"We came from a Joke"
Phil tells his con's origin story
Fanaticon came from a joke in our game shop. While other large conventions were going on, customers would say "You should have your own "Fanatix-Con" hehe, we dropped the X and made it official in 2013. We're hosting the con at several different locations. The locations are Dothan Civic Center, Opera House, and Wiregrass Museum of Art - Dothan, Al
Our Video interview with Phil
Fanaticon has always tried to bring in a cross-section of local talent as well as a few relevant celebrities based on the communities interest. This year we're excited to have Rodger Bumpass (Squidward), George Lowe (Spaceghost), Phil Lamarr (Samurai Jack and many more!), Jim Ross (the legendary wrestling commentator), Maile Flanagan (the voice of Naruto), and Sonya Thompson (one of the most promoted zombies from the walking dead!). While celebrities are great we still try to feature local artists and vendors as well. Without community a convention has no soul. Conventions have to be careful when growing not to think Celebrities are the only content that matter!
How do you organize such a massive event that is always going? We start planning Fanaticon roughly 10-12 months out each year. Delegating when necessary and using lots of spreadsheets!
How does your comic con vary from year to year?
In the past we switch up venue layout to try new things, since moving the event to Dothan we had about 4 times the venue space to plan for. So this year it's been a lot of brainstorming to provide fun content on our slowly growing budget.
What type of panels will you be having this year?
Lots of interactive workshops on cosplay and acting. A few on comics and pop-culture, but again content here is driven by the community. We welcome all panelist to apply!
Venders are always interesting at comic con, do they contact you or did you track them down?
We have an application period in which vendors are approved or put on a wait list. We sell these spots out in 30 days almost 9 months prior to the event.
The event is partnered with many downtown cafe's and we encourage guests to explore Downtown Dothan and check out our Murals, Cafes, and other local tourist attractions while visiting our city.
Is Cosplay encouraged? And do to have a cosplay contest ?
Cosplay is encouraged not required. And we have a robust cosplay contest! Sign up ends 2pm on Saturday
What should 1st time comic con goer’s expect to see this year?
Expect lots of exploring. Don't just zip through and walk around one time. Really chat with vendors, artists, and guests. Conventions are about connections, not exhibition. Get interactive!
Many con goer’s like to take their kids, What does your con offer for the young ones ?
This year we have a professional clown and performer "Bobert the Balloon Guy" offering a full time kids activities area called "Bobert's Super Kids Academy"
What was the first comic you ever read and why?
The first comic book I truly read from start to finish would have been "Death Note" I was actually a late bloomer to the comics world. Growing up in south alabama, we didn't have many shops until I was much older. Which is part of the reason I've worked most of my adult life providing such products to the area.
What is your favorite thing that would make you a bit nerdy or geeky?
Lately i've been nerding out on Pro Wrestling! It's the unknown, superior art form and story telling device in american history. Expect a boom in this fandom in the next year.
What are some future projects for you have coming up?
We've started a couple of events: Yule Ball for December (A Harry Potter themed Holiday Formal Dinner) Dothan Tacomania (A lucha libre, music, and taco festival in April) and Fanatix Wrestling Federation (A wrestling promotion with a goal to produce 10 shows a year for Dothan, AL)
Thank you Phil Chalker on keeping us informed on your upcoming comic con in Dothan, AL., CNA will make sure to be there and bring you video footage from this great con. We don’t want to give away any secrets but if you are a Wrestling, Walking Dead, or DC fan come early the lines will be long.
For more information, find them at: https://www.alabamafanaticon.org/
Additional information about this con: https://www.alabamafanaticon.org/about-us.html