The year is rapidly coming to an end and the calendars will be flipping to 2015 before we know it but before that happens, we have a couple of conventions left.

One of those, Comic and Media Expo, held its inaugural convention this past weekend at the Mesa Convention Center. The expo is joined a by another a new comic convention next month to make a total of four comic conventions in just the Phoenix area (not to mention two anime cons). It’s starting to become important for conventions in our area to be able to offer unique experiences to compete for con goers time and hard earned money. Let’s touch on Comic and Media Expo and see how it did for its first year.

The Good
CMX was able to attract guests that had not been seen at other conventions in Arizona this year. Guests such as Marv Wolfman, cosplayer Riddle, and actors Dante Basco and Janet Varney appeared at the show to give it a nice mix of guests from different industries.

Programming was very ambitious as all three days had a full slate of panels that featured its guests, local artists, and fan produced panels. If you follow our tweets then you probably know that our favorite panel of the weekend was the Q&A with Dante Basco and Janet Varney. Both told very entertaining stories of their careers, personal life and childhoods.

What Needs To Be Improved

The exhibit floor/vendor hall was a bit underwhelming. For a show with the word “comic” in it it didn’t have many vendors selling comics. Not a lot of vendors in general and not one of the local comic shops booked space for the show, considering one of the sponsors of the show was a comic shop, it was a bit surprising to see.

The hallway of organizations (Arizona Avengers, AZ Hive, etc) was a bit hidden. Only if you were attending a panel would you have known there were tables of cosplayers and organizations to check out. Considering that the vendor hall wasn’t full, it was weird that they weren’t placed in there.

CMX was well organized for the most part and it looked to be running smooth from an attendee point of view. Not all conventions do a costume contest/masquerade event but CMX had enough faith that attendees would come out in cosplay that is worth doing it its first year.

Despite the small amount of issues (and those are just mine, others might disagree) with CMX, I hope to see it back next year. It is nice to have a comic convention back in Mesa and I am sure the east valley appreciates having it as well.