Friday was another fantastic day of fun at the 2012 Phoenix Comicon. Astounding outfits were observed, rampaging robots ran amok, wars of wit & wisdom were waged, incredible art was examined in every aisle and a new “King of the Geeks” was crowned.
There were over 225 events programmed at Friday’s con, with affairs ranging from apocalypse preparations, to film and gaming events, to Yo-Yo demonstrations. Here are some of the highlights of the day’s activities.
Comic Book Trivia – Comicon Activities & Events coordinator Bob Bretall and his son Stephen hosted this panel where they quizzed the crowd with questions like; which superheroes were part of the original Champions super-team; what do the letters in SHAZAM’s name stand for; and what is the proper pronunciation of Mr. Mxyzptlk? Graphic Novel prizes were awarded to the winners and there are two more sessions of the trivia questions to come on Saturday & Sunday respectively. If you think you have an encyclopedic knowledge of everything comic books, be sure to give this panel a try.
Local Authors – If you like to read local authors, be sure to go by booth #342 and pick up a copy of the Comicon debut of Erin Lausten’s new novel, Cibola’s Promise, a western steampunk adventure about a race for treasure and a cry for vengeance. Erin also has copies of her other book, Unexpected, a novel about a snarky time-traveler. Also, be sure to hit up booth #359 for Brick Cave Media’s plethora of printed prizes, including Sharon Skinner’s new novel, The Healer’s Legacy.
Star Wars Fashion Show – Original Star Wars inspired costumes were on display while models strutted their stuff to the soundtrack of Episode IV. Participants included younglings, droids, Jedis, a Republic Officer, a Han Solo look-a-like, Jabba the Hut (Who knew he had fashion sense?), Boba Fett , a zombie Mandalorian and a leathery-looking bull-horned Mandalorian who won the competition.
Zombie Jeopardy – Contestants played regular-style Jeopardy, but with zombicentric categories like Zombie 101, Max Brooks, weapons and George A. Romero. The event was hosted by the Department of Zombie Defense (DOZD) and the team even worked themselves into some of the answers. Like Zombie 101 for 500, “If you were a zombie, you would fear this the most.” Question – What is DOZD?
Arthur Suydam – World famous fantasy artist and the creator of the iconic Marvel Zombies comic book covers, Authur Suydam, has a huge booth (# 849) set up at this year’s Phoenix Comicon. He has dozens of different prints and posters from his iconic comic covers, as well as many non-comic themed prints that you probably haven’t seen before. Suydam is a personal favorite and I picked up an extremely cool Norman Rockwell style zombie print that turns a trip to the local soda shop into a nightmare.
Celebrity Nerd Poets – Just before the Friday evening Nerd Poetry Slam, local poetry celebrities Vocab Malone, Kevin “Chesko” Briancesco, Laura Lacanette and The Klute (complete with Cthulhu face-mask) talked about the beginnings of the Nerd Slam and how the movement has grown throughout the country. They also shared stories about acceptance, or lack thereof, of their nerd-leaning poetry and offered advice for participants in the 2012 Phoenix Comicon Nerd Poetry Slam.
PUGS Finale – The end of the evening left a tough choice for deciding whether to take in the Zombie Walk, check-out the Steampunk Ball, watch the Nerd Poetry Slam, or attend the Phoenix Ultimate Geek Showdown (PUGS) finale. But, as PUGS was so much fun the night before, I had to see who would win the competition.
The Phoenix Ultimate Geek Showdown pits two geeks debating against each other over tantalizing topics like, who has the best chest, Khan or Clooney Batman? Friday brought together the finalists from the previous night’s competition with the following results.
Who was the better wizard, Gandalf or Dumbledore?
Winner: Gandalf (Robert) – “His staff is way better than a little wand and he has a better posse.”
Which is the better atomic-powered dinosaur, Grimlock or Godzilla?
Winner: Godzilla (Brad) – “Grimlock only comes up to Godzilla’s knees.”
Who is the sexier superhero, Thor or Captain America?
Winner: Captain America (Richard) – “We all know that people who carry hammers are compensating…”
Who is tougher, Ripley or Sarah Connor?
Winner: Ripley (Art) – “Ripley annihilated a whole hive of aliens; Sarah Connor only had to deal with ‘Arnie.’”
Who is the better sidekick, Chewbacca or Spock?
Winner: Chewbacca (Richard) – “Chewie stands by your decisions and helps you out, no matter what.”
Which is he better time-machine, TARDIS or the Delorean?
Winner: Delorean (Art) – “As the driver of the Delorean time-machine, you have control over where & when you go.” FINALE QUESTION: Who has bigger daddy issues, Luke Skywalker or Batman?
Winner: Batman (Richard) – Richard Mansfield won the final competition by speaking eloquently about Bruce Wayne’s complex “stew” of mental issues. He received an elaborate trophy designed by Andrea Beesley (the Midnite Movie Mamacita) that included icons from Hellraiser, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars…and a tiger.
Events coming up at the Phoenix Comicon this Saturday include the Steampunk Fashion Show, the debut of Dr. Midnite & Nurse Nocturna, William Shatner and movie stars galore, art auctions, brain-eating contests and the Geek Prom. Read ALL the Nerdvana 2012 Phoenix Comicon coverage HERE!
SATURDAY, don’t miss Dr. Midnite & Nurse Nocturna (Jeremiah Wilkerson & Andrea Beesley) at the “Don’t Adjust the Set: Nextgen of Horror Hosts” event, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. (Room 131BC).