Even though Alfred Trujillo and Cara Nicole (a.k.a. AZ Powergirl) traveled together across the USA to 16 conventions in 2012, some may still find their wedding at GalaxyFest II in Colorado Springs, CO to be somewhat unconventional.
Trujillo grew up reading comics and drawing at a young age, trekking across Mexico with his traveling salesperson parents. Funneling the creativity and skill he developed in his youth, Trujillo entered the professional comic scene in 2010, drawing for Wonderland Annual and Grimm Fairy Tales. [pullquote]After a rather horrible first date, (“It was bad,” Trujillo admits) Trujillo was lucky enough to gain a second chance.[/pullquote]
Nicole has been described as a “tragic nerd.” Running away at the age of 15, she left her home in Denver, CO, trading it for the warm Arizona sun. 2010 was also a transformative year for Nicole as she stepped into the world of professional cosplay, donning a red cape and dubbing herself AZ Powergirl.
Flash forward to 2011. Some may call it destiny. Some may argue fate. Either way, for Trujillo and Nicole, it was a match made in…well…Phoenix. A place called Jesse James Comics to be precise.
Like all relationships, this one had its rough moments. After a rather horrible first date, (“It was bad,” Trujillo admits) Trujillo was lucky enough to gain a second chance. With some matchmaking assistance from his former editor, Raven Gregory of Zenescope, Nicole and Trujillo met up at a local bar. Again, the night ran as smoothly as before, ending with a party at Trujillo’s place that shut down early as his date (not Nicole) became sick.
Even with a couple misfires, a spark had been lit. A few weeks down the road, Trujillo received a surprise call during band practice. Nicole was due to attend a party but needed a place to change as she was still in her AZ Powergirl costume after a gig. Fearing the possibility of arriving to the party “stag-tarded,” Nicole asked Trujillo to accompany her. Knowing that third chances like this were rare, Trujillo cut out of band practice, a decision that eventually brought them together as a couple.
As a pair, the two joined forces and created 183 Degree Studio, travelling the convention circuit throughout 2012. During this time, Trujillo moved in with Nicole, a transition that put him across town from his two sons. Given the distance and the unpredictability of his career, a bitter legal battle with his ex left him without custody of his boys. Amidst the turmoil and conflict, Trujillo still managed to propose. Left penniless from his lawyer’s fees, he had to pop the question without a ring. Nicole said yes and even moved back across town to allow Trujillo to be closer to his boys. That New Year’s eve, Trujillo risked life and limb as a first time skater, whisking Nicole away to an ice rink downtown. Taking a knee in the middle of the rink, he put a ring on her finger.
[pullquote]The newlywed couple are poised to launch a successful line of comic and cosplay books while taking the convention scene by storm, doing what they love to do until the end of time.[/pullquote]Jumping forward to February of 2013, David Wacks, organizer of GalaxyFest II in Colorado Springs, CO, heard their story and offered to host a wedding for the engaged couple at the Antlers Hilton during the convention. Trujillo and Nicole put everything together in less than a month. Wacks assisted by arranging the space and an officiant to preside over a handfasting ceremony. The handfasting cord was made from a Powergirl cape, a “Project: Shadows” shirt, and a ribbon with both of their names. A Trujillo fan had crafted the silk boutonniere and bouquet.
Along with the couple and Wacks, attendees at the 13th floor ceremony included Tony Todd, actor and film producer known for his role as Candyman in the horror movie franchise of the same name, and Cindy Pickett, an actress famous for playing Ferris Bueller’s mother in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Three convention photographers were also invited to cover the ceremony in the Kathy Lee Bates suite, snapping frames as Candyman gave AZ Powergirl away while Mrs. Bueller hummed the wedding march. The newlywed couple received an announcement as they reentered the convention space.
To add to an already exciting day, the icing on the cupcake came as a welcome surprise: 183 Degree Studio’s “Project: Shadows” Kickstarter fund capped its $3,000.00 goal just hours before the ceremony.
Now, as husband and wife, the newlywed couple are poised to launch a successful line of comic and cosplay books while taking the convention scene by storm, doing what they love to do until the end of time.
Nicole and Trujillo are guests at Denver Comic Con in Colorado May 31st – June 2nd.