This past weekend we were able to attend a brand-new con here in Arizona. ACEcomic con is the second con put on by Ace universe a new contender in the comic con arena. Now we have been to new and upcoming cons before but none quite so ambitious as ACE. They really brought their A game. With guests like Tom Holland, Chris Evans, Todd McFarlan and the man himself, Stan Lee. But more than
that they also really mixed things up by including a superstar line up of WWE personalities including the immortal Hulk Hogan, Sting, and Eric Bischoff.
I’ve been to a lot of cons and usually, they go one way or the other. They’ll have something of a theme. The guest normally all comic, or all movies or all sports entertainment. It was a really cool experience to have a nice mix.
Now over the course of the con, I had the opportunity to not only take in a style of con I had never seen before, “Arena style” but to speak with
many fellow congoers about the some of the differences. While the arena style con was a marked difference from the way cons normally run, there are some definite pros to this style. One which I brought up in conversations countless times over the course of the weekend was the way the main stage panels were set up. We recently attended NYCC where the panels situation was amazing and very grandiose but as you can imagine with so many big-name panelists getting in was hard and
required serious planning to see the things you really wanted to see. ACE overcame that with the help of the Gila River arena. All the panels took place on a big stage that was visible from practically anywhere in the building, additionally, they had the panels that were happening to play on screens throughout the facility as well as on the Jumbotron so you could
choose to watch any panel you wanted no matter what else you were doing. You could be on the 3rd floor checking out some vendors or perusing the artist alley and be fully aware of what panels were happening now, what was coming up, you could watch it on the screens out even walk out to the balcony and see it. They also used this system to highlight vendors. As the con went on they would go to different vendors booths and speak to them, telling con attendees about their products and deals and so forth and really did a lot to draw attention to the vendors. It really took a large area and bridged the gap. This was cool because the biggest drawback of the whole con was that the arena style means stairs and lots of them. This fact was really hard on some attendees, some more so Han others of course. There were elevators however there were very long lines for them because a lot of people couldn’t
I personally had a great time, the venue was unique and even though seasoned con-goers had a few new things to get used to, overall this coin had a lot going for it. They came strong with a great lineup and a great team who was very nice and helpful. For a con with big-name guests, they really took the time to be friendly. Not everything was perfect, no con is but I for one am very excited to see ACE comic con come back next year.