9 Nerdy Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This June

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The time has finally arrived, geeks. It's June, which means Phoenix Comicon is here. Ready to put on your probably-way-too-layered cosplay and go out into 112-degree weather to hang out with thousands of other people doing the same? Great. But remember: We're all in this together. And also remember: deodorant. Here's a guide to an array of nerdy events this month, including (duh) Comicon — as well as eight other great things to do.

Phoenix Comicon 2016
Phoenix Comicon isn't a nerdy thing to do in Phoenix, it's the nerdy thing to do in Phoenix, the largest local celebration of geek culture all year. From Thursday, June 2, through Sunday, June 5, the entire Phoenix Convention Center — plus much of the surrounding area — will host a giant showfloor of comic creators and local vendors, an array of panels on varying aspects of geek culture, a film festival, a series of concerts, and thousands of cosplaying attendees. Catch appearances from actors such as Doctor Who's Alex Kingston and Billie Piper, Lord of the Rings' Sean Astin, and Karate Kid's Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. Seriously, if you're a Phoenix-based nerd, you have no excuse for missing this one. Tickets for the full four days cost $70, while single-day tickets vary in price. Buy them now, or learn more at the event's website.

"To The Edge of the Universe"
The Marston Exploration Theater is one of ASU's greatest hidden gems, with an astounding planetarium system that allows them to render 3D stereographic projections in 4K resolution. If you want to see it in action, come watch "To The Edge of the Universe," a journey deep into the cosmos and back. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1, and will last an hour. General admission is $7.50, and students pay $5.50. To find out more, visit ASU's website.

When You Wish: The Story of Walt Disney
You've seen dozens of his films, but how much do you know about Walt Disney? The new musical When You Wish tells the story anew at Phoenix Theatre. Celebrate the inspirational life of the legendary creator and become a part of the magic until Sunday, June 12. Tickets range from $36 to $81, and they're selling out fast. Learn more and purchase tickets at Phoenix Theatre's website.

Star Wars vs. Star Trek: The Music of Deep Space
The eternal Star Wars/Star Trek debate continues at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, with the Phoenix Symphony. The Symphony will perform classic musical works from throughout the long histories of both franchises, from A New Hope to The Force Awakens, from The Wrath of Khan to Into Darkness. Patrons are encouraged to come in costume, and can even vote on their phones to decide which series will get the final number. Tickets range from $15 to $45 per seat. To learn more and buy tickets, visit the Symphony's website.

Zombie Apocalypse Live at Fear Farm
This apocalyptic event is a "live action, video-game-like zombie shooting experience" where participants must hunt down costumed zombies with hyper-realistic M4 replicas to fight for their survival. Prove your worth in a life-or-death fight from Tuesday, June 10, through Thursday, June 12, at Fear Farm. Coming dressed in end-of-the-world attire is recommended. Tickets start at $29.99, and higher-end packages come with more ammo and additional Special Ops missions. Find out more and buy tickets on the event's website.

The Spelling Bee-r at Valley Bar
If you haven't participated in a spelling bee since grade school, now's your chance to bring your vocabulary skills back for another round. On Wednesday, June 15, at 8 p.m., Valley Bar will host its first ever spelling bee, free for both participants and attendees. Four Peaks Brewery will sponsor the competition, so you can quell your nerves with a brew before going onstage. If you'd like to compete, e-mail hautestew@gmail.com and say why. To learn more about the 21-and-over event, visit Valley Bar's website.

Aliens 30th Anniversary Screening
James Cameron's Aliens has become one of the most revered action movies in history and one of the handful of film sequels generally considered just as good as (or better than) the original. To celebrate the film's 30th anniversary, Cult Classics and Zia Records will present a special one-night-only screening of the film on Saturday, June 18, at Pollack Tempe Cinemas. See it with other fans of the film in all its big-screen glory. General admission is $11, but Cult Classics also offer a series of VIP packages with bonus goodies if you're willing to pay a bit more. Purchase tickets and learn more at the event's website.

Lisa Hanawalt: Hot Dog Taste Test
You might not know Hanawalt by name, but you've likely seen her work as production designer and producer of the Netflix series Bojack Horseman. This June, the James Beard Award-winning cartoonist will release her second book, Hot Dog Taste Test, which tackles the likes of foodie behavior, pop culture, and personal relationships in cartoon form. Hanawalt will visit Changing Hands Bookstore on Monday, June 20, at 7 p.m. to discuss and sign the book. Learn more and preorder your copy of Hot Dog Taste Test on the Changing Hands website.

LepreCon 42
Phoenix Comicon may get most of the attention, but for a more intimate, focused event, check out LepreCon from Thursday, June 23, to Sunday, June 26. The theme of this year's edition of the annual science fiction and fantasy convention is "The Meaning of Life, The Universe, and Everything," borrowing inspiration from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Attendees can enjoy art galleries, group gaming, appearances by special guests, panel discussions, cosplay contests, and more. The event will take place at the Embassy Suites Phoenix North. Standard adult admission costs $40, but costs vary based on permissions and age. Learn more and purchase your membership at the event's website.

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