Party Crasher

The 10 Best Phoenix Comicon 2017 Parties and Nightlife Events

Post-Comicon revelry at Cobra Arcade Bar.
Post-Comicon revelry at Cobra Arcade Bar. Benjamin Leatherman
Downtown Phoenix will transform into one gigantic geek fiesta this weekend, thanks to Phoenix Comicon. That much you probably already know.

Here’s something that you might not be aware of: The festivities will be happening around the clock, even after Comicon’s Exhibitor Halls close down for the evening.

That’s because after-parties, dance parties, and other nighttime activities will take place in and around the Phoenix Convention Center throughout the weekend. Some are officially sanctioned by Phoenix Comicon (like The Dork Knight Rises party or the Kids Need to Read Charity Poker Tournament), while others (like the Phoenix Cosplay Ball on Sunday) are put on by fans.

We’ve included both types of nightlife events in our list of the best after-dark events that will be happening during Phoenix Comicon weekend, as well as a few things that geeks might enjoy attending.

Check ‘em out and get ready to geek out and get your groove on.

The Blunt Club’s 15th Anniversary at Crescent Ballroom
Artists who are scheduled to be at this year’s Phoenix Comicon will also make an appearance during The Blunt Club’s two-day celebration of its 15th anniversary. Devil’s Due Publishing founder Josh Blaylock, for instance, will be at the Crescent Ballroom for the first night of festivities on Friday, May 26. He’ll be putting a paintbrush to canvas during a live art session, as will fellow painters Steve Caballero, Haboobs, Samantha Ordaz, THNK 9000, and Blunt Club co-founder Adam Dumper. The event starts at 9 p.m. and Z-Trip will headline. Tickets are $18 to $20.

Drinks with Authors and Creators at Phoenix Convention Center
Local geeks, bookworms, and word nerds can mingle with novelists, writers, and creatives from both the literary and comic book world at this event on Friday, May 26. Taking place in Room 120CD in the Phoenix Convention Center’s North building, this informal mixer with feature several guests from this year’s Phoenix Comicon, as well as well as giveaways, raffles, door prizes, and (of course) adult beverages. Anyone who’s 18 or older can attend, but you’ll have to be at least 21 to imbibe. The party starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $10 and is only open to Comicon attendees.

The Dork Knight Rises Party at Phoenix Convention Center
Don cape and cowl (or something a little fancier) for this nightlife event, which is being promoted by the Blue Ribbon Army fan group. The North Ballroom at the Phoenix Convention Center will host the party, which takes place on Saturday, May 27, and will include DJs and dancing, multiple bars, a photo booth, and plenty of lively fun. The partying runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and is only open to those with paid Phoenix Comicon admission. Tickets are $20.

click to enlarge Meet the official nerd king, Brian Posehn. - COURTESY OF STAND UP LIVE
Meet the official nerd king, Brian Posehn.
Courtesy of Stand Up Live
Brian Posehn at Stand Up Live
Stand-up comedian Brian Posehn is a major geek – and proud of it. (Heck, he's even written a few issues of Deadpool.) So we're cool with including his three-night stint from Friday, May 26, to Sunday, May 28, at Stand Up Live, which is located a short walk from Phoenix Comicon. We fully expect Posehn to dispense with some geek-related jokes during his spiel, maybe even a few directed at those in the audience. Five sets will take place throughout the weekend, and set times vary. Tickets are $22 per performance and there’s a two-drink minimum.

Comicon Weekend at Bonus Round
This Central Phoenix geek hangout and arcade bar will serve a Comicon-themed specialty cocktail for $6 during Comicon weekend. Consider buying one while attening the “Geeks Who Drink” pub trivia session on Thursday, May 25, from 7 to 10 p.m. or the Rocket League Tournament Night on Saturday, May 27, from 8 to 11 p.m. They’ll also offer a 15 percent discount for anyone in costume. There’s no cover.

click to enlarge A dancer from last year's Talk Nerdy to Me: A Byte of Burlesque event. - COURTESY OF PHOENIX COMICON
A dancer from last year's Talk Nerdy to Me: A Byte of Burlesque event.
Courtesy of Phoenix Comicon
Talk Nerdy to Me: A Byte of Burlesque at Phoenix Convention Center
Without a doubt, this annual burlesque extravaganza has become one of the most popular parts of Phoenix Comicon over the last five years. It’s not hard to see why, considering the 18-and-over event involves local ecdysiasts and striptease artists dressing as geek and pop culture characters before taking (most) of it off. That'll be the case once again at this year’s affair, which takes place from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Friday, May 26, in West 301BCD at the convention center. Sable Switch and the other dancers of BurlEscapades will perform, as will members of local theater group Romantasy Cabaret. While the first several rows are sold out, you should be able to see everything from any seat in the house.

Dobutsu Lounges at Hyatt Regency
Dobutsu Lounge is a local group partially inspired by Japanese "hostess clubs" that presents late-night events and entertainment at Arizona cons. They’ll be doing just that during Phoenix Comicon 2017 at two different fetes this weekend. There’s the “Monster Girl Swimsuit Beach Party” on Friday, May 26, in the Hyatt’s second floor ballroom that will include appearances by Dobutsu’s models in bathing suits and monster-like costuming gear. The following evening, they’ll have a Marvel vs. Capcom-themed shindig in the Hyatt’s first-floor ballroom. Raffles for exclusive items will be conducted at either event. Both of these 18-plus events will run from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. Tickets are $15 for each.

Phoenix Cosplay Ball at The Pressroom
You don’t have to go home and put away your costume after Phoenix Comicon concludes on Sunday, May 28. If you’ve still got energy and enthusiasm left over, head for The Pressroom, which will host this post-Con affair hosted by Scorpius Dance Theatre. The evening’s activities will include a “Phestiv Fashion Show” by Samuel Morgan Wiseman, a costume contest, dance music from DJs Betty Blackheart and Self.Destrukt, aerial performances by Scorpius Dance Theatre, vendors, interactive works of art, and a cash bar. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $25.

Comicon Weekend at Cobra Arcade Bar
Cobra’s staff are big-time fans of Phoenix Comicon. As a matter of fact, they’ll have a booth in the Hall of Heroes with two dozen arcade classics and pinball machines available for play. And anyone who stops by the bar, which is located at Second and McKinley streets, wearing an official Comicon badge will get a 20 percent discount. DJs and dance parties will also be offered each night of the ‘con starting at 9 p.m. Admission is free.

Kids Need to Read Charity Poker Tournament at Hyatt Regency Hotel
Want to make like the crew from Star Trek: The Next Generation and get in some nighttime poker fun? This 18-and-over charity tournament on Friday, May 26, inside the Hyatt Regency’s ballroom will support Kids Need to Read and feature players competing in no-limit games of Texas Hold’em for prizes. Organizers are even hinting at the fact that a few of Phoenix Comicon’s special guests might participate. Seats in the games are available for $20 per person, and extra chips can be had for an additional donation. Registration is at 7 p.m. and that games start at 8 p.m.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.