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Guests are a big hit at Phoenix Comicon on Friday

John Rhys-Davies appearing a Phoenix Comicon on Friday, June 6, 2014.
John Rhys-Davies appearing a Phoenix Comicon on Friday, June 6, 2014.
Photo by Karen Sweeny-Justice

If Friday’s crowds are any indication, Phoenix Comicon 2014 will indeed be packed this weekend. Running from mid-day Thursday through Sunday June 8, Phoenix Comicon encompasses the Phoenix Convention Center’s North and South Buildings with additional programming at nearby local hotel venues and outdoors on 3rd Street between the North and West Buildings.

Among guests from the world of television and motion pictures appearing on Friday were:

· John Rhys-Davies. The actor, known for his work in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Indiana Jones and Sliders, spoke passionately about his personal views as the father of an eight year old girl (and two grown sons). He recalled striving for an accurate portrayal of science on Sliders, and his hopes that when done correctly science on popular shows can touch the viewing public.

· Richard Dean Anderson. Known for his work on MacGyver and Stargate SG1, Anderson likewise shared personal moments with the packed room. He left SG1 two years before the series eventually ended, he said, to be closer to his young daughter who moved from British Columbia to California. A popular actor, Anderson’s early work on The Love Boat and as a singer in musicals was shown in a ‘teaser’ clip before his appearance. Moving around on stage, Anderson apparently couldn’t get over the high temperatures of Arizona’s ‘dry heat.’

· Mark Shepard. While the actor’s many roles -- jokingly said to be on every show out there -- touched every segment of the huge audience, it was his work on Supernatural that really got the crowd going, and jumping off the stage, he wasn’t afraid to get close to the audience.

Other notable celebrities attending the convention, which is quickly becoming the premiere popular arts convention in the Southwest, could be found in autograph and photo booth lines in the largest vendor hall the con has seen. Among those seen today were Stephen Amell of the CW's Arrow and actor John Barrowman and his sister Carole Barrowman who co-authored the Torchwood novel Exodus Code.