Phoenix Fan Fusion 2022 Live Updates: Celebrities, Fans & Costumes

After a three-year hiatus for the COVID-19 pandemic, Phoenix Fan Fusion is back in downtown Phoenix for Memorial Day weekend.

The three-day event, Phoenix’s largest comic con, takes place May 27-29 at the Phoenix Convention Center. It’s a celebration of pop culture, including comics, cosplay, movies, anime, manga, furry, and countless other fandoms.

Celebrities scheduled to attend include Chuck Norris, Diane Guerrero, Cristina Vee, Doug Jones and Patrick Warburton.

We’ll be updating this blog all weekend with photos and highlights from opening day Friday morning at the Fan Fusion after-parties.

The cons of comics are back:For these cosplayers, it’s about more than costumes

6:45 p.m. Friday: Sing along to Disney hits

The Disney Cosplay Singalong got off to a great start with “Be Our Guest” from “Beauty and the Beast,” with the audience singing along to the lyrics as they marched across the screen to this scene from the film.

A woman dressed as Ariel led the crowd as she sang “Kiss the Girl” from “The Little Mermaid.”

At the end of the song, Ariel ran up to a guy dressed as a prince for a kiss.

A woman dressed as Sleeping Beauty introduced the next song, “Once Upon a Dream” from “Sleeping Beauty.”

Next, a woman dressed as Snow White took the spotlight for “I’m Wishing/One Song.”

There weren’t as many people in Disney cosplay as the organizers had hoped, and the level of enthusiasm in the venue was definitely down after that Snow White song.

But things sped up when an audience member dressed as Bruno from “Encanto” took the stage for a peppy “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”

Someone yelled “again” after that one and they continued that momentum with an audience request for Aladdin’s “A Whole New World,” followed by the most spirited chant yet, “Zero to Hero ” from “Hercules”.

—Ed Masley

Who is a superhero, anyway?

Goofy arguments are as much a hallmark of nerd culture as dressing like Wonder Woman.

The “Is he a superhero?” The session was, as promised, “a raucous debate about audience participation” in which various character names were thrown around for discussion to determine whether Harry Potter or Peter Parker’s Aunt May could be considered superheroes. .

It was a lively discussion.

A member of the public demanded to know: ‘Who did Harry save other than himself? A woman dressed as Mary Poppins agreed, saying, “I don’t think he’s a superhero.”

The public vote at the end of the Potter debate was a “No!” decisive.

Aunt May did much better. A panelist suggested that her super power might be immortality, since she was very old she was featured.

Other characters up for debate included Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, neither of whom got a ton of support, and Prince Namor the Submarine, who was seen as an anti-hero who really only cares about himself. -same.

As one panelist wanted to know, “What’s his problem?!”

—Ed Masley

5:45 p.m. Friday: Documenting cosplay nationwide

Arizona is the 22nd state travel photographer Susan Onysko has visited as part of a project she calls Cosplay 50: Cosplay USA, attending conventions to document culture in an effort to someday publish a coffee table book on cosplay.

She just needs to get to 28 other states first.

Onysko, who lives in Ohio, started attending conventions with her children in 2016, but didn’t really set the plan until the following year.

At the time, she did a lot of wedding photography.

Exhibition of photographs by Susan Onysko showcasing her 'Cosplay 50: The United States of Cosplay.

“I hated that I was always away on the weekends,” she says. “And I wanted to do something fun with my kids.”

Onysko brings a studio to every convention and scours the convention floor to find what she considers “outstanding” examples of cosplay and invites those people to her studio for a free 30-minute portrait session.

“I wanted to create an experience where they had a rock star moment,” she says. “Like a super model experience.”

Each cosplayer receives a fully retouched high resolution JPEG by email after the convention to print for personal use. This is a high enough resolution to print in poster size.

What she is looking for is something unexpected and unique.

At Phoenix Fan Fusion, for example, she saw her first cosplayer dressed as the fairy godmother from “Shrek.”

“I like the unique,” she says. “I photographed a million Harleys. It was different.

Onysko herself never dabbled in cosplay, but her kids did. The appeal of this project for Onysko is the cosplay culture.

“It’s a very welcoming culture,” she says.

—Ed Masley

4:45 p.m. Friday: His Magneto costume was supposed to last a long time

Jaime Woodford’s suit was supposed to be for 2020.

“Then it all happened,” she said.

So Woodford hid his first attempts at what turned out to be an excellent Magneto costume and waited for the world to return to normal.

Or as normal as the world gets at the Fan Fusion Cosplay Fashion Show, where Woodford and a friend dressed as Colossus were hanging out after the fashion show, which they helped organize.

“I knew right away that I wanted to be Magneto,” Woodford said. “I think it was the cape.”

Cosplayer Jamie Woodford shows off her Magneto look at Phoenix Fan Fusion 2022.

She arrived Friday with a group of friends dressed as X-Men, from Rogue to Beast, Wolverine and Quicksilver.

She’s seen a lot of Scarlet Witches, says Woodford, but her favorite cosplay of the day so far has been unrelated to the X-Men – a woman who’s done it all as Cruella de Vil.

“It was very haute couture,” she said.

Her friend Colossus was also fond of Cruella, saying “She had attitude”.

But her favorite cosplay of the day? Magneto.

–Ed Masley

Attendees line up outside the Phoenix Convention Center on the first day of Fan Fusion on May 27, 2022 in Phoenix.

There are entire families of spiders at Fan Fusion

A nearly complete list of characters seen so far at Fan Fusion 2022: Many, many Spider-Men, Spider-Women, and Spider-Children.

  • 6 Lokis.
  • 4 Captain Americas.
  • 4 wonderful women.
  • 3 Obi Wan Kenobis.
  • 3 Batmans, one angry.
  • 2 Deadpools.
  • 2 Jokers.
  • 2 Johnny Depp (!).
  • 2 Dr. Stranges.
  • 2 Knights of the Moon.
  • Morticia and Gomez Addams.
  • Han Solo.
  • Ghost face.
  • Harry Potter.
  • Squid game.
  • Riddler.
  • Ghost hunters.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Yoda.
  • Harley Quinn.
  • Florence Pugh in “Midsommar”.

– Bill Goodykoontz

1:30 p.m. Friday: Urgent fantasy costume pick-up fails

Where do you go when your sword breaks or your Elvin ears don’t fit the real ones?

Room 229A — the Cosplay Repair & Lounge Center. It’s like urgent care for a failed fantasy. They have touch-up paint, glue and other adhesives, tape, sewing kits and other repair tools.

After an early rush, things calmed down a bit, although one Riddler had trouble with his oversized question mark. He seemed to fix things with the help of a tape.

“Our busiest time is really first thing in the morning and at noon,” said Gail Andersen of Phoenix, who worked at the center. Either people need last-minute touch-ups before entering the hallways and rooms, or the Arizona heat has melted their various adhesives and makeup.

Andersen, along with Chandler’s Charleeann Smith and Gilbert’s Angela Mhei Lambert worked at the center, sponsored by Blue Ribbon Army, whose Facebook page describes it as “a social group focused on offering like-minded geeks a place to meet new friends.

Weapons and attachments require the most attention

So what needs fixing the most?

“Weapons.”

“Weapons.”

“Weapons.”

Unanimous therefore. Also accessories, which, in truth, are also what weapons are. The cardboard and foam from which they are made are not always as sturdy as they could be. Also, the heat, again, does the adhesives a disservice.

Over the years they have seen some things, as you can imagine.

“The craziest I saw was at the last,” in 2019, Lambert said. A woman wearing a hoop dress arrived with a full-length tear in both the hoop and the dress. The team swung into action with needles and thread.

“We said, ‘I hope you have plenty of time,'” Lambert said.

While she was talking, a patient, uh, cosplayer walked in, in dire need of help. She was dressed as Pearl from the show “Steven Universe”, which requires a jewel on her forehead. Only his jewel did not stay in place.

“I can’t break my jewel,” she said. “It would be a disaster.”

In effect. The solution? The three women answered with one voice: “Liquid latex!

Another problem solved.

—Bill Goodykoontz

Lunch or take off your helmet?

Amy Munsil, dressed as Captain Amelia from Treasure Planet, poses for a photo at Fan Fusion at the Phoenix Convention Center on May 27, 2022 in Phoenix.

The food court is a fun place to people watch at Fan Fusion 2022.

This is where cosplayers have to make a decision: stay in character or have lunch?

“I ate in character,” said Queen Creek’s Michael Cardena. “It’s a lot more fun out of character.”

So, dressed as Master Chief in “Halo” in a costume so realistic that someone bowed and gave the “Wayne’s World” salute “we are not worthy” when he spoke, he took off his helmet to eat chicken strips and fries.

“I ate a whole plate of chicken and waffles in a helmet,” Cardena said. “It’s a big cleaning job.”

Cardena, for the record, is not an all-or-nothing cosplayer.

“When people expect me to stay in character, I find it kind of weird,” he said. “I feel like an object.”

—Bill Goodykoontz

Friday 11 a.m.: Captain America lines up to enter Fan Fusion

People lined up for Phoenix Fan Fusion at 8am. By 10 a.m., temperatures had reached 93 degrees and were continuing to rise. Tucson’s Eduardo Macias said he was happy to talk about the event – “if I don’t pass out.” His Captain America costume probably didn’t help on that front.

Macias said it was “the first big crowd I’ve done since COVID.”

Indeed, his reason for coming was simple.

“To enjoy it,” he said. “It’s been three years since the last one. We are finally in this time to get back to ‘normal’.

—Bill Goodykoontz

Wonder Woman at the ATM

For the next three days, downtown Phoenix will be a cornucopia of cosplay. So maybe seeing Wonder Woman withdrawing money from an ATM shouldn’t seem odd.

But it still is.

Jennifer, who declined to give her last name, executed her financial transaction as the comic book hero. Yes, doing business takes you a bit away from the moment.

“You kind of have to get over it and move on,” she said.

—Bill Goodykoontz