Moriarty Mini Comic Con was the newest addition to New Mexico conventions this year, the buzz of the southwest convention community since news of its planning spread through publications and Facebook in late July. For many of us cosplayers in the somewhat spread out state of New Mexico there are limited options as far as good conventions go. But this “mini” convention, planned by cosplayers and convention goers from the community has immense potential to be one of the best cons in NM. Meetings were held in advance at the Moriarty Community Library to discuss logistics for this convention and what the community wanted from it. While we were not present at this discussion, it was obvious that this convention catered to its attendees and was well planned. Local cosplayers served as the convention staff and, in costume from the very first greeter, they gave the convention a larger cosplay presence than it otherwise would have had. Anyway, after an hour long drive with my best friend and @skyberry13‘s bosse’s daughter in the backseat we pulled into the dirt lot in front of the Moriarty Community Library where the event was being held.
We were immediately greeted at the door by Hermonie Granger who directed us sweetly to the check in table. The badge price was reasonable and, having brought a young-ling of 12 with us, she got in free along with any children 0-12. This was a great incentive to families wanting to attend. As soon as we walked in the dealer’s room, the feel of a small convention was upon us, however, having only just attended Dallas A-Kon this summer it was somewhat of a relief. Though few, the vendors had much to offer with one expansive merchandise vendor and some comic vendors with $1 grab bags which had a generous deal more in them than a grab bag you will get at any other convention. There were many novelists there peddling their written wares, the science fiction talent of New Mexico prevalent at this convention. Unfortunately, and possibly the only criticism that I have for this convention was the significant presence of the New Mexico Gunfighters Association. Their booth should have forewarned me about their intentions in being present at this con, with grey confederate caps sporting that losing flag placed strategically among their wares.
Given the current political climate it is sad to say that there are those in the further corners of The Land of Enchantment who side with white nationalists and this was certainly one such organization. As cosplayers, we have nothing against prop weapons and, half hailing from Texas ourselves, we recognize the right of people to carry/pack. We were actually looking forward to attending the gun show, it is not often that you get to see such events given the overarching themes of this country’s administration. So, when the first show was announced we were one of the first groups heading out the library doors and claiming a spot standing under a tree in the shade. The wild west costumes were probably the best part of the act, honestly. Which, if you’re attending a convention with costumes as your focus then this side show was a success. Unfortunately, in all other aspects it was lacking though the skit and poor acting were not the greatest disappointment about this group. No, it was the homophobic and transphobic rhetoric written into their scripts which had no real bearing on the plot and, therefore, was glaringly obvious with grand pauses for the laughter they were sure would ensue. Perhaps there were some nervous chuckles, but those must have been lost in the dry Moriarty wind because in their stead were awkward silences before the action began again. These lines, which were featured in every one of their three shows that day, focused on calling out the depravity of Santa Fe specifically and its acceptance of cross-dressing individuals, like myself. Needless to say, it was more than offensive and I ended up walking out of their second show because of one of these antics. It was difficult hearing these lewd comments, not only about my accepting city of Santa Fe but about my self-identification, especially because we had brought an impressionable young woman with us who these comments also disturbed. With these antics as the only guest entertainment provided at this mini-con my advice to the convention staff for next year would be to do away with these confederate flag toting, homo&transphobic gunslingers, especially if you plan on keeping this a family oriented event because these shows, while parading as such, were not family-friendly.
Anyways, we retreated into the gaming room to let off some of that steam which had built up. There were all systems and consoles available along with a pretty impressive spread of games. My best friend who also attended with us enjoyed playing Pokemon on an old Nintendo console and @skyberry13 of course beat us all at Mario Kart on the Wii. I also enjoyed watching someone play Dragon Age, our favorite! Needless to say this was a great game room and the attendant was on top of making sure everyone’s experience was just as good. We were pretty hot at this point and, few had recognized our costumes from Legend of Korra, so @skyberry13 and I changed into our geeky street wear to comfortably enjoy the rest of the convention. The young woman who attended with us had wanted to wear a costume the whole day so she got to wear my Asami the rest of the convention.
Our tummies were rumbling by now so we went in search of the local food trucks which we had seen stationed in the parking lot when we entered. Sadly, by what was now lunchtime these food trucks must have left in search of a bigger crowd. All was not lost though, for Pizza 9 had a booth in the dealer’s room providing pizza and drinks for all at a low price being sold by their new mascot Pep the Pizza who provided entertainment for all in his costume. We settled to eat in this part of the dealer’s room which had a stage and chairs set up along with tables in the back where fun and geeky crafts were available to keep children or any convention goer occupied. We tried to build the Tardis craft, but ours came out pretty lopsided. Fortunately, there was more fun to be had in their ‘Holy trivia true Believers! Comic & Pop Culture Quiz’ hosted by Comic-Topia NM. The setup for this quiz was inclusive of everyone in the room, making sure even those who were just walking up got to participate. The ease and success of this quiz could be attributed to the moderator who kept the questions moving at a good pace and tried to make sure everyone in that room got a prize. And the prizes? The convention staff must have been thinking well in advance about this event for the prizes, hand delivered to you by one of their awesome cosplayers every time you got an answer right, were sleeved comics from Hastings of all varieties. I am sure that they probably bought everything Hastings had left for the prizes never stopped flowing and were still in abundance after every question was answered. This event was great fun as everyone walked away with a handful of comics and some more knowledge about their favorite fandoms.
As the convention was drawing to a close there was one event outstanding, the Costume Contest, judged by none other than Maddest Maddi Cosplay who we had first seen at Sabaku Con and kept up with on social media! She was dressed as a female Danny Phantom and looked incredible in her bodysuit and ghost white hair! There were three categories: youth, adults and groups. The most participants were in the youth category which reinforced the family friendly feel of the event. There were many good costumes from closet cosplay to two pretty incredible gaming characters that were at least 90% handmade. Everyone was judged fairly by our estimation, that is what comes of having a cosplayer judge even when it is a walk on contest. There were two kids who had crafted their own costumes that were pretty clever, the mirror from Snow White and Wonder Woman who won. And of course those League of Legends cosplayers took home one of the prizes as well. It seemed that everyone who entered walked away with something, whether it was the experience of participating in a costume contest to the fun colored gift bags and ribbons of winners.
The costume contest concluded our day at Moriarty Mini Comic Con, my last day as a 23 year old. Oh didn’t I mention that this trip was my birthday present to myself? Well it was a great present and enjoying it with old friends and new was the cherry on top of my 23rd year. We enjoyed it so much that I think we’ll invite those tagalongs with us to Las Cruces Comic Con which will be our next cosplay appearance!