Does Todd McFarlane ever sleep? In between overseeing day-to-day operations at three different companies, raising three kids, developing movie and television projects, and occasionally drawing pages for his signature title Spawn, the Valley resident and comic book mogul has been putting the finishing touches on McFarlane Toys Showroom and Store, 8945 South Harl Avenue, Suite 112, in Tempe.
The establishment, which opens on Saturday, October 16 -- with a signing appearance by McFarlane (along with his chief toy designer Ed Frank, and Spawn artist Greg Capullo) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- will be part monument to all things McFarlane and part showroom and retail store for his varying toy lines. The Atomic Comics of the Valley shouldn't worry about McFarlane cutting into their business: The joint's more of an outlet store for out-of-stock merchandise. McFarlane also pushes the museum aspect of the store, which includes toy molds, prototypes, concept artwork, movie props, and items from McFarlane's personal collection.
"It's there so anybody can come once a month and spend 20 minutes, walk out, not drop a nickel, and feel like it was worth the trip," McFarlane says. "It's the same reason people go to Planet Hollywood, just to look at all the cool stuff that they'd never get to see."
See, McFarlane's just like your geeky friends, except his collection includes Barry Bonds' home run ball No. 73, an authentic "Jason" mask from Friday the 13th, and a guitar signed by the members of KISS (and he gets laid far more often -- when he can find the time, that is). Call 480-785-2553 or see www.spawn.com. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Father Knows Death
Monsters got Frankenstein's Baby's back
Don't tell mom, the baby sitter's undead, when Frankenstein's Baby -- which explores monster parenting from a puppet show perspective -- takes the stage Thursday, October 14, at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 West Latham. When Dr. Frankenstein goes to the Mad Scientist Conference, he leaves his baby with the bumbling, big-hearted Frankenstein's monster, who enlists the help of the Wolfman and some other fiends, er, friends. Can the band of bogeymen change a stinky poo and prevent the evil Grusilla from snatching the baby? Find out through October 31, with 10 a.m. shows Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. shows Saturdays and Sundays. For tickets, $6 to $8, call 602-262-2050. -- Niki D'Andrea
Fried and True
Taste rules at the Native American Farmer's Market
Have a secret obsession with fry bread -- that flaky, doughy goodness sprinkled with powdered sugar or cradling a taco salad? You're not alone. Lucky for us, there's a place to get our fix this month. The Native American Farmer's Market, on Sunday, October 17, at the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, 4619 East Washington, offers up fry bread junkies can only dream of every other day of the year. The free event, which lasts from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., features hands-on activities, crafts and food demonstrations, as well as fresh-picked fruits and veggies, baked goods, roasted corn and traditional Native American food. Call 602-495-0901. --Erika Wurst
Play some B.I.N.G.O. in D.R.A.G.
Who says the blue hairs get to have all the fun? On Thursday, October 14, the blondes, brunettes and redheads get in on the bingo action too, when Austin Head, a.k.a "Vera Las Vegas" hosts "Drag Bingo" at The Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue, starting at 8 p.m. In between the bingo, Las Vegas will perform comedy tunes and "fun, upbeat stuff," including songs like "West Hollywood Lifestyle" and "Gay Boyfriend." Last month, Las Vegas handed out "things not sold on eBay" to lucky winners. This month, it's "random things from my mother's house." Admission is $5. Call 602-256-6006 or see www.veralasvegas.com. -- Joe Watson
State Fair hosts W&L tribute show
Anything that's held the public's attention since 1954 deserves a dose of nostalgia. On Sunday, October 17, the Arizona State Fair hosts the "Wallace & Ladmo 50th Anniversary Stage Show," featuring some of the show's most popular characters, including Aunt Maude and Captain Super. Hub Kapp and the Wheels will perform a few songs, and both Wallace (Bill Thompson) and Gerald (Pat McMahon) appear in the show. No one will pose as the late Ladmo (Ladimir Kwiatkowski, who died of cancer in 1994), but there will be video clips of him between skits. And, of course, Ladmo bags for the first 1,000 people through the door. The show starts at 2 p.m. at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, 1826 West McDowell, and is free with State Fair admission ($4.50 for children and seniors, $9.50 for adults). Call 602-268-FAIR (3247). -- Niki D' Andrea
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Rhythm and Woos
Wear your perversions proudly
What makes a fetish party more than a costume party, aside from the large quantities of leather, latex and leashes? "A fetish party is just a great way of expressing the naughty side of a costume party," says Bob Corritore, owner of the Rhythm Room. Inspired by other fantasy costume parties, Corritore decided to throw his own fetish fest to honor Halloween's horny side. Along with friend and sexy sidekick Mistress Raven, Corritore will play host to "Mistress Raven's Fetish Costume Party" at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School, on Friday, October 15, starting at 8 p.m. Expect tosee the standard naughty nurse/schoolgirl/French maid, Corritore says, but as far as representing your own fetish, anything goes. "Someone could show up as a huge foot," he says. "It's whatever people are into." To stay true to the Rhythm Room's repertoire, Knee Deep will take the stage at 9 p.m. Prepare to shell out a 10-spot if you come in costume, $15 in civvies. Call602-265-4842 or see www.rhythm room.com. -- Ashlea Deahl