If there are a few pieces of helpful advice we can impart to people attending Phoenix Comicon, which kicks off less than 24 hours from now, it's these tips: Drink plenty of fluids, take frequent opportunities to rest, and know your physical limits.
Not only will it help the body endure the hours of hiking to events at the Phoenix Convention Center and nearby hotels, but it will allow you enough energy to partake in any of the nightlife events or after-parties (both official and unofficial) that will occur over Comicon weekend. That includes the seven different events that will go down at places like the Hyatt and Renaissance, as well as at other nearby venues after the Exhibitor Hall closes at night.
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Lucky Strike Lanes Anyone who happens to spend Friday, May 24, strolling around Comicon while suited up in armor or superhero regalia won't need to change into their street clothes in order to attend the "Mission: Lucky Strike" event later that evening. Costumes are more than encouraged at this "bowling and gaming party/fundraiser" being put on by Firebase Gaming, an Arizona-based social gamer group run by creatives and enthusiasts. Teams of dressed-up attendees will work the lanes in a quest for bowling supremacy at the event, which will benefit the local PeppedUp! charity.
Firebase will set up a "game lounge" inside Lucky Strike and conduct trivia contests, prize raffles, and drawings. Shoe rental and a free "arcade sampler card" (good for 15 minutes of play on non-redemption games at the adjacent Gypsy Bar) also is included. Admission prices vary from a $5 "spectator/gaming only" pass, which also includes entry to the raffles and contests, to a $25 "Firebase Supporter" pass that includes gaming, bowling, exclusive prints, drink specials, and contest entries.
Lawn Gnome Publishing Local indie comics scribes Brandon Huigens and Brad Dwyer (who, until recently, penned the strip Record Heat for our sister blog Up on the Sun) will sign copies of the 2008 book Please Don't Show My Parents (Or the Government) These Comics, as well as other recent works, at the Samurai Comics booth from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, at Phoenix Comicon.
Afterward, they'll head a few blocks north to Lawn Gnome for a special release party for the title starting at 7 p.m. Food and "sweet treats for everyone" will be served and local bands Robot (Re)Pair, Snail Quail, and Abraham Drinkin will perform. Admission is free.
Renaissance Phoenix Hotel's Pueblo Ballroom Doppelgangers of Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum, and other colorful characters from the popular Cartoon Network show will invade the ballroom during the Adventure Time Rave on Saturday, May 25.
An "Ermagherd Costume Contest" will happen during the party (so be sure to dig up some of your "fravrite berks," be they Goosebumps or otherwise) and local selectors like DJ KJ, Blakeland, and the Mischief Makers 64 will be in the mix to drop dance hits and high-energy music. Naturally, costumes are encouraged, and the party goes from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.
Club 24 Industrial DJ power couple Apollynon and Angel Toxin are no strangers to donning freaky or geeky costumes. At any of their various gigs at places like Club 24 or the now-defunct Sanctum, as well as at other events over the past couple of years, the pair have dressed as steampunkers, zombies, World War II-era military members, or (as the above photo illustrates) villains from G.I. Joe universe.
In an apropos move, the two will hold their own unofficial comicon after-party on Saturday, May 25, during their weekly dance event City of Madness at Club 24. Both will spin darker sounding genres like goth, dubstep, and EBM throughout the evening. A costume contest (natch) judged by Toni "Lady Thor" Darling is also scheduled to take place and various drink specials are planned. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $5.
Monarch Theatre Last year, more than 600 people from around the Internet provided a helping hand (and plenty of cash) to assist rapper MURS in getting the underground comic book/multimedia project YUMIKO: Curse of the Merch Girl crowdfunded and published. Its Kickstarter was a success and the project (featuring a 10-track album by MURS and locals The Insects, as well as a comic book by writer Josh Blaylock and art from Jose Garcia) became a reality.
The alternative hip-hop star will sign copies of YUMIKO at the Ash Avenue Comics booth in the Exhibitor Hall during Phoenix Comicon on Saturday, May 25, and will host the shop's 18-and-over party later that night at the Monarch. The Insects, Shining Soul, DJ Fact 135, and Random (a renowned geek in his own right) will perform. Doors are at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 with a Comicon badge, $10 without.Renaissance Phoenix Hotel's Salon
Comedian Asterios Kokkinos -- known for his work behind the scenes ofMADtv
,The Daily Habit
, as well as his amusing web seriesAdmiral Ackbar's Ads
-- will be the host of The Devastator's Geek Comedy Jamboree taking place at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 25. Editors and contributors from the quarterly humor publication will mercilessly slay geek culture during the laugh-fest via stand-up bits, sketch vignettes, and a live and interactive version ofChoose Your Own Adventure
Afterwards, fans of Doctor Frank-n-Furter can witness a special 18-and-over shadowcast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show by Midnight Mayhem in salon starting at 11 p.m. As with any screening of the cult classic, virgin sacrifices will occur. Both events are free with paid Phoenix Comicon admission.
Hyatt Regency One of the main epicenters of Comicon-related activity, the Hyatt Regency will also be the site of a few "can't miss" shindigs over the weekend. Local Whovians can pilot their T.A.R.D.I.S. over to the main ballroom for the annual "Doctor Who: Party Like A Time Lord" event from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 25. Besides music and games being offered, prizes will be given out to the "Best Doctor" and "Best Companion." Be sure to bring your Fez, a few bananas, and especially a camera.
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Later in the evening, however, the biggest nightlife event of Comicon will take place in the same ballroom when Bookmans Entertainment Exchange puts on its yearly Geek Prom. Special photo booths will be available, including a "Geek Arch," at the event, which starts at 9 p.m. and benefits the "Kids Need to Read" charity. Contests and costume competitions will be held over the course of the evening and typically include some of the best outfits of the entire weekend. And you never know, there's an off-chance that a celebrity or two just might attend, like when nerd icons Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day came by in 2010.
Both regular Phoenix Comicon admission and a separate ticket ($15 per person in advance, $20 at the door) is required for entry.
Phoenix Comicon takes place from Thursday, May 23, to Sunday, May 26, at the Phoenix Convention Center. Daily admission prices are $15 to $30 while a full event memberships is $50.