Some Valley residents are feeling excited for September. Specifically, we mean the self-described nerd population. Why? Well, they're going to have plenty to do and see, thanks to a ladies night at Samurai Comics, a Leonard Nimoy documentary screening, and the largest anime convention in Arizona, Saboten Con 2016. And that's just the start: Here's a grand total of 10 nerdy things to do in metro Phoenix this month.
Saboten Con 2016
If you’re downtown during Labor Day weekend and see a bunch of people in bright costumes and seemingly unnatural hairstyles, we’ll debunk the mystery for you here: It’s Saboten Con 2016. Arizona’s largest anime convention is happening at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix from Friday, September 2, through Monday, September 5. Presented by Monkey Paw Entertainment, Saboten Con – “saboten” meaning “cactus” in Japanese – is hyped as Arizona's premier Japanese pop-culture convention, featuring an Otaku Closet and vendor hall, a J-Fashion Show, well-known panelists from the world of anime, DJs and raves, and tons of cosplay. Admission ranges from $15 to $350, depending on what day or VIP pass you select. For more, visit the Saboten Con website.
For the Love of Spock
“It was a hell of a thing when Spock died,” George Constanza said in 1996. That sentiment still applies. Though Constanza talking about Spock in Wrath of Khan, the people at FilmBar are talking about the passing of the man behind the character: Leonard Nimoy. Screening from Friday, September 9, through Thursday, September 15, For the Love of Spock is a 111-minute documentary that takes a closer look at the life of Nimoy and Mr. Spock as narrated by his son Adam Nimoy. Expect appearances from William Shatner, Zachary Quinto, George Takei, Simon Pegg, and Alexander. Tickets are $9 for the 18-and-over event. For more information, visit the FilmBar website.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Yeah, we can all agree that 1980s Matthew Broderick was a cutie. But we suggest that, during your next viewing of Ferris Bueller, you direct your attention to one of cinema's greatest nerd icons: that lanky, sniffling, suspender-wearing hypochondriac Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck). Luckily, Cult Classics and Zia Records are presenting the chance to do just that. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is playing at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, at Pollack Tempe Cinemas. Tickets range from $11 for general admission to $40 for VIP passes, which include an art print and Froman’s T-shirt (y'know, the Sausage King of Chicago). For more information, visit the Cult Classics website.
Last Man Standing Round 2
What are you, a Scorpion? Jade? Wait, maybe a Cyrax? Well, you can show off your Mortal Kombat character’s many combos at Last Man Standing, the five-month, elimination-style arcade tournament happening the second Tuesday of every month at Bonus Round. Round 2 of the tournament begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, and the game is the original Mortal Kombat. There’s no entry fee or registration required, just show up, play, and take advantage of specials on food and Woodchuck Cider. It’s finish or be finished until the Last Man Standing Champion is found. For more information, visit the Bonus Round website or Facebook event.
Fantasy Cosplay Party
The Alwun House and Samurai Comics are partnering up to present "The Art of Fantasy, Comics & Sci-Fi" – a multi-genre exhibition from September 16 to 30 showcasing characters and themes from comics, games, film, and television. On Friday, September 16, the exhibition opens with the Fantasy Cosplay Party – complete with costume contests, DJs, two floors of displayed art, live body-painting from Mark Greenawalt, and Batman v Superman-inspired drink specials for the 21-plus crowd. It’s $10 in advance and $14 at door from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Visit the Alwun House website for more.
Science With A Twist: UnWINEd
The Arizona Science Center hosts a third Friday, adults-only night to showcase the downtown museum without hoards of school kids and other little learners, and with live science demonstrations, hands-on activities, discounted entry to the featured exhibit, music, and perhaps most importantly, a cash bar. The theme for Friday, September 16, is UnWINEd, and from 6 to 10 p.m., the center will host wine tastings and a show in the Dorrance Planetarium. It’s $10 for members, $12 for nonmembers. See the Arizona Science Center website for more.
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Samurai Comics Ladies Night
Hey nerd ladies, instead of spending your Saturday night being badgered at the bar, how about you change things up? Samurai Comics and Very Awesome Girls Phoenix team up to host a non-creepy version of Ladies Night from 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, September 17. Expect tabletop gaming with Cards Against Humanity, Superfight, Utter Nonsense, and Exploding Kittens, as well as a Shrinky Dink, comic book bow, and $5 Perler kit craft stations. Pre-registration for the 18-and-over event costs $5 (and is available through September 10) for entry and a swag bag. For more, visit the Samurai Comics website or Facebook event.
Adult Game Night
If playing Ticket to Ride is more of a side hustle than a pastime, then get your engineer overalls ready for Adult Game Night at Changing Hands Phoenix. From 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, September 23, you’ll also see Punderdome, Codenames, Telestrations, Takenoko, and Dixit – all of which are available for purchase if you need to continue a feud at home. Entry is $5 and includes one ticket that's good for any coffee drink or happy-hour menu item from First Draft Book Bar. (Just try not to spill your craft beer and cookie crumbs on the cardboard.) For more information, see the Changing Hands website.
Ewoks are basically puppies — and vice versa. Don't believe us? See for yourself at the upcoming Pug Crawl, a Star Wars-themed bar and restaurant hop happening from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, in historic downtown Glendale. (Meaning you may have to squint pretty hard to think you’re on the forest moon of Endor.) Hosted by Desert Rose Pizza & Gastro Pub, the crawl requires a $10 registration that benefits Pug Life Rescue. The first 250 registrants get a goody bag. All dogs are welcome, and humans are encouraged to dress up, too – and maybe for prizes. Check the Facebook event for more.
Final Friday Book Swap
If you think vintage sci-fi and craft beer pairs well, then bring your tattered doubles of Phillip K. Dick paperbacks to Taste of Tops on Friday, September 30, for the Final Friday Book Swap. Bring books, drink wine, and make friends – but maybe don’t try starting that new novel right afterward. Hosted by A Claire Slattery and Dustin TheWind, the swap is free and runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Afterward, the crowd heads over to Ash Avenue Comics for the monthly Untidy Secrets storytelling series. For more information, keep an eye out for the Final Friday Book Swap Facebook event.