Lightning Octopus: Big Brain 2013 Finalist, Online

You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives and the results are in. Introducing our Big Brain 2013 Finalists.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award awards announcement and celebration on April 27, Chow Bella and Jackalope Ranch will introduce the finalists.

Up today: Lightning Octopus

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photos by Darby Simon
Jonathan Simon has a tendency to geek out. A lot. You can tell when it's happening, as the 32-year-old blogger usually sports a boyish grin when discussing things he's passionate about, such as space ("I'm a big solar system nerd"), Super Nintendo, and sci-fi novels (Nick Harkaway's post-apocalyptic tome The Gone-Away World is a major fave).

See also:
- Announcing the 2013 Big Brain Finalists
- Meet New Times' 2013 Big Brain Finalists and Celebrate the Winners at Artopia on April 27

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Darby Simon
He wears an even bigger smile when gushing about a particularly favorite subject: the joys of local geek culture. Over the past three years, he's explored, chronicled, and celebrated homegrown nerdom in the Valley on his renowned blog Lightning Octopus.

Since launching in 2010, Simon's exhaustively championed the imaginative efforts of like-minded local comic book scribes, fantasy authors, indie auteurs, and countless creatives of a geeky via the site, as well as giving the lowdown on nerd-oriented events throughout Arizona. It also helped reinvent his life.

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