Geeks of the Valley are certainly a most imaginative group, especially whenever Phoenix Comicon time approaches. In fact, we know many a sci-fi or fantasy die-hard who spend the 12 months or so between each year's event exhaustively prepping their elaborate costumes or intricate art to show off to their fellow enthusiasts.
And then there are the creative cats who submit their impressive-looking etchings and sketchings in droves to the Badge Art Contest every year in the hopes of having their efforts worn around the necks of every single person in attendance. The final round of the 2013 version of the competition began in earnest earlier this week as Phoenix Comicon organizers posted the finalists. And, as always, the entries are equal parts astounding, interesting, or flat-out fun.
More than four-dozen entries make up the field of finalists and portray local artist's rendition of some of the most memorable characters in pop-culture, comic books, and science fiction.
One of our favorites, which has already scored scads of votes, is John Domrzalski's gorgeous gold and black depiction of a Cyberman and the TARDIS from Doctor Who done up in the art deco style of the movie poster for Fritz Lang's Metropolis. He's not the only one who utilized characters from the epic BBC series for their submission, as at least a half-dozen others who featured the universe's favorite timelord in their entries.
Many were also inspired by Comicon's special guests this year, such as Jeff Pina's cutesy portrayal of Kaylee Frye and the starship Serenity in honor of Jewel Staite of Firefly fame making an appearance at the annual event, which takes place over Memorial Day weekend.
There's also many entries by past winners of the Badge Art Contest who are giving it another go, like Phoenix resident Val Hochberg's multiple kick-ass submissions depicting both Hope Summers from the X-Men universe (currently the top vote-getter) and DC icon Wonder Woman.
Other standouts include super-deformed stylings of '80s cartoon superstars Voltron (the more popular lion version, not the far inferior vehicle one) by Pina and those heroic Thundercats by local artist/graphic designer Greg Ham.
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All 54 of the badge art finalists can be seen on the Comicon webpage. Organizers have stated that the voting process will take place entirely through their site and not through Facebook as in year's past.
Anyone interested in joining in and picking their favorites must first register and can vote up to five times per day until April 21. Organizers will then factor the results into the choosing of the winners, which will be announced in May.
Phoenix Comicon 2013 takes place from May 23-26 at Phoenix Convention Center. Admission is $15-$20. See the event's website for more details.