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Albuquerque Comic Con turns fandom into family

This past Friday, Jan. 13, Albuquerque Comic Con began at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The event — which brings fans of comics, movies and TV shows together from all over New Mexico — ran until Sunday, Jan. 15.

This year, Albuquerque Comic Con brought in guests ranging from Ari Lehman, the first actor to play Jason Voorhees from the “Friday the 13th” franchise, to Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants. A complete list of guests from the event can be found on their website.

Also in attendance this year was local comic book artist David Harrigan, also known as the “Art Assassin.” Harrigan previously worked on comic covers for Coffin Comics for over 10 years, most notably in drawing the character Lady Death and creating almost 300 covers for the company, according to Harrigan. He provided all graphics for the event website and worked on Albuquerque Comic Con’s first exclusive event covers.

This year was no different, with Harrigan creating three Albuquerque Comic Con exclusive covers. Two of the covers have Lady Death dipped in honey with the other featuring the character Hellwitch with Lady Death. There were only about 150 copies of each cover design made, according to Harrigan.

Fans were able to have them signed for free in person by Harrigan and Brian Pulido, creator of Lady Death.

“Brian Pulido had come up with the idea with this honey-dipped kind of thing, and I thought, ‘Yeah, that was really cool. That's fun’,” Harrigan said

The convention consisted of a multitude of events, from panels featuring different actors, to visiting the van from “Breaking Bad,” to a cosplay contest, making it an event accessible to anyone, according to Sara Benavides, local cosplayer and part of the nonprofit cosplay group New Avengers of New Mexico.

“I wanna say the atmosphere is busy, it's fun. My auntie, who actually came here with her kids, said everybody was so nice. They wanted to take pictures, they were complimenting on their costumes. It's very family oriented. It's very friendly,” Benavidez said.

The welcoming atmosphere is what makes the convention so important to cosplayer Xander Ferguson, citing that some of their closest friendships have been made as a result of the event.

“Albuquerque Comic Con means the world to me. It means that everyone can express themselves and show their fandom what they love. They can just prove to everyone that they're a fan; it doesn't matter how dedicated … It's a place for people to connect. I made some of the best friends that I've ever made here at this convention. I've been going since I was little,” Ferguson said.

This community is what draws people back to Comic Con each year, according to local artist Brandi, who attends each year as a vendor under the name “Crayon Queen.”

“I see so many people every year that I love. I get to catch up with people. A lot of the customers that come up, it’s like I've been watching some of them grow up. There's so many people I recognize and it gives me such a community,” Brandi said.

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Albuquerque Comic Con will next take place in 2024.

Jessica Baca is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at culture@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @Jessica_Baca_ 

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