Alexandra Grey has been a fan of all things nerdy since she was a kid, starting with Saturday morning cartoons such as X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Her connection to the cerebral Jean Grey (Phoenix, X-Men) helped her to feel like she had a place in the world, allowing Alex to thrive academically despite the bullying and narrow-mindedness she encountered in public school.
After graduation, Alex entered an undergraduate engineering program, but ultimately left to pursue her passion for theater, attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles and The University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In 2008, Alex returned home to complete her degree in Theater at the University of New Mexico, finishing in the top 7% of the graduating class of 2010.
While Los Angeles gave Alex her first experiences with Pop Culture as a lifestyle, she’s had the good fortune to find many hidden gems in northern New Mexico that continue to nourish her inner geek. Her interests run the gamut from vintage video games to soap operas, but her true loves remain animation, superheroes, and getting inked.
A writer by passion (and hopefully soon, by profession), Alex has been writing fanfiction for 17 years, spending most of her time exploring the worlds of X-Men, Once Upon a Time, and the Law & Order franchise. Alex is also working on two original pieces of fiction and hopes to have both completed by the end of the year. Favorite characters to write include Jean Grey, Emma Frost, Wonder Woman, Regina Mills, and Queen Elsa of Arendelle.
Duke City Comic Con was a small, but determined con with a handful of well-known guests, including: Power Ranger’s David Yost and Walter Jones, and professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page.
Hosted at the Embassy Suites near downtown Albuquerque, the convention took place in the hotel’s three ballrooms with Celebrity Row located in the hallway just outside the rooms. Fans, geeks, and cosplayers of all different shapes and sizes filtered through the space, many enjoying their fidget spinners, the merch-du-jour of the convention.
Each of the three ballrooms were crammed to capacity with booths, but even at that, there were not a ton of offerings in comparison to Santa Fe Comic Con or Albuquerque Comic Con. Still, there were plenty of treasures to be found, and take it from me, it was far too easy to spend my budgeted $100 acquring new prints and kick-knacks for my collection.
For me, cons are all about connecting with the artists and Duke City was no exception. Most of the work I purchased came from local artists, but two of my favorite picks were from special guest Franchesco, a pin-up artist who travels from con to con, sharing his work with anyone and everyone who’s drawn to his style. Franchesco was friendly and down to earth and I had a great conversation with him about his passion for art and how it has given him the freedom to live the life he enjoys. It is a philosophy that hit home for me and a lesson I needed to remember. It was definitely one of the highlights of the afternoon.
While I did not take in any of the panels, (Sadly the one I did want to attend was on Sunday and I could not justify another $15 admission for just one panel), the schedule was pretty robust with a new panel every hour on Saturday and Sunday from open to close. Celebrity-focused panels made up most of the schedule for Saturday, but Cosplay was the word of the day for Sunday panels.
People who showed up in costume did so thoughtfully and with great pride, which was nice to see considering how small the event was. Originally I had wanted to debut my “Modern Link” cosplay for Duke City, but timing was not on my side and I am not really sad about it. I simply was not at the event long enough to really enjoy doing a cosplay, and my hats go off to those who did it up right regardless.
My hope is that next year, Duke City Comic Con will grow into a bigger event hosted in a larger space that justifies the $25 Saturday pass price. Do not get me wrong, I am glad I went this year. I picked up eight beautiful pieces of art, a fidget spinner (yes, I gave in to the hype and I am not sorry!), and a Gal Gadot Wonder Woman pin just in time for the release of the movie. All in all, I call it a win!