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Amazing AZ Con founder Jimmy Jay discusses learning from mistakes for 2014 event

The 2013 event started out with a bang, will the 2014 event keep the momentum?
The 2013 event started out with a bang, will the 2014 event keep the momentum?
Christen Bejar

The Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2014 event is merely a few days away, boasting headlining guests such as The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and a star from the show adaptation, Danai Gurira, as well as other notable comic book guests such as Geoff Johns, Robert Liefeld, and many more. The convention will take place on January 24-26 at the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix.

Last year, the convention had its fair share of problems when it debuted in its new downtown Phoenix space. Their headliner Stan Lee was forced to cancel due to illness, attendee registration and wristbands were problematic over the three-day event, and other stumbles were had. Overall the event was a good one, and the convention founder Jimmy Jay explained how he wants to tackle these problems with the 2014 Amazing Arizona Comic Con when he spoke with this weekend.

In addressing the 2013 conventions' logistical issues with wristbands, cancellations, and the like, Jimmy Jay seems more than prepared this year:

"Last year there was a huge learning curve with processing the sheer number of attendees who showed up to for the Amazing Arizona Comic Con. It was our first year moving from a much smaller venue in Mesa to the largest convention facility in the state... ...people responded in force. We were happily surpassed when lines ran around the building, but then came the task of processing this overwhelming demand." said Jay in an e-mail interview on Friday.

"As for 2014 we have taken a much larger space at the South Hall of the Phoenix Convention Center, where we will be queuing up lines in a more organized fashion, with a pre-con game plan with the Security team. We will be opening Registration counters earlier this year beginning Friday at 12noon, approximately 3 hours before the AMAZING COMIC CON kicks off. We hope to get people processed and in the doors, to enjoy the event as quickly as possible."

Jay also explained that he appreciated how patient and understanding the fans were when Stan Lee was forced to cancel, and praised Jim Lee (the other headlining guest that year) for stepping up.

In addition to more time for registration, Jay detailed that he and his team have allotted more space for the vendor hall this year to allow more breathing room. Approximately 40-50 more vendor tables and 70 more artist alley spaces were opened up for Amazing AZ 2014, said Jay. This will hopefully lead to more dispersal of foot traffic and more variety for first-timers.

The event seems to be offering much more in ways of programming and panels this year with a costume contest, zombie beauty pageant, Kids' Day, and much more. Jay suggested for con-goers to attend the world premiere screening of the documentary film Image Revolution.

"Many of the Image Creators featured in the film will be at the con, such as Kirkman, Liefeld, and Marc Silvestri," explained Jay. "And there will be a Q&A session immediately following with the film makers. Don't be surprised if there's fireworks being set off!"

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