Neil Gaiman discusses his career as a comic book author, novelist, screenwriter, and voice actor at MAC.EXPAND
Neil Gaiman discusses his career as a comic book author, novelist, screenwriter, and voice actor at MAC.
Beowulf Sheehan

10 Nerdy Things to Do This April in Metro Phoenix

The first full month of spring looks primed to deliver the thinking man’s goods across metro Phoenix. That is to say, April is chock full of author appearances, comedy festivals, and more than a few science-themed events.

From a screening of 1984 at FilmBar to Phoenix’s Official March For Science happening through downtown on Earth Day, Valley nerds have a full dance card for the month of April.

An Evening with Neil Gaiman
Comic book author, novelist, screenwriter, voice actor, British – Neil Gaiman is the ultimate nerd’s nerd. The man behind The Sandman and Coraline is coming to Mesa for An Evening with Neil Gaiman, happening at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, in the Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center. Tickets range from $35 to $65, and can be purchased at 480-644-6500.

ASU shows off eight trees during the third annual Tour des Trees.
ASU shows off eight trees during the third annual Tour des Trees.
Courtesy of Trees Matter

Tour de Trees 2017
Arizona State Forestry, Arizona State University, the Arizona Community Tree Council, Trees Matter, and the Arizona Nursery Association are putting on the third annual Tour de Trees event. The party starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 1, on Cady Mall at Arizona State University. The tour showcases eight trees on the ASU Tempe campus, including a Sour Orange, Twisted Myrtle, and a Canary Island Pine. The self-guided, pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly event is free to the public. For a guided tour, led by a certified arborist from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., register at the Trees Matter website.

A screening of 1984 will hit hard in April 2017.EXPAND
A screening of 1984 will hit hard in April 2017.
Park Circus

1984
You don’t have to have the book/film 1984 memorized to compare it to the current state of things, but in case you want to make a really poignant reference, FilmBar is screening the classic at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday 4, April. The showing is in tandem with nearly 90 other art theaters in 79 cities in in 34 states, and one spot in Canada, with support from the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. Tickets are $12, with a portion of sales donated to the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. Call 602-595-9187 for more info.

Editor Jared Shurin signs copies of The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories at Poisoned Pen Bookstore.EXPAND
Editor Jared Shurin signs copies of The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories at Poisoned Pen Bookstore.
Lisa Wright @ Kindred

Jared Shurin: Djinn Falls in Love
There’s an entire book, written by best-selling and award-winning international authors penning new and classic stories, about the fearsome Djinn, which happen to be spirits of some kind. This anthology of Middle Eastern fantasy is called The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories, and its editor, Jared Shurin, will be signing copies at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5. Call 480-947-2974 for more information.

Greg Behrendt and others headline the 2017 Bird City Comedy Festival.EXPAND
Greg Behrendt and others headline the 2017 Bird City Comedy Festival.
Gersh Agency

2017 Bird City Comedy Festival
This four-day comedy escape is spread over downtown Phoenix, and features stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy, plus a little humorous storytelling. Headliners for 2017 include Kristine Levine, local guy Matt Storrs, former local guy Anthony Desamito, Aparna Nancherla, and Greg Behrendt. The Bird City Comedy Festival runs from Thursday, April 6, till Sunday, April 9. Tickets range from $2.50 to $75, with discounts for students.

Read on for deets on the March for Science, Phoenix Improv Fest, and more.

Arizona Scientifica tours some of the Valley's most incredible laboratories.EXPAND
Arizona Scientifica tours some of the Valley's most incredible laboratories.
Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Arizona Scientifica
Meet in the parking lot of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art for Arizona Scientifica, a SMoCA staff-led tour of Phoenix’s laboratories. The tour includes hands-on activities at Stax 3D, demonstrations of mechanized exoskeletons at ASU’s Human Machine Integration Lab, and 3-D-printed hearts at the Cardiac 3DPrint Lab at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The tour runs from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. Lunch and transportation is included in the tour, costing $100 per person or $90 for museum members. Call 480-874-4666 for more details.

Check out the past three years of progress from the ASU Institute of Human Origins at TCA.
Check out the past three years of progress from the ASU Institute of Human Origins at TCA.
Courtesy ASU Institute of Human Origins

ASU Institute of Human Origins Science Symposium
As far as symposiums go, the ASU Institute of Human Origins has a pretty good one lined up in the name of science. The Evolutionary Foundations of Human Uniqueness event covers three years of research and projects made possible by a $4.9 million grant to the John Templeton Foundation. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Attendees are asked to grab a free, but required, ticket.

The Phoenix Improv Festival has some of the best international improv groups, including Mail Order Bride, at Herberger Theater.
The Phoenix Improv Festival has some of the best international improv groups, including Mail Order Bride, at Herberger Theater.
Cristobal Candelario

Phoenix Improv Festival
Held at the Herberger Theater Center, the Phoenix Improv Festival is a collection of local and international performers and a series of workshops. Performers include B.E.T.H. from Los Angeles, The Cast from New York, Apollo 12 from Phoenix, and way more stuff — like the Four Pillars Of Improv workshop with Jacob Schneider. PIF 2017 starts at 7 p.m. each night from Thursday, April 20, to Saturday, April 22. Tickets range from $10 to $20. Call 480-389-4852 for general information.

The Official March For Science is ready to show its numbers on Earth Day in downtown Phoenix.
The Official March For Science is ready to show its numbers on Earth Day in downtown Phoenix.
Courtesy of Official March For Science

Official March For Science
This Earth Day, you can hit the concrete during the Official March For Science – happening throughout downtown Phoenix from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 22. The march begins with a rally at the Cesar Chavez Memorial Plaza at Historic City Hall, followed by the march, and then a Science Fair, speakers, and food trucks. The Phoenix March for Science is free to attend. See their Facebook group for more information.

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day at both Changing Hands locations and Poisoned Pen.
Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day at both Changing Hands locations and Poisoned Pen.
Andrew Pielage

Independent Bookstore Day
This annual, one-day event celebrates independently owned bookstores across the country. Saturday, April 29, is Independent Bookstore Day, and a couple of locally owned bookshops are celebrating with crafts, literary trivia, tarot card readings, "Shelfie" photo booth stations, Poetry on Demand from Four Chambers Press, an all-day coloring station, and happy hour pricing at First Draft Book Bar all day long. Meanwhile, at Poisoned Pen, they’ll be giving out some small prizes and running a sale, and their partner Libro.fm, will be giving away one free audio book. Both locations of Changing Hands will also be hosting some activities. Call 480-730-0205 for Changing Hands Tempe, and 602-274-0067 for Changing Hands Phoenix.

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