It’s lucky number seven for us. For the past seven years, we’ve invited the best and brightest under one roof to celebrate our geeky passions. As in the past, we gathered in one room and carefully decided this year’s nominees. We’ve chosen many amazing makers, creators, technologists, scientists and creatives to join dozens before them as the nominees for this year’s Philly Geek Awards.
Our nominees are as strong as they are diverse and truly represent our great city as an awesome place to live, work and create. On behalf of Geekadelphia, Technically Philly and Generocity, I’m proud to say that we’re honored to recognize these hardworking people from across the region. From two new stripes on the Pride Flag to bringing Star Trek’s Tricorder into real life, these geeks are doing well and doing good for our community.
Below, you’ll find just a sample of this year’s nominees. Head to PhillyGeekAwards.com for the full list across our 14 categories. Tickets are now on sale. (Nominees get in free.) Hurry up and grab one, two or 20. See you on Saturday, August 26 at String Theory School’s Vine Street Campus in your black-tie finest.
Comic Creator of the Year
Newcomer Bitros launched indie comic book label Blackstone Comics last fall and has already released two titles: The Fist, a vigilante hero story set in City of Brotherly Love at the dawn of the 20th century, and James vs The New World Order, a post-apocalyptic action comedy set in an ambiguous, not-so-distant future.
As an writer and illustrator, Larsen has worked with clients such as Dark Horse, DC Online, and Cartoon Network, in addition to publishing her own comics on The Larsen Project. Last October, her work appeared in the final issue of the Regular Show comic series, to favorable reviews. Her contributions to a forthcoming Adventure Time shorts collection will be released in November from KaBOOM!
Tornoe is a reporter and digital editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer—and one of the last remaining sports cartoonists on staff at a newspaper. His art illustrating the Phillies, Sixers, Eagles and Flyers and their surrounding communities has a loyal following on Philly.com’s Tailgaters blog.
Maker of the Year
Creative director Garson is the brainchild behind East Passyunk’s Escape the 80s attraction, where timewarped guests solve puzzles to escape through a series of tricky rooms. But this year she brought her storytelling and UX prowess to The Franklin Institute, where she developed two themed escape rooms—the largest and most technologically advanced in the city.
Kate Nyx is an everything woman: she splits her time as a musician, a touring burlesque performer and instructor, and as a seamstress and costumer who runs her own business, Closet Champion, in South Philly. The latter earned a considerable following this year for her creative, bespoke wrestling gear. Clients include wrestlers from local indie circuits as well as those in the WWE, and even brands like Haribo.
Peter English and Jeff Gregorio
What happened when an artist (English) and an engineer (Gregorio) came together to explore music and technology? Drumhenge, a new musical instrument composed of 16 drums that are played by electromagnetic vibrations. The exhibit, on display at Drexel’s ExCITe Center, is part rock show, part art installation, park interactive tech demonstration.
Scientist of the Year
Dr. Alan W. Flake
In March, researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia released a groundbreaking report on efforts to create an artificial womb to potentially improve survival odds for extremely premature infants. Led by Dr. Flake, an attending pediatric and fetal surgeon at CHOP, the researchers created a fluid-filled “Biobag” to extend the gestational period; in a study, the device kept fetal lambs alive for up to four weeks.
When an Old City construction project unearthed an 18th century burial ground this March, the Mütter Museum raced into action to exhume and preserve the historic bones and artifacts. Led by museum curator Dhody—a former Harvard osteologist—the resulting campaign (dubbed the Arch Street Bones Project) sought to conduct biological profiles of the skeletal remains, providing a historic look at some of Philadelphia’s first residents.
Dr. Elaine Zackai
As the director of Clinical Genetics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Zackai has treated many rare conditions in her 49 years of practice. Her research has also included how we can learn from Holstein cows’ genetics when it comes to human reproduction. Recently, she was the recipient of the first-ever American Society of Human Genetics mentorship award, given for many years of professional development mentorship and training.
2017 Philly Geek Awards
Saturday, August 26 @ 6:30 p.m.
@ String Theory School: Vine Street Campus
1600 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Ages 21 and over; Tickets are $40 (Nominees, check your email!)
(Featured photo: 2016 Philly Geek Awards organizers Christopher Wink, Neil Bardhan and Mo Manklang with ’16 Geek of the Year Kathryn Killebrew (center) and ’15 Geek of the Year Ather Sharif (far right), Photo credit: Clever Girl Photography)