Las Cruces Comic Con strikes back
By Zak Hansen
Las Cruces Bulletin
Last year, Troy Stegman, owner of Zia Comics, had a dream: To put on Las Cruces’ first ever full-fledged comic and pop culture convention.
And he succeeded; nearly 7,000 superfans came from all over to stroll through the exhibition halls of the Las Cruces Convention Center, browsing the best in gaming, anime, fantasy, sci-fi, collectibles, pop culture, toys and, of course, comic books. This weekend, from Friday through Sunday, Sept. 11-13, the Las Cruces Comic Con rides again, featuring celebrity guests and panels, costumes, fashion shows, movies, table games, a burlesque show and much more.
Throughout the Las Cruces Convention Center, vendors will be on site selling comics, games, toys, collectibles, crafts and more, and again this year, the convention will feature an Artist’s Alley of aspiring artists and writers selling and promoting their own original print media work.
This year’s guest roster is stacked with notables from film, television, comic books, cosplay, gaming and beyond. Among them are actors David Zayas (Det. Angel Bautista on Showtime’s “Dexter,” Enrique Morales on “Oz”), pro wrestler- turned-actor Tommy “Tiny” Lister (the hulking neighborhood bully in the “Friday” series), Korean- American comic book artist Jae Lee (who has worked on titles including “Namor the Sub-Mariner,” “Youngblood Strikefile,” “WildC.A.T.s Trilogy” and Marvel’s “Inhumans,” which garnered he and writer Paul Jenkins the 1999 Eisner Award for Best New Series), “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” veterans Barbara Goodson (the iconic voice enemy Rita Repulsa) and Kerrigan Mahan (Goldar), actress and voice actress Wendy Schaal (Francine Smith on “American Dad!”), cosplayers Ginny DiGuiseppi and Kat Ashley, Colorado prop and costume company Faraway Creations and more.
Throughout the weekend, these guests and others will hold question-and-answer panels and will be available for photo opportunities with fans. There will be other panels held, including “How to Build Props” from Garage FX and a “Star Wars” cosplay Q& A hosted by the Vhe’Rang Clan Mandalorian Mercs and the 501st Legion, which will aid attendees in creating the best and most authentic cosplay costumes.
Speaking of cosplay, many attendees to last year’s convention were outfitted head-to-toe in the gear of some of their favorite fantastic characters, and this year should be no different. At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, these fans will go head-to-head to decide who created the best costume in a number of categories – anime, child, fantasy/ historical, game media, superhero/ sci-fi, groups and pot luck – in the Las Cruces Comic Con’s returning costume contest.
At 9 p.m. Friday night, after the convention has closed its doors for the Las Cruces’ own Strangeluvs Burlesque and Variety Troupe will once again take over the Las Cruces Comic Con for its second “Comic Strip” showcase for guests 18 and older, tailoring their fun and flirty show with a comic and pop culture bent featuring everyone from the Incredible Hulk to Boba Fett. Tickets to the show are $10 with a oneday pass and free with the purchase of a three-day pass.
Las Cruces Comic Con hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets to the Las Cruces Comic Con are $35 for a three-day pass, $25 for a Saturday pass, $20 for a Sunday pass, and $10 for a Friday night pass. Children 10 and younger are admitted free with a paid adult. For more information, call Zia Comics at 405-0461 or visit www.ziacomics.com or www.lascrucescomiccon.org.