Science-fiction conventions attract the city's geeks and freaks faster than you can say "dungeon master." The largest gaming convention in Arizona, HexaCon 15, runs the gaming gamut from old-school Dungeons & Dragons adventures to Pokémon and Harry Potter. For a mere $25, wage head-to-head cyber wars, purchase a used copy of Halo 2 at auction, browse the dealer's room for rare Star Trek action figures, or tackle foes with padded swords during live-action role playing (LARP). Contests include "Magic: The Gathering" card games, chess tournaments and miniature painting. Wouldn't be caught dead with these losers? Think again. Most so-called "nerds" are winning cash prizes and selling card collections for $50K while you're still living in your mama's basement scraping to get by on minimum wage. Checkmate! The geeks take over Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, 60 East Fifth Street, beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, August 5, and continuing until 7 p.m. Sunday, August 7. Call 623-773-1816. -- Wynter Holden

Clowns? Killer!
No wonder they cry

SAT 8/6
They are the creatures of nightmares, wielding rubber chickens and plastic flowers, sniffing out children with their bulbous red noses and chasing after them with the thud-thud of gigantic shoes. They are clowns, and coulrophobia -- "the irrational fear of clowns" -- isn't exactly irrational when you think of clowns like It and John Wayne Gacy. But why let a couple of sinister spikes spoil the whole punch line? Most clowns are really just ridiculous rogues who make you laugh while they twist balloons into inflatable llamas. On Saturday, August 6, more than 100 safe and silly clowns will parade down the streets of Rawhide, 23023 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, for "Clown Day." The event, which lasts from 5 to 10 p.m., includes free face painting and "balloon sculpting," with a fireworks display capping off the day. Admission is free. Call 480-502-5600 or visit www.rawhide.com. -- Niki D'Andrea

Face the Music
(Second to) Last reZurrection

Music legends like Johnny Cash, John Lennon, Ray Charles, and John Lee Hooker always looked great onstage. Now Tempe artist Debbie Wahl proves conclusively that they look equally good in mosaics, in an exhibition titled "reZurrecting Rock-N-Roll Legends," through Wednesday, August 10, at reZurrection Gallery, 601 West University in Tempe. A host of rock 'n' roll mosaics as colorful as the artists they portray is complemented by the photographs of Joseph Szkodzinski, whose work captures the faces and places that embodied New York City's punk and New Wave scene in the '70s and '80s. This is also reZurrection's second-to-last show ever, so do what you can to get your fix sooner than later. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. Call 480-377-9080 or see www.rezurrectiongallery.net. -- Craig Wallach

The Doctor's In-sane
Analyze and discuss creepy film

THU 8/4
You'll need more than an apple a day to keep this disturbed doctor away. The Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue, presents Thomas Nöla's second film effort, The Doctor, narrated by Death in June gothic-rocker Douglas P. A child psychologist takes a trip into the mind of a dead patient. Mythological creatures and talking puppets lurk in the darkest corners of the shrink's past. Vacation from the ordinary? Snooze fest? Surrealist nightmare? Cast your vote at the post-show discussion forum. The voyeuristic voyage begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, August 4. Admission costs $5. Call 602-262-2020. -- Wynter Holden

Forced Out
ASU closes book on Star Wars

ASU's Hayden Library has hosted curious characters over the years, whether it's been Millrats peeping porno on computer terminals or snoozing students catching catnaps between exams. In recent months, however, the lobby of the book depository -- located at 525 South Forest in Tempe -- has hosted freaky fanboys drooling to a bantha-size assortment of Star Wars memorabilia on display. In addition to hundreds of old-school Kenner action figures and toys from the original trilogy, the collection includes coffee mugs, bedsheets, autographed photos, soundtracks, promotional materials, and other swag from a galaxy far, far away, which were donated by former ASU English and film professor Nicholas Salerno back in the 1980s. But if they're planning some Mission: Impossible-like caper to get their mitts on a mint Boba Fett figure, they've only got until Monday, August 8. Call 480-965-3415 or see www.asu.edu/lib for hours of operation. -- Joe Watson

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea
Wynter Holden
Contact: Wynter Holden
Craig Wallach
Joe Watson