Phoenix’s geek scene is gearing up for the Cons to return


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For local geeks, the wait is almost over. As the pandemic continues to subside, conventions and other nerdy gatherings are returning to Metro Phoenix starting in July.

Over the next few weeks and months, local events like the horror-themed Mad Monster Party Arizona, anime-centric Saboten Con, and Arizona Toy Con will all be held as promoters and corporations pick up where they left off before COVID-19 aired- 19 moved the geek scene to the Phantom Zone for over a year.

(And it’s not just in the Valley. Notable events like Anime Matsuri in Houston this summer and the famous New York Comic Con in October will have in-person versions this year, albeit with reduced capacity and social distancing.)

Some of the Valley’s biggest downsides (like Phoenix Fan Fusion) are especially cautious and won’t happen until 2022, while Greg Fennell, one of the organizers of Saboten Con, and other local promoters think it’s safe enough to move on with theirs Events.

“Depending on the level we are at [with COVID-19]We have certain things that must be followed so that we can react quickly to every place we are in when we open the doors [our show] this year, ”said Fennell on Facebook in April.

Here’s a look at the latest news from the Valley’s geek scene, including information on summer, fall, and early 2022 events.

Costumed attendees of the Mad Monster Party Arizona in 2018.EXPAND

Costumed attendees of the Mad Monster Party Arizona in 2018.

Benjamin Ledermann

Mad Monster Party Arizona completes guest line-up

If you’ve always wanted an audience with the King of Hell (without enduring fire, brimstone, and utter damnation), this year’s Mad Monster Party Arizona gives you the chance … more or less. Famous character actor Mark Sheppard, who played the insidious Crowley in Supernatural, will be one of the biggest special guests at the event, which takes place Friday July 2nd through Sunday July 4th at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel in Glendale.

Other actors to appear in the 2021 version of Mad Monster Party Arizona that celebrates horror fandom include Matthew Lillard of Scooby Doo, James Remar of Dexter, Screams Skeet Ulrich, and PJ Soles of Halloween. The organizers recently added a few additional names to the lineup, including Doug Bradley (who starred as Pinhead in the first three Hellraiser films) and actress Felissa Rose from the 1983 cult film Sleepaway Camp.

One-day admission to Mad Monster Party Arizona 2021 is $ 30 to $ 40 upfront, three-day passes are $ 80, and a perk-loaded “RIP” package is $ 199. Masking is compulsory and social distancing is observed.

Bill Colonel Jr. arrives at Phoenix Fearcon X.

Mad Monster won’t be the only horror festival in the Valley anytime soon, as Phoenix Fearcon X will haunt the Sun Studios of Arizona in Tempe on Friday October 15 and Saturday October 16, Colonel Jr. – a star out there Iconic horror films such as 3 From Hell, Werewolf Rising, Devil’s Junction and Scary or Die – will appear at the event and possibly perform his off-Broadway solo piece “Ray Bradbury’s Pillar of Fire”. “

Oberst joins a special guest list that already includes names like Fred Williamson from From Dusk Till Dawn, Reggie Bannister from the Phantasm series and Troma Entertainment co-founder and director Lloyd Kaufman. Tickets for Phoenix Fearcon X are $ 30 daily, $ 50 for the weekend, or $ 75 for VIP entry. Further details about the event can be found here.

Anime fans will flock to Saboten Con in September.EXPAND

Anime fans will flock to Saboten Con in September.

Benjamin Ledermann

Saboten Con day passes are now on sale

Local anime fans who want to show off their costumes or hang out with other otaku can now purchase tickets for Saboten Con 2021, which runs from Friday September 3 to Monday September 6 (also known as Labor Day weekend) at Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel takes place.

For those of you who aren’t weeaboos, Saboten Con is the largest anime event in Arizona, drawing more than 10,000 visitors each year. However, the organizers have reduced capacity for this year’s event and will use other safety measures such as social distancing. Admission costs are $ 25 for Friday, $ 35 for Saturday and Sunday, and $ 20 for Monday. A full event pass is $ 55. Full details can be found here.

Arizona Toy Con takes place in August

Are you in the market for vintage toys or collectibles to add to your growing collection? The annual Arizona Toy Con has announced that its 2021 edition will take place on Saturday, August 28th, at the Glendale Civic Center. As in previous years, dozens of vendors and collectors will have tables of old-school Star Wars, Transformers, and GI Joe items for sale, as well as a variety of video games, decorative items, and more modern toys for sale. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and entry is $ 5 per person.

Cosplayers spotted at the 2020 Tempe FanCon.EXPAND

Cosplayers spotted at the 2020 Tempe FanCon.

Benjamin Ledermann

Announced Tempe FanCon 2022

January 2022 will be a busy month for local geeks and cosplayers. In addition to the long-awaited return of Phoenix Fan Fusion, the decidedly smaller Tempe FanCon 2022 will also take place. Held in the courtyard of the Tempe Public Library, the family-friendly event features a mix of local vendors, performances by artists and writers, children’s activities, and a multi-category costume competition. Library officials recently announced that the 2022 edition is scheduled for Saturday, January 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participation is free. (Here you can find our photos of the event from 2020.)

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Benjamin Leatherman is a writer for Phoenix New Times. It covers the local nightlife, music, culture, geekery and fringe activities.

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