennett, Mark Farmer, Klaus Janson, Adi Granov, Christopher Paolini, Cory Doctorow, Melissa Marr, Diana Gabaldon, Sam Sykes, Myke Cole, Alan Dean Foster, V. E. Schwab, Emily Devenport, Gail Carriger, Jody Lynn Nye, John Scalzi, Melinda M. Snodgrass, L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Mercedes Lackey, Sylvain Neuvel, Aprilynne Pike, Chuck Wendig, Delilah S. Dawson, Jeffrey Brown, Joseph Nassise, Michael A. Stackpole, Larry Dixon, Yvonne Navarro, among others.
18 May 23- 26, 2019 Phoenix Convention Center Adam Savage, Amy Jo Johnson, Arryn Zech, Barbara Dunkelman, Billy Dee Williams, Brian Herring, Catherine Tate, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Sabat, Elijah Wood, Garrett Wang, George Takei, James Rallison, Jeff Goldblum, Jeremy Shada, John Barrowman, Kara Eberle, Lucie Pohl, Matthew Lewis, Nichelle Nichols, Paul Reubens, Phi Phi O'Hara, Ray Park, Robin Lord Taylor, Samantha Ireland, Steve Cardenas, Summer Glau, Tom Kenny, Walter Koenig, among others.
19 28–30 May 2021 (no 2020 fusion) Phoenix Convention Center Clark Gregg, John Dimaggio, Ant Lucia, Ron Lim, Heartless Aquarius, among others

Phoenix Fan Fest

Date10/24/2020 Location Glendale, Arizona Attendance one Special Guests Gail Lockley
1 December 12–14, 2014 University of Phoenix Stadium 11,403 David Ramsey, Colin Baker, Paul McGann, Tom Skerritt, Ben Browder, Michael Biehn, Jennifer Blanc, Eddie McClintock, Linda Blair, Jae Lee, Bob Layton, Norm Rapmund, Neal Adams, James A. Owen, among others.
2 December 4–6, 2015 University of Phoenix Stadium,
Renaissance Hotel Glendale
Unknown Karen Gillan, Sean Maher, Alaina Huffman, Julian Richings, Gareth David-Lloyd, Dirk Benedict, Denise Crosby, W. Morgan Sheppard, Kevin Sorbo, Alan Oppenheimer, Melendy Britt, Tom Lenk, Tim Seeley, Aaron Lopresti, Don Rosa, Frank Beddor, among others.
3 October 22–23, 2016 Phoenix Convention Center Unknown Millie Bobby Brown, John Cena, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Daniel Bryan, Brett Dalton, Elizabeth Henstridge, David Harbour, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Bob Layton, Tahmoh Penikett, The Honky Tonk Man, Tim Rose, among others.
4 November 11–12, 2017 Phoenix Convention Center Unknown Ernie Hudson, Zach Callison, Mara Wilson, AJ Michalka, Kevin McNally, Mallory Jansen, Gail Kim, Lisa Marie Varon, Grace Rolek, Peter Ostrum, Julie Dawn Cole, Denise Nickerson, Paris Themmen, James A. Owen, Aprilynne Pike, among others.
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