Mesa Public Library Presents Second Annual Atomicon Aug. 5

Scene from Atomicon 2022. Photo by Melissa Mackey


Mesa Public Library proudly presents the second annual Atomicon: a Comic-Con-inspired event for all ages to be held on Saturday, Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first annual Atomicon was held at the Mesa Public Library in July of last year. The inaugural event was attended by an estimated 1,500 fans – proof that Los Alamos is a small town with a mighty love of comic books, superheroes, gaming, anime, movies, and fandoms.

This year, to better accommodate large crowds, the event has been expanded to include two additional locations. The Fuller Lodge Throne Room and lawn will host vendors, outdoor movie screenings, and a superhero obstacle course, and the Betty Ehart senior center community room will provide the space for a costume contest and several educational programs on topics such as zines, how to get into the Comic-Con scene as an artist, and a workshop titled “What Are Comics?”

.At the Mesa Public Library location, Atomicon will take over the upper floor including the Step Up Gallery, the youth services floor including the Zone, and the outdoor space behind the library. The upper floor will host Albuquerque-based independent comic creators 7000 BC for the second year in a row. The 7000 BC folks will present morning and afternoon sessions of themed talks and workshops about comics, content creation, character development and more. They will also lead an all-day activity where participants are invited to help create a comic by adding panels to a collaborative comic jam panel. Finally, 7000 BC staff will host an informational booth, do a live caricature drawing session, and have a presence at the Fuller lodge vendor floor. Also on the upper floor, the Step Up Gallery will feature comic inspired art created by local and regional artists. The show will be open during and in the month leading up to Atomicon.  Atomicon goers will also be able to enjoy game room activities in the gallery space.  

The youth floor including the Zone and adjacent outdoor spaces will be buzzing with activities all day. Creatives of all ages will be able to attend two different drawing sessions in the rotunda.  The youth floor will also host many activities for younger audiences and play host to educators and artists doing demonstrations.  Among the planned activities are a scavenger hunt and superhero science with Los Alamos STEAM Lab. Additionally, con visitors will have space and materials to make their own buttons with their original art or with preprinted images. Tandy Leather Co from Santa Fe will help children and interested adults learn to stamp onto leather. Face painting artists and a balloon artist will be in the mix of tables and booths. Fans of the Avengers can make a bookmark from craft sticks. Superheros in training should take advantage of the superhero obstacle course outside the library near Betty Ehart Senior Center.
Comics and graphic novels aren’t just about superheroes. They span all genres and interests, from cookbooks to memoirs and adaptations of the classics—even Margaret Atwood produced a graphic novel.

“Graphic novels have exploded in popularity for all ages in the last decade.” said Youth Librarian Melissa Mackey, “With Atomicon, we’re creating an event that entices fans of board games, anime, manga, various fandoms, comics and comic art, cosplay, science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, video games, and anything related. The library staff wants to draw from our talented, creative local and regional community to make this annual event exciting and uniquely Los Alamos.”

The community is already abuzz with interest in the event, and the library’s coordinating staff hopes to see it grow year to year to include more collaborations, partnerships, and audience engagement.

So, mark the calendar for Saturday, Aug. 5 and plan to don your favorite capes and costumes—or come as you are—and step into a world of action, adventure, and fantasy that has been curated to spark a sense of joy and wonder in even the most embittered of supervillains. Activities and booths for all age groups and varied interests abound at this day-long event. Atomicon is free to the public. For more information about the event, please visit the library’s event calendar or call (505) 662-8250 for more information