PHXCC 2016 Con Report

6/09/2016 09:58:00 AM Lexie Dunne 3 Comments

Con Report

If I were to detail every awesome thing that happened to me this weekend, we’d be here for a week, so I put together a brief con report that I’ll probably use from now on.

Event: Phoenix Comicon 2016

Location: Phoenix, Arizona.

Location Details: External events seemed to be located on a hellscape version of Arrakis where the sandworms were Deadpool cosplayers and there was not a stillsuit to be found. Internal locations were also a piped in form of hell: Dante’s ice hell. No middle ground: either it was sweater weather or it was full on face-melting from Indiana Jones.

Goals for Event: Not embarrass self. Meet awesome authors. Sign more than two books.

Goals (See Additional Notes): Achieved / Inconclusive / Failed

Additional Notes: Embarrassment on the scale of 1-10 never reached higher than a 4. No major faux pas committed. Awesome authors met includes Jamie Wyman and her lovely family, Becky Chambers space nerd extraordinaire, Ryan Dalton the magnificent (his magician stage name, shh), Rachel Thompson (you’re gonna be published one day, you totally count), Joe Nassise, Adam Christopher, Django Wexler, Paige Orwin, Alexandra Oliva (go read her book, it’s AWESOME), Austin Aslan, and many others. Also, more than two books signed!

The fun of doing conventions before your paperback is out!


Panels Participated In: Fantasy Draft League, Writing Bad Ass Women, Harper Voyager Spotlight, Superhero Something Or Other, Brighter Tomorrow

Panels Attended: Mixed Media, Evil as Heck, Would I Lie to You, Worldbuilding, Drinks with Authors, Annual Taco Guild Meetup

Austin had dinosaurs on his shirt and did a Kermit the Frog impression. A-okay in my book.

Additional Notes about Panels:

Fantasy Draft League write up is here.

Writing Bad Ass Women turned into a panel on writing diversity and that makes me a little uncomfortable because we were three white women and a white man. Not that we didn’t have good things to say—or I hope we did. We also talked about the “strong female character” (somebody who is strong because she can punch things) vs. the nuanced female character. They can be the same thing, but they rarely are. I broke the unspoken con rule when I ventured outside of the genre to talk about well-written female characters that I love.

THEY HAD T-SHIRTS and look it's Caroooo!

Harper Voyager Spotlight Panel kicked off an amazingly full day on Saturday in phenomenal fashion. My grandmother and uncle flew in from LA, something they didn’t tell me they were going to do. I wrote about that here. I got to pimp both Gail and Mae from WOODWALKER, which, if you haven’t read it, you should pick that up ASAP. It was neat to read a book that’s so loving to and of the forest.

Beth and her flaccid breadstick at Drinks with Authors
Superhero Something Or Other is the first panel where I experienced the Smurfette principle by being the only woman. That made me nervous, but nobody played gatekeeper. Adam Christopher, who writes freaking ELEMENTARY, is delightful and we ended up having a great conversation on stage. I remember at one point I groaned about the new Spider-man movie retreading Uncle Ben’s death yet five minutes later went into a long soliloquy defending origin stories. I am a woman of contrasts. I also used Gail Simone’s logic to point out that Superman should be in skimpy clothing by Starfire logic. That’s right. I used the term “butt window” in front of my grandmother. Granted, I said “bitchin” multiple times at my grandfather’s funeral, so nobody should be surprised.

Brighter Tomorrow: the panel where I nearly passed out! Not sure why I was on this panel. I definitely felt like the class clown among all the smarter kids. Luckily, it was the second-to-last panel time on Sunday afternoon, so hopefully nobody noticed. The subject was about hope in fiction/dystopian fiction, and we discussed that there’s no single pat way to portray a story. Also I used Tumblr arguments at some point. I think.

Team Raging Kittens vs. Team Sparkle Pony Genocide

For attended panels, Would I Lie To You remains a highlight. Beth Cato was on the panel. It’s a game show where each member of a team is given two truths and a lie to read. The other team determines which it is by asking questions. I don’t think either team missed one until Team Raging Kittens threw the game (the trophy was a 3-D printed statue of Dickbutt, named Philip K. Dickbutt, and they very much DID NOT WANT). I will say that whoever wrote Beth’s lie for her maaaaay have sabotaged her because it was “This is a lie you would write for Beth and Beth alone.” But she defended it well!

Signings Attended: Got books signed by Scott Sigler, Brandon Sanderson (though I didn’t get to talk to him, a very kind fellow took mine with him when he went to stand in line), Jamie Wyman, Ryan Dalton, Joe Nassise, Alexandra Oliva, Adam Christopher, and Christina Henry, whom I was delighted to see again after C2E2.

Signings Participated In: Six. Which is about how many books I sold (probably more). They were…I won’t lie, they were hard on the ego because it was a lot of watching people walk by. Rothfuss and Sanderson and Sigler had lines but the rest of us had a few trickle in and out. I sat next to Christina Henry and caught up with everything going on with her (Red Queen’s coming out soon!), and got to have long conversations with Joe Nassise, Adam Christopher, and Becky Chambers that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

Company Rating Overall: Half the reason I asked to go to Phoenix was to see Lucky, with whom I traveled to Europe a few years ago. Her life’s a little hectic right now, but it was downright amazing to see her again. I love her attitude and the fact that she never complained about the hectic pace of the schedule. Even when we kind of broke her (I hope her ankle is getting better). Seeing her again was the best part of my weekend.

Overall Status Report

11/10 Con. Would con again. Recommended for every author who doesn’t enjoy standing still. Also, go eat the Taco Guild. You won’t regret it.

Stay sexy!


  1. This sounds like an amazing time. Do you think you'll go to NYCC?

  2. I got to see you there and bought both your books. I finished them. I have a book hangover now, thanks a lot.

  3. My little sister and I were wondering: How do I get one of those Team Dunne shirts?


Please keep it PG. My mom reads this blog.