Glendale, AZ — ACE Comic Con made its debut in the Valley of the Sun during the holiday weekend of January 13, 2018, at the Gila River Arena in Glendale. ACE, which is run by the Shamus Brothers, also presented a prior event in Long Island back in December with celebrities from the DC Universe. They brought the same prestige to Arizona with celebrities from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Personally, I attended the convention on Sunday the 14th, and the first thing I usually do after checking in is to take a tour of the event. I walked the main concourse, scoping some of the booths that were set up throughout, although some of the booths were set in tight traffic areas, which created a bit of crowding, causing a little bit of an inconvenience.
After finishing my quick tour, I made my way to the arena. The arena floor was divided into three sections. On one side you had the main stage, in the middle was the exhibit floor, and then the photo ops sections. The exhibition section seemed a tad bit cramped and small when compared to other conventions that I have visited previously.
The seating for the celebrity panels was good no matter what level you were on, because the stage was set on a sporting arena floor. You also had limited obstructions due to stadium seating, which is a good thing.
It was pretty cool that I was able to see the celebrity panels broadcasted on the giant arena screens. This actually allowed patrons who were unable to find good seats in the panel stage area to be able to see the interviews from pretty much anywhere around the arena.
ACE is seemingly meant for those attendees who are interested in meeting celebrities, getting autographs, and participating in photo ops. The ticket pricing pretty much reflects the fact that ACE is geared more toward the draw that they expects from the celebrities that are booked to appear and less on the exhibit floor.
If you are looking for a typical convention where you can browse and shop an extensive exhibit floor or participate plenty of activities, this might not be the venue for you.
Bottom line: ACE does not offer enough to keep a typical Comic Con attendees entertained who are just looking for an experience beyond celebrity events. Those potential attendees might not be able to justify investing $100 for the full three days when there is barely enough to fill up one.
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.