-Advertisement-

This weekend’s Ace Comic Con Phoenix was the second attempt to move the convention experience to an arena venue, in this case the Gila River Arena, home of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes (ironic, I know). The Beat’s AJ Frost was on the scene and will file his own report, but from reading the social media postings it appears to have been another mixed bag.

Technically the show is still going on today, with a day of Wrestling photo ops. But the big guns – a big Marvel line-up of Chris Evans, Tom Holland Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Jon Bernthal and more – were set for the weekend.

The biggest problem this time was illness. Karl Urban cancelled his appearance entirely due to illness and Chris Evans, one of the big draws at the event, had to cancel Sunday due to being unable to get out of bed. It’s flu season and its hitting a lot of people, so this all goes under the act of God category. Get well soon, Chris and Karl!

Unfortunately Evans’ cancellation led to a lot of confusion over refunds. People who had purchased an Evans photo op were offered Tom “Spider-Man” Holland instead, but some people didn’t want that, understandably. Ace offered various make goods but there seems to have been a choatic process:

- Advertisement-

Screenshot 2018-01-14 23.09.05.png

When a huge star gets sick it’s a big financial hit on a show, but I’ll get back to that in a bit.

All that said, a lot of people had a swell time. The local paper had cosplay photos, and declared it “marvelous fun.” After attending the first Ace Comic Con out on Long island my feelings were pretty ambivalent, but I know it’s a big thrill for a lot of people and I don’t want to rain on their parade.

But it sounds like the arena venue is not all that awesome for the comic con experience. From descriptions and photos,  it sounds like the set up was much like it was in Long Island: vendors on the arena floor, artists set up on the mezzanine – where concessions are located – and photos ops and autographs on another level. It was definitely a little odd at Long Island, and it doesn’t sound like the kinks were worked out.

Among the complaints people had: lack of signage showing where the various areas were; lines for photos ops crowding the vendor area; bad lighting; difficulties for disabled attendees; and a general sense of confusion among con personnel. The big celebrity panels were held in a curtained off area inside the arena, but comics panels were in another location…which was very difficult to find and resulted in some panels being cancelled since no one could find the panel room.

The general sense I get is that the arena layout can work but it will take a bit more fine tuning to iron out the kinks.

However, my main complaint about the Long Island show seems to have been ironed out – more panels with the big stars that you could see even without a VIP ticket. Also, it seems that in his first convention appearance, Tom Holland was a total star. If you don’t believe me check out Instagram. ANd of course people loves some Sebastian Stan.


 

 

Some photos from the con:

The day before the show Stan Lee got the keys to Glendale from the mayor. It was his first public appearance since allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.  To be honest, I find it a bit hard to watch. Stan is doing the best a 95 year old man can, but he sounds hoarse and at times, confused.

Now, I want to get back to the Chris Evans cancellation. I had actually cut and pasted the prices for the photos ops for a story I never got around to doing. Suffice to say that on Sunday it would have set you back $800 for a photo with Evans, Holland and Stan and $310 for a “Stucky” with Evans and Sebatian Stan.  And $910 for the Evans/Holland VIP.
This stuff is not cheap.
TICKETS
TICKET TYPE TICKETS FEES QTY
**ADDITIONAL PRINT ADD ON**
$15.00
$0.00
**DIGITAL DOWNLOAD ADD ON**
$10.00
$0.00
**ADD ON COMBO – DIGITAL DOWNLOAD & ADDT’L PRINT**
$25.00
$0.00
ANTHONY MACKIE PHOTO OP SATURDAY GROUP 1
$75.00
$0.00
ANTHONY MACKIE PHOTO OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$75.00
$0.00
CHRIS EVANS & A. MACKIE DUAL OP SATURDAY GROUP 1
$285.00
$0.00
CHRIS EVANS & H. ATWELL DUAL OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$290.00
$0.00
CHRIS EVANS & SEBASTIAN DUAL OP SATURDAY GROUP 1
SOLD OUT.
CHRIS EVANS & SEBASTIAN DUAL OP SATURDAY GROUP 2
$310.00
$0.00
CHRIS EVANS & SEBASTIAN DUAL OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$310.00
$0.00
CHRIS EVANS & STAN LEE DUAL OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$500.00
$0.00
EVANS, HOLLAND, SEBASTIAN & MACKIE OP SUN GROUP 1
$520.00
$0.00
EVANS, STAN LEE & HOLLAND TRIPLE OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$800.00
$0.00
EBON MOSS-BACHRACH PHOTO OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$65.00
$0.00
ERIC BISCHOFF PHOTO OP MONDAY GROUP 1
$40.00
$0.00
HAYLEY ATWELL PHOTO OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$80.00
$0.00
HULK HOGAN PHOTO OP MONDAY GROUP 1
$100.00
$0.00
WWE/WCW – HULK HOGAN & STING DUAL OP MONDAY GRP 1
$175.00
$0.00
JACOB BATALON PHOTO OP SATURDAY GROUP 1
$50.00
$0.00
JACOB BATALON PHOTO OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$50.00
$0.00
JON BERNTHAL PHOTO OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$75.00
$0.00
KARL URBAN PHOTO OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$75.00
$0.00
KARL URBAN PHOTO OP MONDAY GROUP 1
$75.00
$0.00
LAURA HARRIER PHOTO OP SATURDAY GROUP 1
$55.00
$0.00
LAURA HARRIER PHOTO OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$55.00
$0.00
PUNISHER – BERNTHAL/MOSS-BACHRACH DUAL SUN GROUP 1
$130.00
$0.00
SEBASTIAN STAN PHOTO OP SATURDAY GROUP 1
SOLD OUT.
SEBASTIAN STAN PHOTO OP SATURDAY GROUP 2
SOLD OUT.
SEBASTIAN STAN PHOTO OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$100.00
$0.00
STAN LEE PHOTO OP SATURDAY GROUP 1
$150.00
$0.00
STAN LEE PHOTO OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$150.00
$0.00
STING PHOTO OP MONDAY GROUP 1
$85.00
$0.00
TOM HOLLAND PHOTO OP SATURDAY GROUP 1
$175.00
$0.00
TOM HOLLAND PHOTO OP SATURDAY GROUP 2
$175.00
$0.00
TOM HOLLAND PHOTO OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$175.00
$0.00
TOM HOLLAND & J. BATALON DUAL OP SATURDAY GROUP 1
$225.00
$0.00
TOM HOLLAND & J. BATALON DUAL OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$225.00
$0.00
TOM HOLLAND & L. HARRIER DUAL OP SATURDAY GROUP 1
$230.00
$0.00
TOM HOLLAND & L. HARRIER DUAL OP SUNDAY GROUP 1
$230.00
$0.00
TOM HOLLAND & STAN LEE DUAL OP SATURDAY GROUP 1
$500.00
$0.00
TICKETS
TICKET TYPE TICKETS FEES QTY
WEEKEND 3-DAY ACE VIP @ ACE COMIC CON AZ 2018
$125.00
$0.00
SATURDAY GROUP A – EVANS/HOLLAND VIP @ ACE AZ 2018
SOLD OUT.
SATURDAY GROUP B – EVANS/HOLLAND VIP @ ACE AZ 2018
$910.00
SUNDAY GROUP A – EVANS/HOLLAND VIP @ ACE AZ 2018
$910.00
$0.00
TICKETS
TICKET TYPE TICKETS FEES QTY
SATURDAY GROUP A – FIRST AVENGER VIP @ ACE AZ 2018
SOLD OUT.
SUNDAY GROUP A – FIRST AVENGER VIP @ ACE AZ 2018
$910.00
$0.00
TICKETS
TICKET TYPE TICKETS FEES QTY
SATURDAY GROUP A – WINTER SOLDIER VIP @ACE AZ 2018
$900.00
$0.00
SUNDAY GROUP A – WINTER SOLDIER VIP @ ACE AZ 2018
SOLD OUT.
TICKET TYPE TICKETS FEES QTY
SUNDAY GROUP A – CHRIS EVANS VIP @ ACE AZ 2018
SOLD OUT.
SUNDAY GROUP B – CHRIS EVANS VIP @ ACE AZ 2018
$495.00
$0.00

I’m not even going to hazard a guess as to how much Evan’s absence cost the show. Thousands and thousands of dollars. And I can understand not wanting to refund all of it– although how illness is covered in the contracts I have no idea. Nerdlebrities get minimum “guarantees” to appear at a con, and the money for the signings and photos go straight to the con. So if you pay Chris Evans $250K to show up (no idea how much he gets but its at least that) so losing a day of photos may have been quite costly.

But celebrity cancellations are a fact of life, and most cons are no nonsense about refunds. The Ace Comic Con model is based on huge stars and huge photo ops. When illness strikes it’s a lot more than just one guest not showing up. The first show was plagued by lateness when bad weather left delayed the arrival of several of the headliners. When you have only a few guests, a few cancellations become a big problem.

Anyway those are my thoughts from 3000 miles away. AJ Frost was on the scene and will soon weigh in with his own take on the show.

 

-Advertisement-

3 COMMENTS

  1. Chris Evans, I’m so very sorry that you came down with the flu. Take some Vitamin C with Zinc, drink either Lemon Zinger Tea or Echinacea Tea, and rest. Get Well Soon, Darling! I Love You!

    P.S. – Don’t forget to take your flu shot!

  2. My teenage son who will be enlisting in the military was so excited to meet Chris Evans. We were scheduled to see him on Sunday. Well soon as we got there Evans cancelled due to illness. ALTHOUGH BEING TOTALLY FINE THE DAY BEFORE. If he was indeed sick he could of AT LEAST sent out a tweet or something to the fans that drove all the way out to see him…BUT NOTHING. He did tweet about other stuff unrelated just a few hours after cancellation so there was no excuse. THAT was only thing that bothered me. like he didnt care…well although my son was upset he got to meet his other heroes (Tom Holland & Jon Bernthal) because of it so the day worked out well THANK GOODNESS. Actor Karl Urban did it right, he got sick right before the comic con and he immediately sent out a tweet to all fans apologizing…..take notes C.Evans.

Comments are closed.