The numbers are in! Attendance for Phoenix Comicon 2012 was 32,000; up from the 2011 attendance of approximately 24,000!
Even though the economy is not doing too well, people chose to attend the convention, whether they were local residents, traveling from the east coast of the United States, or around the world for the fun in Phoenix Arizona, May 24-27 2012!
People, both celebrities and fans came from all over the world to visit the Phoenix Convention Center to see actors from various television shows. Science fiction fans came to the event so that they could dress up in their favorite Cosplay costumes.
Many dressed up as characters from graphic novels, comics, anime, and television series. Some came just to play their favorite video games.
The major attention grabbers of this convention were cast members from Star Trek The Next Generation and Eureka (Saturday). Science fiction legend William Shatner of Star Trek TOS also appeared on Saturday. The one-hour panels for the shows were held in the main ballroom which had a seating capacity of 4,000.
Some actors had separate panels in smaller rooms. Those panels were also very well attended with stand room only. Celebrities, Levar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, and Colin Ferguson were all very popular and very well attended.
Another panel that met capacity was the “Women of Sci Fi” panel. Dina Meyer of Starship Troopers, Debrah Farentino of Eureka and Earth 2, Salli Richardson-Whitfield of Eureka and Stargate SG-1, and, of course Erin Gray of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century were in attendance. Debrah mentioned gleefully that this was her first convention.
Not only is it the 25th anniversary of Star Trek The Next Generation, it is the 15th anniversary of Starship Troopers. Casper Van Dien and Dina Meyer were the panelists for this science fiction classic. I missed this panel in the ballroom due to a panel conflict with Herbert Jefferson Jr. who played Boomer on the original Battlestar Galactica series, however we include a portion of the panel below for your enjoyment.
Memorable Moments From the Panels:
At the Women of Sci Fi panel it was absolutely awesome to see Dina, Debrah, Salli, and Erin onstage together.
Michael Dorn said that he wants to produce and star in a Star Trek television movie or DVD where Worf is captain of his own ship.
Erin Gray said she was honored to play a female lead in a television series at a time when it was shunned. She was a domestic violence survivor from her first marriage.
Herbert Jefferson Jr. said that the original Battlestar Galacticacast members would not object to appearing in another BSG movie or series.
During the Eureka panel when Jaime Paglia, Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Debrah Farentino and Wil Wheaton walked out onstage, the crowd booed because Colin and Wil were wearing LA Kings hockey jerseys. That is just not done in Phoenix Coyote country!
Tony Amendola of Stargate SG-1 ended up as a panel of one because Alexis Cruz, who was to co-host the panel had to cancel his convention appearance. However it is always nice to see Master Bra’tac. Tony did a great job!
Star Trek The Next Generation celebrated the 25th anniversary of the series at the convention. Marina Sirtis said in her panel on Saturday that her worst moment in TNG was being raped twice: once in the series and then in the movie Nemesis.
Gil Gerard of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century said that he shut down production of Buck Rogers to make sure background performers included women as crew members. He thought it was not right that Erin Gray was the only female on set, and only in a military role.
He also said that the Buck Rogers series is not owned by any studio and so he is writing a four-book story arc that goes back in time to find out what happens to Earth during the 500 years Buck was in suspended animation before arriving in the 25th century.
On the Battlestar Galactica panel with Jamie Bamber, he said his daughter is bilingual. She speaks American-English and Anglo-English.
Closing my report on the fantastic fun this year, we include a fun look from inside Phoenix Comicon at the elegantly appointed Phoenix Convention Center. The venue is a place of pure enjoyment!
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