Atomicon 2023: A Big Idea That’s Growing – Aug. 5 In Los Alamos

The Los Alamos Atomicon runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. Photo Courtesy LAC


Fans of superheroes, comics, costumes, board games, art, fantasy, science fiction, and more will find dozens of activities to enjoy Saturday, August 5 from 10-5 pm at four locations in downtown Los Alamos. Expanding the event beyond the main library to include the lower level of Betty Ehart Senior Center, Fuller Lodge Throne Room, and even a little space at Ashley Pond, library staff are set to welcome a variety of vendors, activities, lectures, exhibits, and demonstrations. 

The midday costume contest is in the Great Room at Betty Ehart Senior Center at 1:15 pm. In the 12 and up group, prizes will be given in categories including best group costume (3 or more people), best duo (2 people), most flamboyant, villainous, heroic, original, or Los Alamos, or best remix. In the 11 and under group, the judges will select 5 excellent costumes in no order.

Additionally, the judges will select a vendor to award a costume prize to. A panel of three people will judge all the categories based on creativity, effort, quality, originality and hair/makeup/accessories. The winners will be announced in each category as the contest goes along to allow folks who didn’t win an early category to enter another category they might fit in. Entrants may only win in one category.

Vendor tables are in Fuller Lodge Throne Room. The vendor group expanded greatly this year and includes laser art, games and toys, art prints, original clothing, jewelry, and accessories, cosplay accessories, books, comic books, fanart, stickers, and zines. Vendors are mostly local although some are from Santa Fe or Albuquerque. Free popcorn will be available in the lobby of Fuller Lodge courtesy of the library.

After the costume contest, the Great Room at Betty Ehart Senior Center has three workshops in a row. Expert presenters in three areas of interest from a 7000 BC workshop at 2 pm, to a zine making demonstration at 3 pm, and ending with a talk about getting into the comic con scene as an artist at 4 pm. At Mesa Public Library, the upper level and the lower level will be the setting for many different events and activities.

Atomicon attendees should check the lobby schedule to find when and where to look for comic jam panels for kids and adults, the Artomicon art show in the Step Up Gallery, lectures and demonstrations from expert educator artists from the comic collective 7000 BC, an introduction to the world of steampunk from author Tiffany Trent, three craft stations to make bookmarks, buttons, and a battery-powered light, face painting, a simple indoor scavenger hunt, live caricatures with Paul Ziomek, life drawing of costumed models with Ken Nebel, and a wandering magician.

Not all activities last all day. Con attendees should check the schedule, available in the library lobby, Fuller Lodge lobby, or the library calendar, to plan their days. Linking together the three buildings (Mesa Public Library, Betty Ehart Senior Center, and Fuller Lodge) is a series of five outdoor stations making a Superhero Obstacle Course.  Each will have an activity best suited for elementary and younger children. Those who do all five activities may get a small prize in the lobby of the library.

For those who want to move gradually into an Atomicon state of mind, consider starting the Saturday with an outdoor showing of the LEGO Batman Movie on the side of Ashley Pond Park facing the main library. The movie starts at 10:30 am and has a running time of one hour, 44 minutes.

Contact Melissa Mackey at (505) 662-8258 or with questions.