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Phoenix Fan Fusion

Overview

Phoenix Fan Fusion (phoenixfanfusion.com) is the largest pop culture convention in Arizona, smaller only as a fandom event than the Tucson Festival of Books.

History

Phoenix Fan Fusion has changed a lot over the years. It began as a comic book convention called Phoenix Cactus Comicon, run by Matt Solberg over six hours at the Best Western in Ahwatukee. It remained under this name for six years, moving to Glendale and then Mesa as it outgrew its venues.

It was renamed to Phoenix Comicon during the run-up to the 2008 event, but late enough that all the published material continued with the old name. This happened halfway through its four year run at the Mesa Convention Center, with the last year there being the first fully branded as Phoenix Comicon.

Consistent growth meant that, by 2014, it was a major pop culture event on a national scale that sprawled over four venues in downtown Phoenix and was attended by over 75,000 attendees. At its peak in 2016, it topped 100,000 but Solberg still runs the event personally today.

In 2018 it was renamed to Phoenix Comic Fest. This was to avoid any potential future litigation in the wake of the court case that upheld Comic-Con International's trademark of 'Comic-Con' and its variants. Because of a number of issues in 2017, including a heavily armed attendee who planned to assassinate the Green Power Ranger, all activity was also consolidated into the Phoenix Convention Center for 2018.

After only a year as Phoenix Comic Fest, it was renamed once again to Phoenix Fan Fusion, as part of a general re-branding that included a growing portfolio of events elsewhere.

Expansions

The first expansion was in 2008 when the parent organisation, Square Egg Entertainment (square-egg.com) created Saboten Con, an anime convention, to fill the gap created by the cancelled fourth AniZona. It also founded Con-Nichiwa, an equivalent event in Tucson, but Monkey Paw Entertainment took both over in 2010 and still runs them today.

Closer to the core of Phoenix Comicon, Square Egg added a smaller second local event, Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest, in the winter of 2014. This was renamed after two years to Phoenix Fan Fest, for the same reasons as the main event above, a rename that coincided with a move from the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale to the Phoenix Convention Center. It ended after two further years.

In 2015, it also partnered with Steam Crow to resurrect Keen Halloween, though that partnership only lasted a year, to be replaced by the quickly cancelled Thrill Halloween.

The Fan Fusion name first appeared during an expansion to other states. Minnesota Fan Fest was first held in 2017 but was renamed to Minnesota Fan Fusion in 2018, when Vegas Fan Fusion was also added to the calendar, though that event was cancelled before being held. However, the Square Egg site still (as of July 2019) lists their current event portfolio as Phoenix Fan Fusion, Minnesota Fan Fusion and Vegas Fan Fusion.


Most Recent Program Book Covers

Click on the images below to open larger versions.

History

Chronology of Arizona Conventions | Index of Program Books

Phoenix Cactus Comicon

# Date Location Chair Book Web Notes
1 2002
9 Jun
Best Western
Ahwatukee
Matt Solberg
2 2003
13 Apr
Glendale Civic Center
Glendale
Matt Solberg
3 2004
4 Apr
Glendale Civic Center
Glendale
Matt Solberg
4 2005
10 Apr
Glendale Civic Center
Glendale
Matt Solberg
5 2006
23 Sep
24 Sep
Mesa Convention Center
Mesa
Matt Solberg
16 MB
6 2007
27 Jan
28 Jan
Mesa Convention Center
Mesa
Matt Solberg
23 MB
7 2008
26 Jan
27 Jan
Mesa Convention Center
Mesa
Matt Solberg
33 MB

Phoenix Comicon

# Date Location Chair Book Web Notes
8 2009
23 Jan
25 Jan
Mesa Convention Center
Mesa
Matt Solberg
9 2010
28 May
30 May
Phoenix Convention Center
Hyatt Regency
Phoenix
Matt Solberg
5 MB
10 2011
26 May
29 May
Phoenix Convention Center
Hyatt Regency
Phoenix
Matt Solberg
16 MB
11 2012
24 May
27 May
Phoenix Convention Center
Hyatt Regency
Phoenix
Matt Solberg
12 2013
23 May
26 May
Phoenix Convention Center
Hyatt Regency
Marriott Renaissance
Phoenix
Matt Solberg
13 MB
13 2014
5 Jun
8 Jun
Phoenix Convention Center
Hyatt Regency
Marriott Renaissance
Sheraton Phoenix Downtown
Phoenix
Matt Solberg
14 2015
28 May
31 May
Phoenix Convention Center
Hyatt Regency
Marriott Renaissance
Sheraton Phoenix Downtown
Phoenix
Matt Solberg
24 MB
15 2016
2 Jun
5 Jun
Phoenix Convention Center
Hyatt Regency
Phoenix
Matt Solberg
14 MB
16 2017
25 May
28 May
Phoenix Convention Center
Hyatt Regency
Phoenix
Matt Solberg
50 MB

Phoenix Comic Fest

# Date Location Chair Book Web Notes
17 2018
24 May
27 May
Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix
Matt Solberg

Phoenix Fan Fusion

# Date Location Chair Book Web Notes
18 2019
23 May
26 May
Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix
Matt Solberg
107 MB
19 2020
21 May
24 May
Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix
Matt Solberg

Attendance

Phoenix Cactus Comicon

1 2 3 4 5 6
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
432 780 690 680 2,600 3,200

Phoenix Comicon

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
5,200 7,000 13,988 23,001 32,127 55,313 77,818 75,501 106,096 80,703

Phoenix Comic Fest

17
2018
57,853

Guests

Phoenix Comicon generally has too many guests to list in the table above. Here are the guests announced for each event:

2002: Todd Broeker, Jay Fotos, Bryan Kinnaird, Jim Mahfood, Mark Nicholas, Dantzelle Pettit, Amanda Ruiz and Roy Young.

2003: Matt Clark, Jim Mahfood, Mike Mayhew, Scott Morse, Todd Nauck, Cheyenne Silver, Billy Tan and Dave Wohl.

2004: Raven Gregory, Brandon Huigens, Herbert Jefferson Jr., Eric Mengel, Rob Osborne, Brian Pulido and Steve Rude.

2006: Terry Austin, A.C.T.O.R., Christine Auten, Greg Ayers, Frank Beddor, Joe Benitez, Christian Beranek, Jake Black, Josh Blaylook, Bret Blevins, Johnny Yong Bosch, Tim Bradstreet, Mike Bullock, Amanda Conner, Shannon Denton, Devil's Due Publishing, Firefly Path Girls, Jay Fotos, Justin Gray, Raven Gregory, Matt Jacobs, Nat Jones, Christy Lejewski, Mike Manley, Mike Mayhew, Josh Middleton, Marat Mychaels, Noel Neill, Steve Niles, Jimmy Palmiotti, Brian Pulido, Jen Lee Quick, Steve Rude, Tim Seeley, Billy Tan, Tim Vigil and Armand Villavert.

2007: Mathew Atherton, David Beaty, Derek Benz, Christian Beranek, Mike Bullock, Shannon Denton, Jay Fotos, Tess Fowler, Crispin Freeman, Tiffany Grant, Matt Greenfield, Amy Reeder Hadley, Phil Hester, Andy Kuhn, Jon S. Lewis, Rob Liefeld, Jeff Mariotte, Angel Medina, Mike Mignola, Vic Mignogna, Brian Miller, Marat Mychaels, Todd Nauck, Noel Neill, Rob Osborne, James Owen, Tony Parker, George Perez, Jen Lee Quick, Tone Rodriguez, Steve Rude, Mike Stackpole, Arthur Suydam, Joe & Tim Vigil, Len Wein, Dan Wickline and Lin Workman.

2008: Anime: Maral Agnerian, Yamila Abraham, Greg Ayres, Svetlana Chmakova, Luci Christian, Cosplay Zone, Amy Reeder Hadley, Dawn McKechnie, Midnight Mirage, Michelle Ruff, Armand Villavert, Jr. Authors: Derek Benz, P. J. Haarsma, J. S. Lewis, Madame M, Jeff Mariotte, James Owen. Comic: Sal Abbinanti, Jonnie Allan, Dave Beaty, Christian Beranek, Mike Bullock, Howard Chaykin, Ryan Cody, Clayton Crain, Steve Crompton, Daniel Davis, Shannon Denton, David Finch, Jay Fotos, Tess Fowler, Michael Golden, Raven Gregory, Jin Han, Tom Hodges, Mike Kunkel, Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness, Angel Medina, Brian & Kirsty Miller, Marat Mychaels, Tony Parker, Whilce Portacio, Brian Pulido, Tone Rodriguez, Don Rosa, Steve Rude, Patrick Scherberger, Arthur Suydam, Mark Texeira, Joe & Tim Vigil, Matt Wagner, Mark Waid, Dan Wickline, Renee Witterstaetter, Lin Workman. Media: David Ayres, Jeremy Bulloch, Lou Ferrigno, Walter Koenig, Peter Mayhew, Noel Neill, Tim Russ, Wil Wheaton.

Other Documents

Index of Ephemera

Phoenix Cactus Comicon 5

Postcard (2 MB)

Phoenix Cactus Comicon 7

Postcard (1 MB)

Phoenix Comicon 10

Promotional Guide (35 MB)

Phoenix Comicon 11

Promotional Guide 1 (31 MB)
Promotional Guide 2 (25 MB)

Phoenix Comicon 12

Promotional Guide (25 MB)

Phoenix Comicon 14

Events Deals (2 MB)
Promotional Guide (30 MB)

Phoenix Comicon 15

Promotional Guide (30 MB)

Program Book Covers

Click on the images below to open larger versions.



Creative Commons License
Last update: 10th July, 2019