Last night (Thursday, May 23) was the “Preview” day for 2013 Phoenix Comicon. In the past this has been a pretty chill night, with only the hardest of the core coming out to beat the lines for badges, and for exhibitors to have extra set up time. This year, it seems, was something completely different!

The place was packed!

Yes, it was much slower than it will be today, Saturday and even Sunday… but it was still easily twice as busy as last year. Which is a very good thing!

Nearly all the tables in the enormous exhibitor hall were filled, there were tons of people in full – awesome – costumes, and the energy of the place was already fully charged. Even without the celebs, the panels or the parties, it was still a great night.

Part of what made it so awesome was that I was able to share the night with my wife who, while nerdy in her own ways, isn’t really the “comicon type” and I think she even had a good time too!

While the star power coming to this year’s convention isn’t as “wow-ing” as it was last year, there are still some pretty great draws for autographs and photo ops if that’s your thing. From Babylon 5 to Walking Dead and everything in between, there’s actors and writers and voice actors aplenty.

What really takes the focus this year are all the amazing panels (including Stephen’s Quentin Tarantino panel today at 4:30P in room 129A), there’s literally something for everyone! From Nerd Noms (cooking based on popular sci-fi/fantasy) to web series to web comics all the way to more risque fare (if that’s what you’re into).

Also stealing the spotlight from the guests this year are the awesome parties going on all around the Con. Signature events like the Steampunk Ball, Wil Wheaton’s Awesome Hour and of course, Geek Prom!

That’s not to mention all the spectacular artists and vendors in the main hall. Everything from leather work to Light-sabers and of course comics. There’s even some things just for the ladies, like Dollipop Cosmetics, which specializes in great makeup with awesomely nerdy color names, like “Kirk”, “Boomstick” and “Stitch”.

Those are just a few of the dozens and dozens of things going on this weekend… so if you’re anywhere near the Valley of the Sun, get thee to the Phoenix Convention Center. You’ll thank me.

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