This past weekend I was THRILLED to attend ACE ComicCon AZ!
This was ACE’s second time in Arizona and my first time attending any of their events. My overall sentiment is that the big name stars, minimal lines, abundance of seating, and quality artists make it the con experience every nerd hopes and dreams for!
Let me walk you through a brief overview of the weekend to let you know why I came to that conclusion.
The guest line up included A-List Hollywood stars from some of today’s hottest movies and tv series. This bold and streamlined list makes ACE stand out from other cons from the get-go. David Tennant (Doctor Who) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) were my top priorities, but also in attendance were Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) , Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Taron Egerton (Robin Hood), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), and WWE Superstars Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, and Lilian Garcia. In addition, there were some very talented artists who had panels where you could watch live painting/sketching/sculpting.
I’ve never been to a con set up quite like this one. The venue, Gila River Arena, is the Hockey arena where the Phoenix Coyotes play. Immediately upon walking into the main concourse level, Artist Alley greeted you with booths sprinkled completely around the circumference of the arena. The quality of artists was superb and it was really a treat to see so much amazing art. Also, there were boxing dinosaurs!
The upper concourse housed even more venders! Up there you could find nerdy green screens where you could get free photos, costume groups, puppies for adoption and, of course, more geeky merchandise.
MAIN STAGE & CELEBRITY AUTOGRAPHS/PHOTO OPS
The main stage was situated on the lowest floor lever taking up approximately half of the arena. The best seats were on the floor, but with this unique setup and strategically placed screens you could watch programming from almost anywhere in the arena, even the vendor and artist areas! Chairs were abundantly available and it was so nice not to have to worry about getting into a panel. Since there was only programming on the main stage there was none of the stress that comes with trying to choose between panels and running like a maniac to try to get from one panel to the next.
The other half of the main floor was where the celebrity autographs and photo ops were. I didn’t get either this time, but by all appearances this aspect of the con seemed to be running smooth as well.
I would recommend this con for any and all nerds. I think it would be particularly appealing for noobs as it’s less intimidating and easier to navigate than other cons I’ve been to. Another thing I really appreciated was the clear and concise communication from the ACE team. Whether it was email, social media, loud speaker announcements or the friendly staff you always knew what was going on and that was certainly refreshing. Not to mention that all of the programming was live-streamed on Facebook!
I sincerely hope this is the first of many encounters with ACE Comic Con!
Be sure to check out aceuniverse.com for all of their latest updates and stay tuned for the Nerd of Pardise podcast episode covering this con!