Comicon day 2: Zombie attack

LIVING DEAD: Attendees of the annual Phoenix Comic-Con participate in the "Zombie Beauty Pagaent," a competition where participants dress as zombies, perform acts and respond to questions asked by a panel of judges. (Photo by Travis McKnight)

This Memorial Day weekend, the Phoenix Convention Center is home to the Phoenix Comicon; a seemingly insurmountable heaven for geeks and nerds alike.

The State Press will be highlighting the four-day-event with coverage ranging from guest speakers, to exhibits, special announcements, and competitions.

Friday: They’re coming to get you, Barbara!

Phoenix Comi-Con attendees were on the hunt for two chief attractions on Friday, “Star Trek” and zombies.

“Star Trek Lives Again!”, and “The Next Generation’s The Inner Light: Behind the Scenes,” were the two premier “Star Trek” events of the convention.

Both were packed with a couple hundred people, and stragglers who arrived late were stranded, standing in the back for the hour long events.

The first allure, “Star Trek Lives Again!” took place at 3 p.m. and involved a panel discussion primarily about the newest “Star Trek” movie, directed by J.J. Abrams, and its upcoming sequel.

Conversation began discussing the likeability of the new adaptation, but quickly went to the legitimacy of the film and its impact on “Star Trek” lore instead.

One of the four panel members, who owns and operates the second largest “Star Trek” website, explained the canon behind the new universe Abrams created in the 2009 movie.

By referencing, “Star Trek Countdown,” a comic book created by writers from the newest movie, the panelist described how the prime universe created in the CBS television series is still legitimate, and exists alongside the Abrams’ creation.

The crowd also discussed what they hoped to see in the upcoming film, tentatively scheduled for 2013.

Central enemies from Klingons to Khan, the after effects of the new canon, and incorporating William Shatner were all discussed.

Thirty minutes after the conclusion of the panel based discussion, fans reunited for creator insight about one of the most revered “The Next Generation” episodes, “The Inner Light.”

Morgan Gendel, who pitched and wrote “The Inner Light,” talked about the process behind his script, and the importance about particular aspects in the episode.

Soon after Gendel’s speech, Friday’s main event, the fourth annual “Zombie Walk” began.

About 350 attendees dressed up as zombies and gathered outside the Phoenix Convention Center.

The massive group began to walk a loop from Third Street to First Street at 6:30 p.m., devouring the entire two blocks in its massive size.

Zombies were running amuck the downtown area, screaming, chasing other attendees, mock attacking people with cameras.

Non-Comi-Con passerby’s looked bewildered, and a few cars even stopped to roll down a window and film the event on a cell phone.

One of the light rail trains was arriving as the bulk of the group approached a light-rail station, and de-boarding passengers were soon overrun by the horde.

Some laughed and smiled while others looked scared.

The second widely popular zombie event was the “Zombie Beauty Pageant.”

16 contestants dressed as zombies and took to the stage one at a time. They performed a talent act, and then answered a question by a panel of four judges.

Most of the talent acts contained singing a popular song rewritten to fit a more gruesome tone.

Songs like “I’m feeling good” by Michael Bublé, and “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles, became “I’m feeling hungry,” and “All you need is brains.”

The victor was a woman known as Zombie Mamma, who had a child doll and during her act she rocked the baby to sleep, the zombie way.

She would swing the fake child up and down by one leg, flip it in the air and catch it by the head, and slam the doll against the ground. All parts of her way to rock a baby to sleep.

Other popular, but less dense, events that took place included a LEGO building competition for kids, a science fiction television discussion, and a comic book artist sketch off.

The LEGO contest was done by the company Building Bonanza, and was meant to inspire children towards engineering and architecture.

The task handed to the contestants was to build the tallest, yet sturdiest tower possible.

“We use LEGO as a medium to teach these kids real-life skills,” said Chris Piccirillo, a part-owner of Building Bonanza.

Piccirillo said the group is holding its first summer camp and is at the Comi-Con to get kids interested in robotics, stop-start animation, and creative problem solving.

The science fiction television discussion had a panel of four scientists who worked on shows such as “Star Trek” and “Stargate Universe.”

The panelists talked about how conflicting the creation of science fiction universes can be for television audiences, and how people like to watch science fiction without realizing it.

At the comic artist sketch off, audience members would give requests to give different artists, some self-employed, others from major companies.

Some of the requests were, Luke Skywalker as the Green, Wolverine and a cat, Superman as a pirate wench, and hippopotamus storm troopers.

Reach the reporter at tdmcknig@asu.edu