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Albuquerque, NM – I started looking forward to Albuquerque Comic Expo the moment I heard of it, which — come to think of it — I can’t remember when that was.  I recently just came out of the proverbial geek closet.  It was a shock to my friends.  “What?” “But you’re so badass!” “So that’s why you get so angry after superhero movies.” “I know…I found your comic book stash when we moved you in.  I was just waiting for you to tell me.”  Having been a closet geek, I did not consort with others of my kind unless it was through the “privacy” of the internet.  Going to conventions was a bit overwhelming to think about.

Sabaku Con 2013 was the very first one I attended.  The costumes, the souvenirs, the workshops, the panels…the overload to a geek with Adult ADHD was almost too much.  I almost forgot I was there as a media correspondent and let my inner geek fully take over.  With one convention out of the way, the big one, the one I had wanted to wait for but was too impatient to do so, was finally here.

Albuquerque Comic Expo, or ACE, was held in the Albuquerque Convention Center.  The event sprawled two floors of the Albuquerque Convention Center and had a variety of vendors and artists alike.  One could find just about anything to fulfill their inner geek’s desire.  There was even a Virtual Boy…yes…that’s right a Virtual Boy available for play in one of the many gaming areas.  If old school Nintendo wasn’t your thing, you could cross the aisles to the more modern gaming systems.

ACE did a fantastic job securing Billy West, Giancarlo Esposito, Walter Emanuel Jones and David Yost for panel discussions and Q&As.  Nicholas Brendon, a fan favorite, participated in ACE’s Karaoke Meet & Greet where Con goers could belt out their favorite song and have a chance to meet and take photos with the former vampire hunter.

I have learned a few things from this Con and I will share them with you:

1. Arrive fairly early. Parking is a horrible, filthy part of our existence and it doesn’t get easier when ACE is going on.

2. Food is great. Make sure you stop to eat in between events.  A lot of Con goers were seen heading to Zohra, which wasn’t a bad walk for an awesome, affordable meal (the chicken kabob was fantastic!)

3. Water does a body good.  For real.  Albuquerque’s summers — which I’m a totally noob to — can really take it out of you if you’re not hydrated.  Drink up, folks.

4. Don’t be afraid to talk.  Ask people questions.  Ask questions at Q&As.  Nothing is more awkward for the speaker and the audience, when there are no questions to be asked.  Feel free to ask any (or none) of the following:

Can I follow you on twitter?

Can we be facebook friends?

What happened to you?  You used to look so great!

Who’s your agent?  Are they taking new clients?

5. Have fun.  This event, while three glorious days long, is merely an oversized comic book store if you don’t take advantage of what it has to offer.  Go to the anime cafés, play games, talk to the celebrities..do something!

Having this been only the second convention I’ve been to, I must say I was not only impressed, but super starstruck and as giddy as a child in a candy store.  The event was well organized and full of interesting booths (R2D2 agrees) with all sorts of artistic and eye candy and souvenirs that could easily turn into a last minute gift for a friend.  I am so glad I was given the opportunity to cover the event and could not believe just how massive it was.  This was an experience I won’t forget.  The guests, panels, cosplayers, booths, artists, events were all to something to be admired.

 

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