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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, so that there was material published using both names that year. This happened halfway through its run at the Mesa Convention Center.

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 2014, when the parent organisation, Square Egg Entertainment (square-egg.com), added a smaller second local event, Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest. 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 years.

In 2015, it also partnered with Steam Crow to resurrect Keen Halloween, though that partnership only lasted a year, to be followed 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 it was cancelled before being held. However the Square Egg site still 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
6 2007
27 Jan
28 Jan
Mesa Convention Center
Mesa
Matt Solberg

Phoenix Comicon

# Date Location Chair Book Web Notes
7 2008
26 Jan
27 Jan
Mesa Convention Center
Mesa
Matt Solberg
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

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, Jake Black, Josh Blaylook, Bret Blevins, Johnny Yong Bosch, Mike Bullock, Amanda Conner, Shannon Denton, Ron Garney, Justin Gray, Raven Gregory, M. Alice Legrow, Marat Mychaels, Jimmy Palmiotti, Brian Pulido, Steve Rude and Billy Tan.

Other Documents

Index of Ephemera

Phoenix Comicon 14

Events Deals (2 MB)
Flyer (30 MB)

Phoenix Comicon 15

Flyer (30 MB)

Program Book Covers

Click on the images below to open larger versions.



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Last update: 20th May, 2019