Comic and Media Expo 2015: Check out all the stuff!
One of the main reasons we attend conventions is for the stuff. Missing that all important issue in your comic collection? Go to a con. Looking for the latest awesome figurine of your favorite hero/heroine? You’ll find it at a con. Hoping to get more involved in your community?…there are several charity/community service cosplay groups at the con.
Without the vendors and exhibitors at con’s we would just be a massive group of geeks, most in costume, milling about, and talking to each other (not that that is a bad thing). Most of us go hoping to find that ‘must have’ bit of precious, and meet the people behind our favorite comics, movies, and t.v. shows. Comic and Media Expo, though small in size, was a great chance to accomplish that very goal.
One of the first tables I saw in the vendors’ hall was Sci-Fi Cards.
Ed Webb, the “Head Alien” (because he does everything for his business), specializes in trading cards, but says he occasionally mixes up his inventory. Case in point, he had some really shiny Firefly merchandise.
I absolutely had to get a pack of the Firefly playing cards. It helped make up for me not being able to attend the Browncoat Ball this year – run by a very dear friend, and her amazing crew, in Virginia Beach. Sci-Fi Cards has been in business since 2000. While Mr. Webb doesn’t have a physical store, he does have a consignment case at a co-op on 43rd Ave and Bell Rd in Phoenix. You can also check out www.scifi.cards
On the hall’s north side I saw Heroes United AZ.
This group of about 70 cosplayers collect donations for St. Vincent de Paul, and visit local childrens’ hospitals. While they are primarily Phoenix based, they have sister groups in Tucson, and in Colorado. The Heroes have been together for about a year, and do not limit their members to just the superhero genre. Because of the diverse interests of geeks, group members will cosplay Star Wars, Harry Potter, Anime, and more. No matter the genre or the costume, I’m sure the kids love it, and for a moment can forget how sick they are. Check them out on https://www.facebook.com/heroesunitedaz
Walking to the back of the hall I met “Mom” and “Pop” of “The Pop Shop”.
Originally from Long Island this amazing and very friendly couple started making their affordable, and often one-of-a-kind merchandise when their children were younger. “Mom” said it was a great way to bond with her boys. Two of their sons worked with them straight through college, and they still help out from time to time. “Mom” also told me she thanks her boys for introducing her to Sci-Fi and comics, because it gave them something to share as they got older. That joy, and fun still shows in both their faces. Their merchandise covers a diverse range of genres, and comes in a variety of forms.
Look for them at future AZ cons and expos, check out PopshopAZ on facebook. Tell them the guy from Jersey sent you.
The south wall of the hall was where I found Heroes and Villains of Tomorrow.
These Arizona based ’causeplayers’ do what they can to help their community one smile at a time. The group, a 501(c)3 non profit costume charity, started in May of this year and currently they have just under 40 members. They have done a variety of events for children: birthday parties, fundraisers, and hospital visits. Their scheduled appearances for the rest of the year are: Saturday, November 21, 2015 San Jose Fanfest San Jose CA; December 4 2015 Phoenix Comic Con Fanfest. Look them up on https://www.facebook.com/heroes-and-villains-of-tomorrow
There were other vendors and exhibitors, but between attending panels, and photographing cosplayers, I failed to meet them. Hopefully next time I’ll have better luck.
My purchases were small, but to me they were awesome! No matter the cons size, many of the vendors and exhibitors are local to that area. Stop by their tables, be social, and purchase what you can – even it’s small. It helps support your local businesses, and your fellow geeks. See you at the next con!
Stay tuned for more Comic and Media Expo awesomeness! Karl Yune’s Q&A, Panels, and Cosplayers!