Phoenix Comicon Announces December Fan Fest 2014

Benjamin Leatherman
Get excited, Comicon fans.
Ask and you shall receive.

For those who've wished that Comicon could happen more than once a year, your voices have been heard, loud and clear. After a suspenseful three-day countdown, organizers of the annual summer convention announced on Saturday, September 27, that they would be hosting a new sister event Friday, December 12, through Sunday, December 14, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

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5 Favorite Costumes From Saboten Con 2014 in Glendale

Categories: Geekery

Photos by Benjamin Leatherman
Autumn Ivy, Heidi Wyatt, Samantha Adair, Dana Dodge portray a quartet of "BooBies" waitresses from Space Dandy at Saboten Con 2014 in Glendale.
Japanese pop culture can often be a bit colorful and imaginative, to put it mildly. Maybe we're showing our gaijin (or foreigner) by saying such things, but it seems that much of what constitutes entertainment by denizens of the Asian isle -- be it video games, TV shows, movies, literature, or animation -- tends to be splashy, flashy, fanciful, or even a little weird.

So it stands to reason that an event like Saboten Con, the yearly event that's arguably the largest Japanese pop culture convention in the Southwest, would be just as colorful and imaginative. And it was, particularly the costumes worn by its attendees.

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Vote For Your Favorite PBS Nerd Walk T-Shirt Design Through September 15

Categories: Geekery

Benjamin Leatherman
The six finalists in Eight Arizona's PBS Nerd Walk T-shirt design contest on display at Bookmans in Phoenix.
When gaggles of local geeks stroll down University Drive in Tempe on November 1 for this year's PBS Nerd Walk, many will be clad in cheery, gold-colored T-shirts adorned with a particularly nerdy bit of artwork. And exactly what piece of art will be featured on said shirts? Well, that's entirely up to y'all.

Earlier this month, the staff of local PBS station Eight, Arizona unveiled six finalists in its contest to design the T-shirts for the annual Nerd Walk -- and it's now up to the public to decide which one is the best.

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George Takei Screens New Documentary Tonight at Harkins Shea 14 in Scottsdale

Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons
Get ready to lose your Sulu-loving mind.

Actor, activist, social media star, and part-time Arizona resident George Takei and his husband Brad are hosting a special screening of the new documentary To Be Takei: A Star's Trek for Life, Liberty, and Love in Scottsdale tonight, August 26. The film, which is playing exclusively at Harkins Shea 14, will screen at 7 p.m. and conclude with a Q&A with the Takeis.

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6 Things We Learned at Phoenix DinoCon 2014

Categories: Geekery

Photos by Benjamin Leatherman
Hold onto your butts.
Didja happen to know that every dinosaur may have had feathers? What about the notion that the Tyrannosaurus Rex most likely had really bad breath, given that it ate nothing but meat and probably never brushed between meals?

We boned up on these seemingly random factoids this past weekend while hanging out at Phoenix DinoCon 2014, the annual one-day pop cultural convention devoted to the larger-than-life lizards.

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Anwar Newton on His San Diego Comic-Con Shroom Freakout

Yosef Rodel
Anwar Newton during a stand-up act

San Diego Comic-Con is an exhausting, chaotic mess. Going to panels and rubbing elbows with folks dressed up like Doctor Who and Game of Thrones characters sounds fun, but in reality, you spend most of your time waiting in lines. It's a bit absurd when you think about it.

Phoenix comedian Anwar Newton dealt with said absurdity by taking hallucinogenic mushrooms and chronicling his experiences in texts to his girlfriend. While Newton initially thought it was a good idea, it quickly turned into a bad trip. Newton had a bit of a freakout, thanks to people in rabbit costumes, giant buttholes, and a Pro-Palestine protest. His text messages have since gone viral via Imgur.

I caught up with Newton to discuss his bad trip and why he thinks San Diego Comic-Con has spiraled out of control.

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Women in Cosplay: The Heroic Task of Putting Up With Other People's Opinions at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Categories: Comics, Geekery

Heather Hoch
Who's really the scantily-clad one here?
Ladies, the time of female cosplay is here, and it's a great thing. If you're looking to inject a little escapism into your day-to-day grind, dressing up as your favorite superhero and stomping around a convention like you own the place is the way to go. All rude comments and creepy dudes aside, the experience is overall positive as attitudes in the nerd community shift to include women more and more. For me, San Diego Comic-Con 2014 was more about checking out amazing cosplay than it was getting a posted signed by the Vampire Diaries cast.

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Asteroids Named After Two Arizona State University Professors

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
So your kids share your surname? Big deal. Some people have entire minor planets named after them, including professors Phil Christensen and Dave Williams of the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration. The newly credited outer space insiders received their solar system namesakes from the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a considerable honor in the astronomy community.

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Phoenix DinoCon Pre-Sale Tickets Sold Out -- But You Might Be Able to Get in Anyway

Photo credit: Trcic Studio
Who knew Phoenix had some many dinosaur fans?

Arizona's original dinosaur fan convention DinoCon comes to Phoenix Center for the Arts on Saturday, August 2, from 3 to 9 p.m., and sadly it's not just these larger than life creatures that have gone extinct. Advanced tickets for the one-day convention have sold out online. But never fear, patrons of the prehistoric, because a limited number tickets will still be available at the door on the day of.

And we have a feeling this is one convention your not going to want to miss.

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Call for Artists: Help Design the T-Shirt for PBS Nerd Walk 2014

Categories: Geekery

Dream Photography Studio
PBS Nerd Walk participants in 2012.
If you happen to be a geek with either artistic leanings or a flair for design (or both), the people at local PBS affiliate Eight, Arizona would like to tap some of your brain power.

Don't worry, they're not interested in plugging electrodes into your head as part of a weird experiment for one of their programs or anything of that sort. Instead, they're currently looking for someone to design the commemorative T-shirt for their PBS Nerd Walk in the fall and are hoping that some creative-minded local geeks might have some ideas.

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