Monday, February 12

What’s in a name

Sigh. Just when you think you've heard everything, the geeks got into a legal fight with the nerds. 

The legal case began in 2014 when San Diego Comic-Con sued Salt Lake City Comic-Con claiming the use of "comic-con" in Salt Lake's name infringed on its trademark and confused the public.

Seriously!? "Con" is short for convention. Conventions have been held for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Fan conventions for various entertainment genres were first held in the 1930s, and Forrest J Ackerman wore the first documented "cosplay" during the First World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. 

So which came first?

San Diego: March 21, 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention

Phoenix: June 2002 as Phoenix Cactus Comicon

Salt Lake: Sept. 5–7, 2013 

A federal jury found on Dec. 8, 2017 that San Diego Comic-Con does hold a trademark on the term, but also ruled Salt Lake organizers did not willfully or intentionally violate it. They awarded San Diego Comic Con $20,000 in damages - not the $12 million San Diego wanted!

So on Jan. 2, 2018, the event formerly known as Phoenix Comicon (one word - a much better name!) posted this:

In recent months, the use of the word Comic-Con, and its many forms, has become litigious. We would prefer to focus on creating the best events and experiences for our attendees.

Therefore, effective immediately, our event held annually in Phoenix in the spring will be rebranded as Phoenix Comic Fest. It will take the remainder of this week to transfer our website, social media sites, and other assets to the new name. In the meantime, we look forward to bringing you more guest announcements, more comic creators, more programming, and more excitement for 2018.

In the coming weeks, look for announcements about our improved entry points and security, new partners, and more!

Now, Phoenix has held its winter Phoenix Fan Fest for several years. Maybe they were testing the waters for the name change. I don't know. Momma and I like the alliteration in Phoenix Fan Fest, but think Phoenix Comic Fest is kind of clunky.

Whatever the name, I can't wait to attend. Tim Curry. Ming Na. Three Disney princesses. Gail Carriger!

Hopefully those names won't change!


  1. Sorry it took so long to reply. I needed to print this out on my Xerox. Now I need a Kleenex. Maybe later, I'll go sit in a Jacuzzi and play with some Bubble Wrap. Hopefully, I won't need a Band-Aid. Make sure you take some Polaroids while you're at the fest! (rolling my eyes at the judgment...really??? So now no one can use Con as short for convention if it has to do with comics? I really hope someone backs their appeal and that they do appeal on free speech).

    1. Exactly. Hopefully that decision will be overruled and placed in the Dumpster.

  2. Yep, late to the party here too! I agree with you and Nonna, totally ridiculous! Also like Phoenix Fan Fest because the event features fandoms more than just comic books.