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After attending numerous fan conventions like Comicon with her family, Julia Zolondz, co-creator of Phoenix DinoCon, searched nationwide for a dinosaur-themed convention to attend with her loved ones (Bobby Tyning and Patty, Carl and Trinidad Jimenez.)
“There’s no single event that’s dedicated to being a dinosaur dork,” said Zolondz.
This was true. Dinosaur conventions do exist, but are primarily focused on exploring the natural history of these colossal creatures, rather than the fictitious portrayals found in mass media.
In discovering this terrible void, an idea hatched. Why not create an annual party celebrating pop-culture dinosaurs and kaiju – their Japanese kin?
Despite some initial skepticism by her family, Zolondz booked a venue and started planning. When she says she’ll do something, she actually makes it happen. Especially when it involves something awesome, like creating a dinosaur convention.
The inaugural event – held in Scottsdale in 2013 – proved successful. Not only did people show up, but the fan base was highly engaged and enthusiastic, with lots of great ideas to contribute.
Based on audience feedback and a new sense of direction, Phoenix DinoCon moved to Downtown Phoenix and is bigger, better and more much more interactive in 2014. There’s also beer and wine.
“It’s really important that people’s voices are heard and the community is involved,” said Zolondz.
One of the best aspects of creating this event, according to Zolondz, is involving local artists, vendors and organizations. As a co-creator, she’s dedicated to supporting independent businesses and artists. Especially when they can all come together around a great common goal – one that celebrates the way dinosaurs capture the human imagination and foster creativity.
The event takes place from 3p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 2 at the Phoenix Center for the Arts. Registration begins at 2:30 p.m. and the Velociraptor Vendor Room opens at 3:30 p.m. Online tickets are sold out but more will be made available at the door for $5 each as space allows. Visit the website to see the full schedule and list of panels.
*Photos courtesy of NBMA Photography, Phoenix DinoCon 2013.