With vampires, Trekkies and Thor converging for the Wizard World Comic Con, expect the fiercely polemic "Kirk or Picard?" debate to echo through the streets of Market East this weekend. If that's your sort of thing, by all means, strap on the spandex and let your geek flag fly. But if dropping ducats to watch gawky cosplayers nerd-fight doesn't satisfy your highbrow tastes, jet past the hordes and head north for PhilaMOCA's two comics-themed after-parties.
A screening of Wonder Women!: The Untold Story of American Superheroines gets the artsy geekfest rolling on Friday night, and it's the perfect antidote to the Convention Center's sausage fest. True to its title, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan's doc traces the history of Amazonian vixen Wonder Woman, from her humble ink-stained origins to her spin-heavy television glory. More than a flat biography, though, Wonder Women! explores how the superhero's long history parallels society's gender anxieties. In doing so, Guevara-Flanagan argues the need to seat more crime-fighting ladies at the Justice League table and erode representational barriers. To help push down those walls once the screening ends, stick around for the Comic Strip! burlesque show. Philly faves Miss Rose and Oscar Wildchilde join New York performers Stella Chuu and Magdalena Fox in a page-and-panel riff on striptease.
Saturday night's fête will run a little more demure, opening with a cinematic homage to comics god Stan Lee. Director Will Hess will be on hand as With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story screens, demystifying the creative persona responsible for Spider-Man, the Hulk and the Fantastic Four. Afterward, cast the pocket protector aside and dance the night off with costumed surf rockers Drunk Monk and local chiptune mixers an0va and Chipocrite.
Fri.-Sat., June 1-2, 7 p.m., $7-$25, PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., 267-519-9651, philamoca.org.