Nerd Culture

Arthur Darvil, Tahmoh Penikett, Jake "The Snake" Roberts Coming to Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest 2016

Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest organizers have been busy lately unveiling a slew of celebrities and geek icons that will appear at this year’s event. And it includes some pretty famous names.

Over the past week, they’ve announced a total of five special guests for Fan Fest, which takes place next month at the Phoenix Convention Center, and it's definitely caused some excitement among local geeks.

The list includes Doctor Who actor Arthur Darvill, pro wrestling legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts, famed comic book artist Bob Layton, Battlestar Galactica/Supernatural star Tahmoh Penikett, and puppeteer/actor Tim Rose, better known as the man who brought Admiral Ackbar to life in the Star Wars saga.

Fan Fest organizers previously announced earlier this month that that Stranger Things/Intruders actress Millie Bobby Brown would also appear at this year’s event.

Each of this latest crop of special guests boasts plenty of geek cred. Darvill, of course, portrayed Rory Williams, the boyfriend/companion of the Eleventh Doctor, on Doctor Who for two and a half seasons. Meanwhile, Roberts is one of the most widely known wrestlers in WWE history and is a member of the company’s illustrious Hall of Fame. (He’s also the star of The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, a gripping documentary chronicling his battles with substance abuse over the years.)

Penikett is a veteran character actor who’s appeared on such geek-friendly shows as Smallville, Haven, Arrow, Castle, and Joss Whedon’s short-lived drama Dollhouse. And, as comic book fans can attest, Layton has a long history in the sequential medium, including working for both DC and Marvel, and helped co-found Valiant Comics with Jim Shooter. 


Rounding out the list is Rose, who played Admiral Ackbar in 1983's Return of the Jedi (where he uttered the oft-referenced line, "It's a trap!") and last year's The Force Awakens.

If you’d like to meet any of these artists or icons, Fan Fest tickets are on sale now. Better get a move on, however, since admission prices go up by a few dollars on Thursday.

Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest takes place on Saturday, October 22, and Sunday, October 23, at the Phoenix Convention Center. Tickets are currently $15-$25 per day or $30 for the full event.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.