Getting my geek on at Rocky Mountain Con Cosplay Contest

Cosplay contestants at Rocky Mountain Con 2013, in Denver, Colorado.
Cosplay contestants at Rocky Mountain Con 2013, in Denver, Colorado.

Note from the Mayor: Rocky Mountain Con 2014 is October 25-26.

Okay, I’m just going to go ahead and admit it – I’m a bit of a geek. It’s not a full-time gig for me, but I dabble in Geekdom. Raised on Star Trek and various British sci-fi shows, such as Red Dwarf, there was no way I could have reached adulthood without having a little geekiness rub off on me.

The thing that sealed the deal, however, was marrying my husband, Ryan. He’s not your stereotypical geek – he doesn’t work on computers all day and he loves to watch and play sports, however, he’s a child of the 80s. He spent a lot of time in the mall’s arcade as a kid, he’s a brilliant artist who spent most of his time in school sketching fantasy characters, he spent time playing Magic (the card game) as a young man, he absolutely adores game of all kinds, from video to table, Lord of the Rings is his favorite book, and I think you get the picture.

Female Cosplay winner at Rocky Mountain Con 2013 Denver, Colorado.
Female Cosplay winner dressed in steampunk attire at Rocky Mountain Con 2013.

I have always liked geeks (a bit obvious since I married one). Geeks are smart and tend to be highly creative people. I consider myself both of these things, and while I’m not really a serious gamer and I only play the occasional board game, I am currently listening to “Ready Player One“ on Audible (narrated by geek god, Will Wheaton) and years ago I was briefly addicted to Baldur’s Gate on PlayStation.

So that long introduction explains how Ryan and I ended up attending Rocky Mountain Con this past Sunday. We’ve always wanted to check out a con, and somehow always miss the big Denver Comic Con, so when this one popped up on my radar we decided to check it out.

Cosplay contest male winner. Sniper at Rocky Mountain Con 2013, in Denver, Colorado.
Cosplay contest male winner at Rocky Mountain Con 2013.

The brand new Rocky Mountain Con is a gaming, comic, anime, toy and science fiction convention in Denver, Colorado. It was established as a way to raise money for the Aurora movie theater shooting victims through

We arrived on Sunday, the second day of the two-day con held at the Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport Convention Center. We didn’t attend any of the workshops, although from reading their Facebook page, these were well received.

Halo group cosplay winners at Rocky Mountain Con 2013, in Denver, Colorado.
Group cosplay winners (Halo) at Rocky Mountain Con 2013.

The convention floor was huge and there were a large number of artists displaying their works. The first fascinating conversation we had was with Arthur Suydam, an accomplished artist who seems to be the king of zombie art. He’s currently creating covers for The Walking Dead.

We spoke to big time artists like Suydam, and artists who are just starting out in the business. Self-publishing seems to be popular with this group. For example, George Wassil of Oh Hell Comics, has his entire comic available free online at

Overall winner of the 2013 cosplay contest was BioShock at Rocky Mountain Con in Denver, Colorado.
The overall winner of the 2013 cosplay contest (BioShock) at Rocky Mountain Con 2013. The judges stand behind her.

In addition to chatting with various artists at the con and meeting R2D2, the Cosplay Competition was the highlight of our day. We knew about cosplay, having watched a little of Heroes of Cosplay on the SyFy Channel, but we’d never seen the real thing.

Cosplay is short for “costume play,” and is performance art in which participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea.

There were quite a few entries in the Rocky Mountain Con Cosplay contest, and honestly, I didn’t recognize many of the characters represented, but the costumes were all really cool. A lot of cosplayers make their own costumes, which is impressive since I can’t sew on a button.

The main stage had a catwalk so that the contestants could show off their duds to the audience and the judging panel. The judges were famous Cosplay Gals, Ivy Doomkitty (I assume that’s not her real name – or her real boobs), Erin Card and Destiny Nickelsen.

One by one the cosplay contestants, both male, female and child, made their way on to the stage. Some simply pranced on and off the catwalk, while others rattled off a line or two of narrative that fit their character’s persona. One of my favorites was Lady Loki, who ended with “kneel before me!” See video here.

Cosplay contest at Rocky Mountain Con 2013, in Denver, Colorado. (2)
All the cosplay contestants pose during Rocky Mountain Con 2013 in Denver, Colorado.

Rocky Mountain Con, and I assume cons in general, are a chance to escape reality for a bit and spend time in an alternate universe; one where all things are possible, and where weapons and tails are standard issue.  I’m definitely looking forward to attending more cons in the future. My husband, who builds furniture, has a line of gaming tables that he should be marketing to this group, so we may have a booth at a con one day.

Who knows where our shamble down the geek garden path may lead? While I don’t see cosplay in my future, if the outfit involved sensible shoes and no tummy or breast exposure, I might consider it.

Another Note from the Mayor: This year (2014) Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture will be showing his game tables at Rocky Mountain Con on October 25-26.


  1. Love it, totally bummed that I missed it. Hopefully I’ll get out there next year! I’d love to participate!


    1. I think they are definitely making this an annual event, Suzanne. I’ll see you there in 2014! Thanks for stopping by HeidiTown today!


  2. This is one of the ones, like Starfest, that’s going to be on everybody’s radar shortly.

    Cosplayers put so much time and effort into their stuff, it’s not even funny. I love the ODSTs from Halo and Rorschach is just plain cool.

    I have my own Starfleet uniform which I really like, but some of the Trek cosplayers go all out: dressing up like Ferengi or Andorians… more than your traditional Vulcan or Humans.

    Cons are great fun, I’m hoping next year Giant Gnome will get a chance to present a panel at Rocky Mountain Con.


    1. I hope you are right about this event getting on everybody’s radar, Nick. It’s got a great cause at the center and I think they have a lot of potential to grow it, especially at this time of year when I don’t think there are any other cons happening in Colorado.

      I’m definitely interested in attending Starfest sometime. I grew up on Star Trek the Next Gen. 🙂

      These cosplayers are crazy! I can’t believe how much work they put into their costumes. It must be a full-time job.

      I had to google Giant Gnome and now I think you’re talking about Giant Gnome Productions. See, I’m really just a level one Geek with no special powers… yet. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by HeidiTown, Nick!


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