Phoenix Comicon 2014 Countdown: Eclectic events with local flair
The 2014 Phoenix Comicon is almost here, and while you are salivating over the opportunity to meet Stan Lee, or glowing over the hope of getting an autograph from Danny Glover (not to mention longing for a liaison with Kelly LeBrock), don’t forget that the convention is your chance to connect with the Arizona geek community, which just happens to be one of the coolest and most creative in the country.
Of course you should check out phoenixcomicon.com for their complete list of programming and up-to-the-minute updates on times and locations, but we’ve compiled a short list of what we consider Comicon “don’t miss” events and panels that have a focus on local nerdy flair.
Nerd Poetry Slam:
Friday, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Location: North 127ab
The Nerd Poetry Slam has some of the best and funniest performance art you are ever likely to see and features local talent like the lovely Lauren Perry and Arizona’s Nerd Poet Laureate, The Klute (author of Escape Velocity.) If you are on the fence over the sometimes dry “poetry” connotation, fuhgeddaboudit! This is absolutely one of the most entertaining events at the con and you’ll be happy you gave it a shot.
If you are interested in giving Nerd Poetry a try yourself, Nerd Poetry Slam founder, Bob Nelson will be hosting a “Celebrity Nerd Poets” panel on Friday (6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at North 127ab) before the contest, where you can learn more about the event, meet the judges, and ask questions.
Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown (PUGS):
Round One –
Thursday, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. – Location: North 131
Round Two –
Friday, 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. – Location: North 131
When men get to fighting, it happens here, and it finishes here. Two men enter; one man leaves. And now, I’ve got two men. Two men with a gut full of fear. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… PUGS time’s here!
– Rejected Dr. Dealgood line from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
The geekist of our local geeks go up against each other in a battle of wits, determining the outcome of arguments like, “Who would win in a battle between Thunderdome’s Master Blaster and Game of Thrones’ Tyrion Lannister and The Mountain?” The “Pugsilists” don’t know what their topic will be until it’s their turn to compete, which makes for some spontaneous one-of-a-kind hilarity.
Hosted by local nerd celebrities, Andrea Beesley (AKA the Midnite Movie Mamacita), Jeff Moriarty (AKA the founder of Ignite Phoenix), and Jonathan Simon (AKA Lightning Octopus), PUGS has become a super-popular mainstay of the Phoenix Comicon. You should go out of your way to plan on attending both Thursday & Friday nights. If you’d like to compete, you can register online HERE.
Steampunk Fashion Show:
Saturday, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Location: North 229ab
The Valley community has some of the most incredible Steampunk costumers in the world, and on Saturday you can see them strut their Victorian fantasy stuff on the Comicon fashion runway. Be sure to bring your protective goggles in case of stray aether oscillator rays. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate in the show.
If your ray gun is not quite ready for the big time, you can attend the Steampunk Weapons panel on Sunday (12:00 – 1:00 p.m. – Location: North 230) and hear some tips on getting your gizmos properly calibrated from local professionals like The Brose Brothers, Mike Syfritt, and Tim Holt.
Meet Valley Superheroes:
Justice League Arizona! Arizona’s Premiere DC universe Costumers for Causes
Friday, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Location: North 225b
Arizona Avengers 5th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Location: North 232bc
These local heroes aren’t just pretending. By helping a myriad of charities and participating in community events, they’re the real deal (not to mention having some of the most lifelike costumes you’re going to see at the convention.) Take this opportunity to learn about the people behind the masks and all of good that they are up to.
The Official Handbook to the AZ Universe:
Saturday, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Location: North 129b
We told you about “The Official Handbook to the AZ Universe” a couple of week ago, but this awesome project bears mentioning again. At this panel you’ll be able to meet many of Arizona’s comic book creators and ask questions about their books, their colorful characters and their craft.
The brains behind the AZ Universe book (Denny Riccelli [AKA Dennmann] and Eric Mengel) will also be participating in the “Jack Kirby: King of Comic Books” panel on Saturday (6:00 – 7:00 p.m.), together with Kirby historian, Mark Evanier. Now that’s pretty good company!
For up-to-date details about Phoenix Comicon 2014, go to: phoenixcomicon.com. For all of NERDVANA’s Phoenix Comicon coverage, click HERE; and follow our ‘live’ Phoenix Comicon 2014 coverage on Twitter @nerdvana.