I got up early to don my Wesley Crusher cosplay from Star Trek Next Generation and, after a pleasant drive up to Moriarty that morning, we pulled into the dirt parking lot of the Moriarty Community Library. As soon as we breached the doors we were once again greeted by the incredible cosplayer who made all of this happen dressed that morning as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. It was clear that this convention had evolved from its first year as we made our way to the ticket table with great directional signage and a banner with the schedule detailing programming that had been added for this year. Only $5 gained you entry with a wrist band for the rest of the day to comics galore! While the vendors seemed fewer this year, quality won over quantity. There were more locally reputable cosplayers with tables: Maddest Maddi and Dava Renee to name a few. This definitely had bearing on the number of cosplayers and the quality of their costumes in attendance.
We barely had time to walk the dealer hall when the loudspeaker whisked us outside to witness the first show of the day: ‘Deputy Take Over’ by The New Mexico Gunfighers Association. Had you read our blog Mini Con in Moriarty Has Potential covering the first year of this event you might be apprehensive as to how this show went. I am happy to say that the convention staff listened to our qualms with the content of the skit and spoke with this gun toting group to help make their presentation more family friendly. While using the same script as they had last year, they edited out the off color jokes which had riddled their dialogue. The women’s costumes got an upgrade from last year with a lemon yellow ballgown for the Sheriff’s wife! As always, this show did not disappoint in waking you up with some smoking gunfire and silly shenanigans.
Next on the schedule, which we were excited about as it was the only cosplay programming on the main stage, was supposed to be Cosplay Modeling and Safety 101 by Harley Quin505. Unfortunately, this cosplay guest did not show for her panel. Ellie & El Ventriloquism which followed, however, had you quickly forgetting about the earlier disappointment. This little girl may seem sweet and innocent, however, when those puppets come out her jokes become increasingly mature. She had the adult audience reeling as she jumped up to shoot a puppet that was annoying her and when her puppet almost let a certain ‘B’ word escape, a caption appeared behind her which even had her jaw dropping. This girl has a future in stand up comedy if ventriloquism doesn’t work out for her. She was quite multi-talented as she also had a booth in the hall where, for a $1, she would solve a rubix cube in a minute and for $2 she would solve it in less time all while you stood there watching. We stayed in the hall passing the time between panels by visiting the craft table that was set up by the main stage which we’d really enjoyed last year. They had some crafts from the year before including the police box we’d attempted and some masks in case you’d forgotten a costume. This year we went for something a little less difficult in the form of a Harry Potter sorting paper fortune teller. While I had not made one of these since elementary school I still managed to craft it with only a couple folds missing which were easily fixed. I was able to get sorted into my correct house, Slytherin, on my first try while my friend took a couple tries to get sorted into Ravenclaw because apparently she’s half muggle?
Up next was a fan favorite from last year “It’s Dangerous to Quiz Alone, Take a Friend” Trivia by Comic-Topia. This local comic trivia group whose mission is to promote literacy had their cosplayers all lined up to hand out comics and even hardcover books to those who guessed trivia questions correctly. They spread out this year with cosplayers in the aisles of the dealer hall to ensure that those dealers who shouted correct answers from their booths could be included in the fun as well. I understand that this year’s theme was zombies, but at least a third of the questions were from The Walking Dead and I would have liked a little more variety. I know, #upopularopinion. Anyway, we scored a couple Archie comics from the 80’s by answering questions about Jean Val Jean’s prison number and what planet the aliens from ‘War of the Worlds’ hailed from. If you know the answers to those two questions post them in the comments and whoever does so first might get a little online prize. But don’t look it up, that takes the fun out of it!
We took a little break afterwards to visit the Arby’s we’d seen down the road, mostly because I totally love their chicken salad sandwich that is only available in the summer. But what is a comic convention without Arby’s, amiright? (if you don’t know what I mean go check out Arby’s Facebook or Instagram feeds right now!) The convention did have a Pizza 9 booth in the dealer hall and a BBQ food truck outside for those who wanted to eat there. We got back just in time for what was supposed to be the costume contest, however, it was instead prefaced by Harley Qunn505’s missed panel. There were a couple snippets of advice that managed to surface such as “Don’t go into the Bosque alone at night to meet a photographer.” Which, while one would think is common sense, she apparently knows people who have done this and somehow lived through the experience. Unfortunately, the presenter was very unfocused in addressing her topics which was only accented when her kids jumped onstage and distracted her throughout the rest of the talk.
This launched us directly into the Costume Contest with judges Maeday Cosplay and Divine Dolls Entertainment and Maddest Maddi Cosplay. The first category was youth, which is always the cutest. Many of the kids wore their store bought superheroes onstage and took some power poses for the press. There was one Ash Ketchum who had a home made cosplay that was really cute and some pre-teens who had made their costumes as well. Next, was the group category with a couple entries, both of which were impressive and had a lot of work put into them. Last, and what everyone was waiting for, were individual entries. There were some super costumes, many of them handmade. The New Mexico Gunfighters also made some onstage appearances in this interlude to announce their upcoming final show of the day. As the judges deliberated, some of the cosplay organizers came onstage to sport their looks for the audience and receive some well deserved recognition. They shared about how this convention had come about through networking in the unlikeliest of places. The judges then took the stage to share the three winners from each of the three categories. I am happy to say the Black Butler group, who seemed to have all handmade costumes, won the Group Category. Dava Renee’s gender bent Hellboy won the individual category and one of the youth with a handmade hoodie cosplay won the youth category.
This marked the end of programming for Moriarty Mini-Con. We were thoroughly impressed with the changes made and are looking forward to seeing this mini con continue to grow.
There was a cosplay photoshoot in a nearby park that was to follow and Moriarty Mini-Con’s first ball which was sponsored and attended by the local law enforcement as a DWI awareness event to finish off the night. Unfortunately, we had to drive back to Santa Fe so we did not stay long, but we did get to blow in a breathalyzer to make sure we were good and sober before driving back. If anyone has pictures from the following events or attended Moriarty Mini-Con and wants to share their experience be sure to do so by rating them on our New Mexico Convention Directory.