It was hot. Sweltering. Within minutes of getting into my cosplay, I was already sweating, and I hadn’t even left for the con yet.
That’s Phoenix for you, though, and the record heat during the event (June 2-5) did nothing to deter gamers, collectors, and cosplayers alike.
Phoenix Comicon has come a long way from 2002, when there were less than 500 in attendance. In 2014, attendees were astounded at the then-record attendance of 77,818, but that wasn’t all for the southwest’s premiere pop culture event. No, the convention wasn’t about to let the increasingly-high weather projections stop them from blowing their previous record out of the water (or perhaps I should say, “out of the sand”).
Phoenix Comicon 2016 brought 106,096 unique attendees! Per a press release by Communications Coordinator Tom Kuipers, this number includes: “all persons including paid and complimentary attendance, exhibitors, guests, volunteers, panelists, professionals, media, along with our sidekick and children attendance.”
As one of the 106,096 attendees at this year’s Phoenix Comicon, I can attest to the sheer magnitude of people at the con. Congoers were not intimidated by the record triple-digit heat, opting to bring water bottles for hydration. The con must go on!
Phoenix Comicon’s next gathering, Keen Halloween (scheduled for September 24th & 25th), and its winter offshoot con, Fan Fest (October 22nd & 23rd) both received attention at Phoenix Comicon in the form of exhibitor hall booths and special panels.
How many attendees will next year bring? It’s hard to say, but one thing is certain: even the heat of the desert can’t compete with how hot Phoenix Comicon is!