By C’loni Bailey, Assistant Manager at Bookmans Mesa)

Phoenix Comicon 2016 fast approaches! There’s only a week until the biggest pop culture convention in Arizona kicks off on June 2-5. Here are few things you can look forward to!

Phoenix Comicon 2016 Preview

Phoenix Comicon 2016 hosts a ton of great panels on a variety of topics including comic books, cosplay, novel writing and filmmaking. Spotlight panels feature our favorite artists and actors. For 2016 con organizers added a science track that includes panels on interstellar habitation, the science of genetic engineering and artificial intelligence for those curious about what the future may hold for humankind.

Cosplayers are a huge draw at Phoenix Comicon and sightseers often swing by the con just to check out the outrageous costumes. In addition to the cosplayers themselves, PCC hosts numerous cosplay panels that cover sewing techniques, making costume armor, wig styling and steampunk make-and-take workshops. At these panels, attendees learn everything one needs to know to get started in making cosplay and get to pick the brains of some of the best cosplayers in the state!

I participate in the Cosplay Like a Pro: Advance Sewing Techniques panel at 10:30 a.m. on Friday in North 126A. Come see me!

Phoenix Comicon 2016 Preview

The opportunity to meet and greet our favorite actors in the hottest movies and shows is among the best reasons to attend Phoenix Comicon. This year a few of the numerous guests include Alex Kingston and Billy Piper of Doctor Who, Mark Pellegrino and Timothy Omundson of Supernatural, Ralph Macchio from the classic Karate Kid films and Samwise Gamgee himself–Sean Astin!

[Todd’s Note: I can’t contain my excitement. I’m geeking out over Phoenix Comicon guest, The Bionic Woman herself, Lindsay Wagner!]

[Web Editor Note: Me too, Todd!]

Phoenix Comicon hosts several parties after dark during the weekend. If you’re a Deadpool fan, kick off your con weekend at the Deadpool Beauty Pageant at 8 p.m. on Thursday in room West 212ABC. Compete against other Deadpool cosplayers or just go and hang out with the sea of Deadpools! This party is 18+ only.

The Blue Ribbon Army Presents: One Party to Rule Them All party takes place at 10 p.m. on Saturday in room North120. This party features a fantasy themed ballroom with music and drinks galore. Tickets are $20 and proceeds benefit the Kids Need to Read charity. This party is 18+ only.

If you’re into anime, the Dobutsu Lounge is the party for you! Enjoy boozy beverages (for the 21+ crowd) and games. The Dobutsu Lounge kicks off at 9 p.m. on Saturday in the Hyatt Gilbert room. This party is 18+ only.

Phoenix Comicon 2016 Preview

The Phoenix Comicon Film Festival runs all weekend-long and features local filmmakers, fan films and independent sci-fi and fantasy films. The con also hosts panels on filmmaking, covering everything from screenwriting to voice acting to directing. There will be a special screening of Labyrinth at 6 p.m. on Saturday in room West 102A.

There are plenty of things to do and enjoy at Phoenix Comicon. You can view the complete programming schedule at Just be careful not to overload your schedule with too much stuff. Allow at least 20 minutes to get from one panel to another. Phoenix Comicon is a huge event and you never know what will draw your attention. Embrace the spontaneity and have fun!