East Valley welcomes 2012 with comic book, anime conventions

Books, Comics, Events, Gaming, Movies, Music, RPGs, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Television

BatmanFor many, 2012 holds the threat of doomsday. But pop culture fans in Arizona are determined that if this is the end, they will go out with a bang rather than a whimper.

The new year dawns with a pair of conventions next weekend, Jan. 6-8: the Amazing Arizona Comic Con at the Mesa Convention Center and the anime-centric Taiyou Con at the Hilton Phoenix East-Mesa.

At Amazing Arizona Comic Con, special guests include The Walking Dead child actor Chandler Riggs and creators Robert Kirkman and Rob Liefeld, as well as Batman artist Greg Capullo, Batman Beyond writer Adam Beechen and Lady Mechanika creator Joe Benitez.

As for Taiyou Con, you can meet cosplay icon Tristen Citrine, anime voice artists Patrick Seitz, Chris Sabat and Eric Vale, illustrator and Phoenix College instructor Armand Villavert, and enjoy the sound stylings of Kirby’s Dream Band.

This action-packed weekend is followed almost immediately by the always-epic fantasy roleplaying event DarkCon, Jan. 12-15 at the Phoenix Marriott Mesa. The steampunk shindig features special guests Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), author Jacqueline Carey and Masters of the Universe and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys actress Meg Foster.

And next month, Feb. 25-26, the fast-growing Vul-Con takes over the Phoenix Convention Center with enough different games to satisfy any taste, plus gaming indusry guests such as Ken St. Andre (also a guest at DarkCon), Stephen Missal, Paul Guinan and Andrea Angiolino, after already whetting appetites with a series of preview events called Arenas.

It’s not quite the tripartite cosmic convergence we saw around the same time a year ago with Taiyou Con, Amazing Arizona Comic Con and the Lovecraftian MythosCon all on the same weekend — but it’s close. And if you act now, you can still score pre-registration savings for some events. Check the links above to their official websites for details.

And don’t forget to look for more Arizona fandom events on the Nerdvana Calendar page.

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