Jan 7, 2012 1:00 PM by Henry Hanks
This year is going to be a huge one for nerds. Let's take a look at what 2012 has in store:
January 5-8: The 10th annual music and gaming festival, MAGFest, takes place in National Harbor, Maryland.
January 10-13: CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas is the first event this year to get an early look at upcoming video games, and much more in the world of technology. Will the upcoming "Diablo III" be there?
January 12: The first issue of the "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" comic book will hit store shelves.
January 16: "Alcatraz," J.J. Abrams' latest series, starring Jorge Garcia and Sam Neill, premieres.
January 19: The cult favorite animated series "Archer" returns.
January 26-29: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons gamers descend upon Fort Wayne, Indiana, for the D&D Experience.
January 27: So long, Nerd Herd. The final episode of "Chuck" airs.
January 31: It's a sequel to a sequel: "Final Fantasy XIII-2" comes to North American shores.
February: Image Comics formed 20 years ago; also, the nerd culture movie "Unicorn City" is scheduled to be released this month.
February 8: "Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman's next comic book, "Thief of Thieves" hits store shelves.
February 10: "Star Wars" returns to the big screen in 3-D. The first of the six movies to come out on an annual basis, of course, is "Episode I: The Phantom Menace."
February 12: New episodes of "The Walking Dead" TV series return on this date.
February 12-15: It's the big show for the toy industry: The New York Toy Fair.
February 17: Hayao Miyazaki's long-awaited "The Secret World of Arrietty" comes to U.S. screens.
February 17-19: One of the first big conventions of the year: MegaCon in Orlando.
February 22 - The much awaited Playstation Vita handheld console is released in North America, including the game "Uncharted: Golden Abyss."
March 2 - Legendary sci-fi author Phillip K. Dick passed away 30 years ago on this date. Two of his stories that became blockbuster movies will reach milestone anniversaries this year: It will be the 10th anniversary of the release of "Minority Report" and the 30th anniversary of the release of "Blade Runner' this June.
March 6: The final chapter in the "Mass Effect" video game trilogy, "Mass Effect 3," is released.
March 14: It's Pi Day (yes, it is 3/14).
March 16-18: Wondercon takes a respite from San Francisco, this year turning up in Anaheim, California.
March 23: "The Hunger Games" finally comes to the big screen.
April: The new season of "Game of Thrones" is set to debut this month.
April 6-8: PAX East (the Penny Arcade Expo), one of the biggest gaming events of the year, takes place in Boston.
April 13-15: Chicago's C2E2, one of the fastest-growing pop culture conventions, returns to the Windy City.
May 4: As usual, May the 4th be with you, but for many geeks, this day is all about Joss Whedon's highly anticipated "Avengers" movie release (a mere three weeks after the release of Whedon's "Cabin in the Woods").
May 10-31: The World Chess Championship takes place in Moscow.
May 11: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp team up to adapt "Dark Shadows" for the big screen.
May 22: Let your goth flag fly on World Goth Day.
May 25: It's Geek Pride Day, so switch to flying your geek flag.
May 25: Thirty-five years ago, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ..." first scrolled on screens with "Star Wars" (later known as "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope").
May 25: It's also the release date for "Men in Black 3," so we'll see if Will Smith going back in time can recapture the magic of the original.
May 27-June 1: The annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, broadcast around the country, will once again determine the best young speller in the nation.
June 1 - Tentative release date for the "Bioshock Infinite" first-person shooter.
June 4 - "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" was released 30 years ago.
June 5-7: E3 in Los Angeles is a mecca for gamers each year.
June 8: The recent trailer for "Prometheus" has intensified the excitement for Ridley Scott (and writer Damon Lindelof)'s don't-call-it-an-"Alien"-prequel film.
June 11: Phone home on the 30th anniversary of the release of "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial."
June 28: It's Tau Day, Pi Day times two.
June 29: "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," the second "G.I. Joe" movie, is released. This year is also the 30th anniversary of the iconic "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" figures and characters.
June 29-July 2: For the 21st year, Anime Expo hits Los Angeles.
3rd quarter: "Tomb Raider" reboots with a brand new game.
July 3: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans make up the cast of the new Spider-Man movie, "The Amazing Spider-Man" (coming one month before the character's 50th anniversary).
July 11-15: San Diego Comic-Con, the be-all and end-all event for many a geek, comes a few weeks early this year.
July 20: How does Christopher Nolan wrap up his epic Batman trilogy? We finally found out today with "The Dark Knight Rises."
July 27-29: Otakon, the convention for the Otaku generation, takes place in Baltimore.
July 27-August 12: The 41st Pennsic War takes place, put on by the Society for Creative Anachronism. Battles, tournaments, archery and stage performances are all part of the "War."
July 31: The original "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" movie was released 20 years ago on this date. (Buffy, the character, wouldn't really take off for a few more years on the small screen.)
August 3-5: The best "cubing" minds in the country meet as the national Rubik's Cube championships take place in Las Vegas.
August 5-9: SIGGRAPH 2012, the conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive technologies, takes place in Los Angeles.
August 16-19: "The Best Four Days of Gaming," Gen Con, takes place once again in Indianapolis.
August 23-26: The biannual gathering for Jedi and Sith alike, Star Wars Celebration VI takes place in Orlando.
August 26-28: PAX Prime (The predecessor to PAX East) takes place in Seattle.
August 31-September 3: Cosplayers, gamers, fantasy and sci-fi geeks party all weekend long at Atlanta's Dragon*Con (sometimes called the geek Mardi Gras). The fanfare and accepting vibe at this con has helped Dragon*Con rival San Diego Comic-Con in the hearts and minds of nerds worldwide.
4th quarter: "Halo 4" is set to be released at some point toward the end of the year. If you know anything about gaming, you know what a big deal this one is.
October: Nobel prize announcements and BlizzCon are expected to take place this month, but very few specifics are known at this time.
October 5: Tim Burton and the Halloween season go so well together, so leave it up to the director to remake his own early film project, "Frankenweenie" into a stop-motion feature.
October 11-14: New York Comic Con should once again pack them in at Manhattan's Javits Center.
November 9: Daniel Craig is back as Bond, James Bond, in "Skyfall." (the 50th anniversary of "Dr. No" was October 5, as well.)
November 15: Steven Spielberg captured the imagination 35 years ago with "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
November 16: The "Twilight" film saga comes to an end with "Breaking Dawn Part 2."
November 17: Hug a Wookiee today. It's Life Day (as celebrated in the "Star Wars Holiday Special").
December 14: A nice finish to 2012 with the first of the two part "Hobbit" film adaptation from Peter Jackson, "An Unexpected Journey."
December 16: The third annual "Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars Day," which began with the hashtag #maytheforcebewithkatie in 2010.
December 21: Well, it's been nice knowing you, if you believe the Mayan calendar ...