PHOENIX — If you see the Avengers strolling through downtown Phoenix this weekend, fear not. The world is not in danger. It’s probably just some people headed to Phoenix Comicon.
The annual convention for everything comics, TV and movies kicked off Thursday at the Convention Center, located near Third and Washington streets. It runs until Monday.
Over the four-day event, thousands of people are expected to pour into downtown. Last year, more than 100,000 people attended Comicon.
But even with the event’s growing popularity, a lot of people are still in the dark about what exactly Comicon is, so, without further ado, here is everything you need to know about Phoenix Comicon.
What is it?
Comicon is a four-day event that, as we said, celebrates everything in comics, television and movies. But that’s not it. Other forms of entertainment — such as video games, animation and writing — also play a big part.
The first Phoenix Comicon was held in 2002. Since its humble beginnings as a six-hour comic book convention in Ahwatukee, it has grown to a multi-day event held in the heart of downtown Phoenix.
Comicon has a lot of different events going on under the same roof. While some people are there to take in the sights, others will attend panels, seminars and workshops hosted by famous actors, writers and directors. Others will attend after parties and costume contests.
The event also includes thousands of booths selling everything from comic books and game pieces to movie souvenirs and clothing.
Numerous related events will be held in locations throughout downtown.
Wait, famous people will be there?
Comicon is known for hosting a long list of celebrities in its series of panels, seminars and workshops, giving fans access to some of their favorite actors, artists or writers.
Arguably the most famous person at this year’s event will be Hollywood legend Dick Van Dyke, who will appear during a panel on Saturday.
But he’s far from the only household name — or at least someone that makes you say, “Hey! It’s that guy/gal!”
Karen Gillan, who starred in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” will be at Comicon on Sunday.
Ryan Hurst, who played Opie in television’s “Sons of Anarchy” and appeared in smash-hit movies such as “Remember the Titans” and “Saving Private Ryan,” is expected to host a panel on Friday and will be doing autograph signings all weekend.
Danny Trejo, who has been gracing the big and small screens since the 1980s, will be at Comicon all weekend long.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A long list of other actors, comic book artists and writers will appear all weekend long.
OK, so what’s the deal with the costumes?
Comicon is a place for people to celebrate all things geek and some people choose to dress up.
Dressing up for Comicon is typically considered costume play, or cosplay for short. Some people grab a costume at the store while others spend months or years crafting their outfits.
The event encourages people to wear costumes to the event — even something from last Halloween — because it adds to the atmosphere.
However, there are some restrictions in place when it comes to costumes.
Comicon officials announced Thursday that no props would be allowed after a man who was armed with four guns — including a shotgun — was arrested inside the event.
My costume has a coat. Will it be hot?
The National Weather Service is calling for highs between 91 and 103 degrees this weekend. Attendees should drink plenty of water and be prepared to wait in long lines.
Sounds fun. How much are tickets?
There are multiple types of tickets to Comicon.
Tickets for the event are still available. Single-day admittance starts at $20. The full weekend pass is $65.
A fast pass is $299. It includes special lines for autographs and pictures, a $25 merchandise voucher and other perks.
Discount tickets for kids ages 3-12 are available for $10 and include all four days. Children 2 and under get in for free.
How do I get there?
Comicon is held at the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown, which should be a bit quieter this weekend as the Arizona Diamondbacks are on a road trip.
However, a lot of people will be heading down there. Comicon has struck a deal with several parking lots for attendees to pre-purchase a spot.
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