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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Anime, game, comic geeks gather for POW!-wow

culture@dailylobo.com

Comic book nerds, film buffs, anime fans, video gamers and more will all come together under one roof this weekend to celebrate all things geeky.

Albuquerque Comic Expo (ACE), Albuquerque’s largest comic convention, will take place Friday through Sunday at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The show floor opens Friday from 2 to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Craig A. Butler, event coordinator for ACE, said he got involved with the expo after its first year in 2011, when he was approached by founder Greg Derrick to help fund and organize the event.

“I loved the first show so much, I thought it was a good idea,” Butler said. “I’m a big believer in the mission of ACE.”

Butler said ACE is about bringing together comic lovers, gamers, artists and vendors, and it’s about giving people in Albuquerque something to do.

The show floor of the convention is dedicated to vendor booths and artist alley tables. Butler said this gives local artists and vendors the chance to show off their wares while giving convention-goers an idea of what Albuquerque businesses have to offer every day.

Local retro gaming store, Gamers Anonymous, will be a returning ACE vendor.

“We had such a great time working with everybody that it was a no-brainer to go back this year,” owner Jon Sakura said.

Sakura said Gamers Anonymous will have retro gaming tournaments and ACE-exclusive merchandise for sale at this year’s booth.

“(ACE) works so well with geek culture that you just have to be there,” Sakura said.

Wesley Hirning, an Albuquerque local who attended ACE last year, plans to attend again. He said ACE provides a great opportunity to make new friends with similar interests.

“When I first went, I fell in love with it,” Hirning said. “ACE is a way to express your geeky side and enjoy everything that everyone has to offer, including vendors, cosplayers and other local geeks.”

There will be panels throughout the weekend, the ACE costume contest and even an Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator, a life-size replica of the bridge from the multiplayer computer game Artemis.

Albuquerque business Quelab built the simulator.

“It is a product that all of the members of the hacker space had a hand in making,” Quelab president Greg Moran said about the simulator.

ACE will be the testing ground for the Artemis simulator. If people show enough interest, the simulator will be available during other events and in other places, Moran said.

Butler said ACE’s primary goal is to make the convention memorable.

“My main hope is that a lot of people from Albuquerque come and have a great time,” he said.

Albuquerque Comic Expo
Show floor:
Friday from 2 to 8 p.m.
Saturday from 10 a.m.
to 7 p.m.
Sunday from 10 a.m.
to 6 p.m.

Tickets are $35 for the weekend,
$15 for one day.

Tickets and information can be found at abqcomicexpo.com