Nerds unite to name Best Of East Valley winners

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Lightning Octopus blogger Jonathan Simon has captured lightning in a bottle (see what I did there?) with his blog on geek culture in Arizona. He maintains an amazing calendar of nerd-centric events (which I’ve shamelessly incorporated here) and brings a street-level view of gaming and fan events that has earned him the title of official blogger of this year’s Phoenix Comicon — and the title of Best East Valley Blogger, as determined by you the voters.

Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe is more than a bookshop — as one Best Of East Valley voter commented, “They’re a community.” As the big national chains struggle, Changing Hands is the epicenter of literary events in the Valley, and has been for years — that’s why it snagged the Best Bookstore honors, beating out another excellent local favorite, Bookmans in Mesa.

Best Of East Valley is more than just reader picks — there are a limited number of selections reserved by the staff at the East Valley Tribune. Their expertise recognized downtown Mesa’s unique curiosity shop, Evermore Nevermore, as the Best Place to Find Uncommon Gifts. Atomic Comics, with E.V. locations in Mesa and Chandler, and Wide World of Maps & More in Mesa came in as runners-up.

Those are just a few of the reader and staff picks in the first-ever Best Of East Valley — certainly, they’re the geekiest. You can read about more in a special section in Sunday’s redesigned East Valley Tribune, or check them out at the official Best Of East Valley website. Leave a comment there or discuss them in the comments below!

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