New year, same list of convention, film screenings, and geeky lectures — and that’s fine! Time to load up your shiny, new Doctor Who/Golden Girls/assorted cats wall calendar with fun nights out like a showing of Flash Gordon at FilmBar and major to-dos like, you know, ACE Comic Con at Gila River Arena.
Things don’t kick off till near the middle of the month, but let’s be real, you needed a little breather anyway. With that, here are 10 nerdy things to do this month in metro Phoenix.
2019 ACE Comic Con
This is the big one. The 2019 Ace Comic Con is bringing people like Tom Hiddleston, Michael Fassbender, and the B herself, Krysten Ritter to Gila River Arena in Glendale from Friday, January 11, to Sunday, January 13, to kick off the New Year right. Other guests include David Tennant, Charlie Cox, and Alexandra Shipp, while other activities include an exhibitor hall, dozens of hours of programming, and plenty of photo ops and chances to dress up. Tickets range from $65 for a single-day Monday pass to $125 for a three-day weekend pass, plus additional packages for photos ops and meet-and-greets.
2019 Taiyou Con
Billed as Arizona’s ultimate anime experience, the 2019 Taiyou Con will offer over 450 hours of programming and things to do at the Mesa Convention Center. We’re talking about cosplay, 100 vendors, Q&As with guests like Yuriko Yamaguchi, Yoshitoshi Abe, and Ray Chase — plus an Artist Alley and masquerade. All that (and a ton more) will happen from Friday, January 11, to Sunday, January 13. Admission starts at $30 for a single-day pass and $45 for a weekend badge.
Flash Gordon: Zia Nights
Zia Records brings the sci-fi film Flash Gordon to FilmBar. This 1980 triumph has a villain named Ming the Merciless and a soundtrack by Queen. Follow our New York Jets quarterback hero to possible victory starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 14. Tickets are $9.95 with a discounted price for Zia Z-Card holders.
Chandler Film Festival
Attention film buffs: With more than 200 films, the 2019 Chandler International Film Festival is a four-day event offering everything from world premieres, audience choice awards, a film auction and market, Q&As, and after-parties. Held at venues include ranging from Chandler Center for the Arts to the recently opened Flix Brewhouse Theater, the fest will run from Thursday, January 17, through Monday, January 21. Admission ranges from $10 for a single screening to $439 for an all-inclusive VIP pass.
For fans of the tried and true comedy meets history show, The Dollop is an American history-meets-comedy podcast put on by Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. The two cover an event or person from history, and now has over 300 episodes under its belt. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 18, at the Orpheum Theatre. Tickets range from $25.50 to $73 for VIP tickets.
Drop-In Discovery on Maricopa Pottery
If a drop-in informational program sounds like your kind of party, head to Pueblo Grande Museum for a step-by-step demonstration on the process of making pottery. Hosted by Maricopa potter Ron Carlos, you’ll cover the processing of raw clay, the forming, painting, and firing process, and a demonstration of the paddle and anvil technique — the style done by many of the southern Arizona tribes. The Drop-In Discovery on Maricopa Pottery demo is included with paid museum admission and runs from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 20.
National Geographic Live: Bertie Gregory: A Wild Life
Mesa Arts Center in partnership with National Geographic presents filmmaker Bertie Gregory in the talk National Geographic Live: A Wild Life. Gregory covers his wild adventures like camping with wolves, filming leopards, and following peregrine falcons all over the world. The talk starts at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, in the Ikeda Theater. Tickets range from $27 to $41.
Tempe Public Library FanCon 2019
Free and family-friendly isn't always Tempe’s style, but the Tempe Public Library FanCon 2019 is special. The fifth annual event will feature artists, authors, a costume contest, and activities for “fans of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Wholocks, and Trekkies.” There will also be exhibitors like 8 Bit Kitsch, Arizona Ghostbusters, Umbrella Corporation Arizona Hive, UZA MysCreation Haunted Attraction, Goth Geek, and Friends of the Tempe Library. The Tempe Public Library FanCon 2019 runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 26.
Shaun of the Dead: Ethics in the Apocalypse
If you’d like to start off 2019 talking about the zombie apocalypse and nuclear winter, be sure to attend Shaun of the Dead: Ethics in the Apocalypse at FilmBar. FilmBar and ASU’s Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics are hosting the film as well as the talk “It’s the End of the World as We Know It: Ethics in the Apocalypse.” Catch both at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 31. Tickets are $9.95.