Albuquerque Comic Con (ACC) is owned by the notorious TriCon. Naturally, I do not support these conventions for various reasons that can be found detailed in The End of Conventions as We Know Them? But if by some act of God I am convinced to attend this convention such as; a panel given by Santa Fe’s own nationally renowned foam armor-smith *cough* Leah Stevo *cough* or one of the most beautiful women on the planet guesting *cough* Gates McFadden *cough* (y’all should know how much I love Dr. Crusher but if you don’t read DIY Star Trek Next Generation Cosplay); then the question arises as to what to wear.

Something that I have not yet discussed on here is my deep and passionate love for the 13th Doctor in BBC’s Doctor Who. It is a newfound adoration for which my bank account has suffered severely. I have also embarrassingly devoted my entire personal Tumblr to unabashed fan-worship of this otherworldly goddess so much so that I hosted a Thasmin (the shipping name for 13 and her companion Yazmin Khan) Secret Santa for the Tumblr fan-base over the holiday. So, although I had planned on attending ACC as Wesley Crusher for obvious reasons my love of The Doctor won out and boy am I glad it did!

What made this one of the best experiences I’ve ever had at a local con were the interactions with fans of the new doctor in costume throughout the day. I made it my personal mission to find every cosplayer of the doctor at the convention on Saturday and take a selfie with them which I updated in our Instagram Story. They were all so happy to be recognized and eager to share their love of the newest two hearted alien from Gallifrey.

I also may or may not have dropped an irresponsible amount of money on New Who merch throughout the day. I am now the proud owner of four Doctor Who related T-Shirts and some awesome art of the show’s heroine!

I got to attend part of Gates McFadden’s Star Trek panel with Walter Koenig. There, I found only more reason to revere this feminist heroine. She shared the reason behind her leaving Star Trek The Next Generation before season two was that she was vocal with the writers about the lack of female on female conversations in the show, therefore failing the Bechdel Test which at that time had just been introduced two years prior. She also brought up the concern that her “space son” as she affectionately refers to Will Wheaton’s character Wesley Crusher always went to the males on the show for advice rather than his mother. Dr. Crusher brought up a genius boy and that genius had to come from somewhere and something tells me it was not just the dead father. McFadden also shared that she would have liked to have shown more of the struggles behind being a single parent through these interactions. For all of these very compelling reasons the writer on whose ear these concerns fell gave the ultimatum that despite her character’s popularity it was her or him for the second season. They obviously made their choice, one I hope that in this day and age would have had a different outcome.

This feminist icon before her time was an absolute pleasure to talk to when I stopped by her booth later, so intelligent and open about sharing her experiences. I shared with her how inspiring she had been to me in “The Host,” an episode where she says the compelling lines which I shared in the earlier linked blog post. She was thrilled to be reminded of that, sharing that episode had been written by the shows first out gay writer and how happy she is that LGBTQI+ rights have come so far since then. As a newly out transgender individual speaking with one of my heroines about that most intimate issue I left this conversation with a newfound conviction in the life choices I am making.

Taken at ConJikan 2018, my phone died and was charging during her panel so I didn’t get a picture of Leah at ACC

Leah Stevo’s ‘Beginning Foam Armor Techniques’ panel was incredible and comprehensive of her presentation we covered in Jessie & James at ConJikan. At the end she drew an attendee’s name to receive the book Foamsmith: How to Create Foam Armor Costumes by her cosplay sempai Bill Doran. It was a wonderful panel and Leah Stevo is such an approachable and transparent artist. If you ever have questions about foam armor I highly suggest reaching out to her through her Facebook. I left the panel ready to run home and clean off my work bench so I could begin tackling my three foam armor builds for this year! I am only sorry that I was unable to attend her ‘Advanced Foam Armor Techniques’ panel on Sunday which promised to go into more detail about painting, embellishing, and LEDs.

While I was walking through the dealers hall I happened upon a booth with two authors and their multiple trilogies. I had an incredible conversation with them about the world of manuscript submissions and publishing. We lamented about writer problems and they shared some secrets to their success. The main takeaway of which was Query Tracker, a website where your book is matched with publishers that are looking for exactly what you’ve written. This was how they both became published with agents! It was very helpful to speak with such accomplished authors as I am in the process of completing my LGBTQI+ American Gothic Romance novel and am actively submitting my poetry for publishing.

Another highlight of the day, for there were very many, was meeting our first MaeBerry Cosplay fan. Of course we have followers through various social media, many of whom we have not met in person but I guess in my head at least the majority of our followers are people we know whether it be fellow local cosplayers or cosplayers we have met at other conventions we attend. But this precious cosplayer ran up to me in the stairwell and exclaimed “You’re MaeBerry Cosplay! I love your content!” Now, there is nothing better for a creator to hear than that their work is appreciated outside of their inner circles that are morally obligated to like it. There is no amount of praise from my new professors at Central New Mexico College (oh that’s right, also big news is I began working towards my Digital Media Marketing certification partnered with Facebook at CNM, check out the blog where I will be sharing all of my creations in my courses for the next two years) or my supervisors at work which amounts to the joy that I felt in that moment. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just writing and broadcasting this inner monologue to myself. Today, that fear was dashed and so I just want to give a shout out to our fan in the stairwell who I was so shocked I forgot to ask your name. If you are reading this, you rock!

Unfortunately, this concludes my day at ACC. I had to get to my obligations at home plus I did not want to walk the five or so blocks away that I parked in the dark in downtown Albuquerque, so I was unable to attend the cosplay contest but to compensate below are my three favorite cosplays from my day one of which (Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon) I have it on good authority won judges choice:

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