Addressing the Elephant in the Room (PCC)

Life has been a bit weird since the Phoenix Comicon ban stress settled down (always save your emails!). I’m still banned, but the one good thing that came out of it was that they did rethink their decision to indirectly charge volunteers.

Usually, February is when Allen and I start to ramp up our plans for PCC, including an X-wing cockpit he and a friend wanted to make for the booth for fans to take pics in. Well, with what happened and the emotional rollercoaster it had on me, I’ve taken some time for self-care and self-reflection. I can understand why PCC did what they did. They’ve grown to the point where they need to make some difficult decisions, and emotions were high from many sides (those within and outside the event) and what happened happened. The convention bubble has burst around the country, and many events have had to evolve. PCC isn’t the first and won’t be the last to deal with the myriad challenges.

While it’s outside of my control, I have been gifted a lot of free time that I wasn’t anticipating. I realized just how much work and love I was pouring into Phoenix Comicon, and having my ability to participate revoked means that I need to redistribute my passion elsewhere. (As I tend to do – I can’t function as a human unless I can pour myself into projects!).

I’ve felt restless, but you all have been anchors. I really want to take a moment to thank you all for the overwhelming support. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s still hard, but there are still many amazing people I know who work with the show in some way or another, and I whole-heartedly wish them the best and a successful 2017.

Getting Back on Track

Okay, with that out, I can finally say that a month has passed and I’m feeling 90% Anabel again. 🙂 I’m working towards some incredible opportunities because I adopted a “well why the hell not, let’s give it a shot and do my best” attitude thanks to friends dragging me out of my post-ban-sad-state.

  • My husband quit his job in December to pursue props full time and he’s doing really well. (I am seriously so proud of him that I could burst!).
  • I’m learning to flex my creaky creative bones again – Sarah of Geeks Who Eat has been a huge inspiration to consistently blog and keep my brain lit.
  • Elly Snyder also inspired me to start working on a novel when I read her draft last year, and I hope to submit the first 4 chapters to Cirque du Livre in April.
  • I’m also trying to see if I can be absolutely crazy-pants and attend Puerto Rico Comic-Con in lieu of PCC. (Or Vegas, which would be much more affordable. ;))

I’ve gotten a lot of invitations to hang with people, but I kind of folded into introvert mode for the self-care part. And it helped a lot. (And I caught up on some video games. :))

Downtown Mesa Adventure + Annabelle Gurwitch!

While in introvert mode, I was able to win Rings movie passes thanks to Geeks Who Eat (got my ass out of the house!) and tickets to see a one woman comedy show (which I’ll touch on below). I asked Rasheda if she wanted to hit it with me, because Allen got swamped with work, and we decided to make it a chill ladies hangout.

Okay, firstly, downtown Mesa is underrated. There are so many amazing shops down there, and 2nd Friday had a ton of gorgeous art tables out. We had a recovery girl night with some delicious food at Margaritas Grill. Rasheda had the sushi burrito and I had the taco/enchilada combo plate. I pretty much exploded the portions were good and the food was *fresh*!

Annabelle Gurwitch

Afterwards, we headed to the show: I See You made an Effort (Compliments, Indiginities, and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50). I picked up my box office passes, and I ended up winning a little gift. I mused that it might be a gift card, but I could not have been more wrong. I ended up winning a pair of panties from the star of the show, signed to me. 😛 The show itself was really fun, and Annabelle Gurwitch (actress/comedian/author) discussed her reality check when facing her 50th birthday.

Rasheda and I were easily the youngest women in the audience, but we still had a good time. The show was about 80 minutes long, and Annabelle made some creative use out of her presentation screen.

Post Event Geekery

After, we wandered around a little, got some organic cotton candy, and ended up at Gotham City Comics. Because 2nd Friday was wrapping up, it was pretty mellow. We did get to chat with a few people! Both Miguel and Denae asked me about the PCC ban, so I guess it’s gotten around. *_* Thankfully they were very supportive and really made me feel a lot better. They got hugs and the reassurance that I was doing okay. 🙂 My haul from the shop was the Dragon Age Coloring Book, a Doctor Strange figure, and a Fallout Brotherhood Dorbz for Allen. They redid the store a little and have a ton of new things to check out. I really wanna try to snag the Nathan Drake figure they had there next time. 🙂

Miguel even gave me three sketch covers, just to be a great friend and get me inspired to create again and move pass the stress. AND he said I was welcome to join them for downtown Mesa’s giant Free Comic Book Day event! I really feel like I have to take them up on that. <3 It also takes place on my birthday this year! Maybe I can offer up the sketch covers there, some new prints, and Allen with a display of some of his new items?

Losing PCC still stings, but I can always create and keep my inspiration up for other events. Many in the community have supported me in my artistic endeavors that shelving them away would be a slap in the face for everything they have supported me in.

The one awful bit of the night was that unfortunately Denae’s tip box was stolen by a raging asshat. Ugh. People who steal from artists just trying to make a creative living need to be locked in the sewer. 🙁

In the end, going to 2nd Friday, the show, time with friends & and that glorious comic shop really reminded me why I got involved in geek culture in the first place. I am looking forward to an amazingly artistic 2017 despite it’s rocky start!

(Cover photo courtesy of