Alex Wilson writes;
Phoenix Comic Con has wrapped up for another year as we prepare for more upcoming conventions. (My next is San Diego.) This convention draws around 30,000 attendees which is just under half of what C2E2 draws. A convention this size gives fans a chance to actually meet with artists and writers and have a conversation. I enjoy this aspect. San Diego is so busy. Everyone is running around, trying to meet people, trying to get to signings, trying to get to panels. Phoenix is big enough for a good number of quality creators to attend but small enough where you can have an intimate and worthwhile conversation.
My Sunday convention started out as many of my Sunday conventions do. I woke up early, finished an article, took a shower, and frantically shoved everything I had brought and purchased into my suitcase. I checked out of the hotel and head over to the convention center for one last day of Phoenix Comic Con.
I always find conventions on Sunday to be bitter sweet. On one hand I go home, sleep in my own bed, and say hello to my dog. On the other hand I say goodbye to friends until the next convention and even though my feet kill at the end of every day, I have unimaginable amounts of fun. I think many people feel this way. Conventions such as these foster community for people who may not have a community they lean on. Growing up, I was one of the few geeky people I knew and the only one who read comic books. Going to San Diego Comic Con for the first time showed me other people had this interest and to even more extreme degrees than myself.
I think conventions, for me, are about the aspect of meeting new people and forming relationships. I’ve met some great friends through conventions and had other relationships grow and blossom in ways they wouldn’t have without attending.
I will admit the wonder, which filled my eyes the first time I stepped on the San Diego Comic Con show floor, has dimmed over the years. I have become jaded with long lines, flights, and the fact I mostly end up working these conventions now. I still find enjoyment, though. I still find the sense of community that I find to be vital to the industry we all inhabit and love. We may not all like The Walking Dead or what’s happening in Action Comics. I know friends who divide themselves between DC and Marvel and those who abstain as Image fans (ME!) but at conventions we can all come together and realize how amazing we are and how much influence our industry has in this world.