by Denise Gary
Photographs by Bruce Matsunaga, Robert Gary, Eric Fiallos, Adam Messler, Devon Christopher Adams, and Joe Abbruscato

It was fab, brill, the bee’s knees! Any of these British adjectives could be used to describe the Kids Need to Read Geek Prom 2013, our fourth annual Geek soiree hosted at Phoenix Comicon and sponsored by Bookmans Entertainment Exchange. The theme this year was, well, “Brit Geek” and the costumes were brilliant, baby!

Unending, overflowing thanks go to Lori Cothrun, and everyone at Bookmans Entertainment Exchange for supporting Kids Need to Read and the Geek Prom over the past four years. Their sponsorship has made it possible for all proceeds of the event to directly support Kids Need to Read’s literacy programs for children. We are deeply grateful for their continued support.

We are ever thankful to the folks at Phoenix Comicon for handing this concept over to Kids Need to Read at its inception and trusting us to put on an epic event for their guests. We could not love a party idea more and are honored to produce such a joyful celebration of all that is Geek!

The hosts of the prom were yours truly . . .

. . . and the Mad Hatter himself, Gus Matos, president of Arizona Avengers.

Lori Cothrun, with the help of Browncoat volunteers, created the beautiful table decorations, featuring balloons, books, and comic book flowers and candle holders.

Of course, considering the theme, Doctor Who costumes abounded!

However, gamers, nerds, comic superheroes, and classic villains, among others, were not to be outdone!

Even though the theme was Brit-Geek, someone made sure the United States was well-represented!

There were pictures under the Geek Arch, constructed by Kids Need to Read volunteers.

There were pictures at the T.A.R.D.I.S., constructed by Project Hero and signed by John Barrowman.

ThinkGeek generously provided a HUGE collection of Geektastic door prizes and toss-outs! It was insane how many prizes we gave away throughout the evening and the party-goers loved them!

We brought Tank Girl on stage to help give away door prizes.

Then we asked for another “Geek girl” to assist in prize-giving and this fun-loving Geek guy volunteered.

Where else can you see Pinhead check his prize numbers?!

There were lots of prize dances, where we tossed out prizes during special songs.

Arizona Avenger Johnny Carwell burned up the stage during a prize toss-out dance.

We gave some Geek candles as a “wedding prize” to the couple who proposed at last year’s Geek Prom.

Justice League Arizona took the stage to lead YMCA.

The Justice League members also tossed out prizes to the guests, including t-shirts kindly donated by Threadless.

The Arizona Avengers led Time Warp for the third year in a row.

The T.A.R.D.I.S. photo backdrop, signed by John Barrowman, was auctioned for $325. It was donated (along with Bookmans) and constructed by the members of Project Hero especially for the Geek Prom.

“Captain Tightphants” (no, that is not a typo), named in honor of KNTR Co-founder Nathan Fillion, was hand-knitted and donated by 10-year-old CeeCee Creech of Elephants Remember Joplin. The wee elephant brought in $100 during the auction. CeeCee also provided four smaller knitted elephants, which we gave to the youngest Geek Prom attendees.

There was the finest of Geek music and dancing all evening!

Author/illustrator James A. Owen cut a rug.

Kids had a great time, too!

Ah, couples in love!

We even had paranormal guests!

Special dances included:
Villain Dance

Hero Dance

Single Couples

Married Couples

Sexy and I Know It (Special for Gus!)

Eli’s Coming (Sixties dance for me—I doubt very many people in attendance knew I was dancing The Jerk!)

Gangnam Style

The Fashion Geektacular Judges were Lori Cothrun (Bookmans), Jeremy Owen (Coppervale Press), Wynter Holden (Phoenix New Times), and Jonathan Simon (Lightning Octopus). (Jonathan is not pictured, as he was not present at the prom due to illness.) The contest was prejudged earlier in the day.

Jeremy provided his credentials as the “CEO of BS International” and I introduced him as such.

There was a Fashion Geektacular Parade of Costumes.

The Fashion Geektacular Geektress of Coronation was actress/model Victoria Paege, who crowned and sashed the winners.

Peter Steigerwald, owner of Aspen Comics, served as Fashion Geektacular Announcer.

Fashion Geektacular crowns were created and donated by Duct’d by Cayci (Cayci Phillips, left).

Geek Prince: Halo Dutch

Geek Princess: Sailor Dr. Mrs. The Monarch

Geek King: Steampunk Green Arrow

Geek Queen: Cindy Lou Cthulhu

Author/illustrator/entertainer Steven Riley sang Geeks of America to the Royal Geek Court, all of whom won a fantastic prize pack provided by Bookmans, ThinkGeek, and Kids Need to Read.

Kids Need to Read Royal Geek Court 2013

Enormous thanks go to our incredibly talented photographers, all of whom volunteered their services:

Photography Director Bruce Matsunaga

Candid Photographer Robert Gary

Candid Photographers Joe Abbruscato and Devon Christopher Adams

Geek Arch photographer Eric Fiallos (pictured) and T.A.R.D.I.S. photographer Adam Messler

Videographer Amanda Mahan (Big Brain Pictures)

Big thanks also to DJ s.alien for volunteering to crank out the Geek.

Many hugs to Amanda Tucker of Modified Minds for making my crazy-cool costumes the past three years! Your creations allow me to have so much fun!

Wow, how we appreciate our long-suffering volunteers who work so hard for Kids Need to Read so everyone else can have a great time at the Geek Prom! You are magical and fantastical!

My profound thanks go to my co-host, Gus Matos, who made the evening pure joy for me and our guests . . .

. . . as well as my irreplaceable right-hand miracle-worker, Debbie Brown.

I cannot express how much fun it is to produce this event—nothing can beat bringing smiles and happiness to other people! The 2013 Kids Need to Read Geek Prom was indeed a fab dance! We hope to see everyone again next year! Information can be found at the Kids Need to Read Geek Prom Webpage.

There are many more Geektastic photographs of the Kids Need to Read Geek Prom in the following photo galleries:
Kids Need to Read Geek Prom 2013
Fashion Geektacular Prejudging
Geek Arch 2013

Related Blog: The Joy of Phoenix Comicon 2013!
Related Blog: So Much Fun! (Don’t Tell the Kids They Were Learning!) KNTR Build-a-Book Program with Steven Riley
Related Blog: From Bullying to Harmony: Panelists Dispense Anti-Bullying Suggestions at Phoenix Comicon


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