Nerd Culture

10 Nerdy Things to Do this May in Metro Phoenix

From Phoenix Comic Fest to the music of John Williams to a game of dominoes, it's nerdy May in metro Phoenix.
From Phoenix Comic Fest to the music of John Williams to a game of dominoes, it's nerdy May in metro Phoenix. Benjamin Leatherman
Get in, losers. We’re going … everywhere. It’s a busy month for nerds across the Valley this May due to a couple of major annual events, including Star Wars Day, the Arizona Comic Mini Expo, and – oh, I don’t know – Phoenix Comic Fest.

Throw in the music of John Williams as performed by the Phoenix Symphony and a Mesa appearance by "Weird Al" Yankovic, and we’ve got ourselves a full dance card of fringe entertainment.

Here are 10 nerdy things to do in the Valley this May.

Star Wars Day
For some, May 4 is the day MCA moved on from this mortal coil, but for others (and there’s probably a big overlap), it’s Star Wars Day. May the fourth be with you at the CopperWynd Resort & Club when they host Star Wars Day. Expect Star Wars airings, drink specials, and plenty of popcorn. This free event runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 4. RSVP to Kitty at [email protected] See the Facebook event for more details.

click to enlarge Fantastic Planet is downtown Mesa's big humanoid public art exhibit coming in May. - COURTESY OF PARER STUDIO
Fantastic Planet is downtown Mesa's big humanoid public art exhibit coming in May.
Courtesy of Parer Studio
Fantastic Planet
Downtown Mesa will host six illuminated humanoid figures constructed by Australian artist Amanda Parer. See three at Mesa Arts Center, one at Milano Music, one at the i.d.e.a. Museum, and the last at the Federal Building. The American debut of Fantastic Planet will be a sight, and a free-to-view one at that. The installation starts Friday, May 4. Other festivities that night include Second Friday Night Out: Sci-Fi Friday and free admission at i.d.e.a. Museum, the Arizona Museum of Natural History, the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum (also hosting a free reception from 7 to 10 p.m) on Friday, May 11. See more information at the Mesa Arts Center website.

click to enlarge Arizona Comic Mini Expo is back at Samurai Comics in Mesa. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Arizona Comic Mini Expo is back at Samurai Comics in Mesa.
Benjamin Leatherman
Arizona Comic Mini Expo
Hosted by Samurai Comics in Mesa, the annual Arizona Comic Mini Expo is a gathering of professional comic creators who will be on-site signing and selling comics, as well as sketching and most likely chatting with fans. Guests include Andrew Maclean, John Layman, Meredith McClaren, Ryan Cody, and more. ACME 2018 is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 5 – a.k.a. Free Comic Book Day. See the ACME website for more details.

click to enlarge Poisoned Pen Bookstore is hosting Cozycon 2018 in May 5. - POISONED PEN BOOKSTORE
Poisoned Pen Bookstore is hosting Cozycon 2018 in May 5.
Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Cozycon 2018
There’s nothing more comfortable than cozying up with a good book, hence Cozycon 2018. It's an annual, multi-author event held at The Poisoned Pen . This year’s event is scheduled with talks, panels, and plenty of refreshments, with guests including Tessa Arlen, Kate Carlisle, Jane Cleland, Vicki Delany, C.S. Harris, Jenn Mckinlay, Ann Parker, and Page Shelton. The event is free, and goes from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 5. See the Poisoned Pen website for more information.

click to enlarge “Weird Al” Yankovic is performing originals in Mesa. - COURTESY OF MESA ARTS CENTER
“Weird Al” Yankovic is performing originals in Mesa.
Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center
“Weird Al” Yankovic
Everyone’s favorite parody artist isn’t coming to the Mesa Arts Center to do parody. That’s right, that goofball “Weird Al” Yankovic is promising an intimate show of original, more sincere songs from his three-decade, 14-album career. He’s calling it the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour, and it ropes in Emo Phillips, too. See Al at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, in the Ikeda Theater. Tickets are $39.50 to $69.50. See the Mesa Arts Center website for details.

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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.