Written by John Edward Betancourt
It’s truly quite incredible how big the convention scene has become over the past few years. Everywhere you look, there seems to be a con that caters to just about any fandom you can think of and the real beauty of seeing convention after convention pop up is the sheer fact that it gives us all more opportunities to hang out with our fellow nerds and geeks and bask in all the wonderful fandoms that bring us joy.
However, with so many cons at our fingertips, fans tend to be a touch more selective as to which ones they would like to attend and often times, that means picking up a ticket to the big-name cons for the sake of sheer convenience, but that can have it drawbacks. Sometimes it’s simply too busy, or the con is 100% concerned with being a business over anything else and when you don’t feel as though your dollars matter, or you can’t find a good personal tie to said con, it makes for a mediocre or poor experience.
Thankfully, there are still cons that believe in interaction and community and that family feel and one such con that has my attention when it comes to this, is Fort Collins Comic Con. Now, I will fully admit that I have yet to attend this con, something I’ll be changing this weekend, but people love to discuss their experiences at a particular convention and what has me piqued about attending this one, is all the feedback I’ve received about how inclusive this con is and how much fun it is every single year.
In fact, everything I’ve seen when it comes to this con, screams ‘geeks are family’. Take the activities scheduled for example. Between live music and a cosplay catwalk, to a Ghostbusters Training Camp for the kids and a Nerd Prom for teens, it truly seems as though Fort Collins Comic Con has something to offer everyone and it doesn’t end there, because their guest list is pretty impressive as well. You’ll find a bevy of comic book artists at this con, such as Peter Krause, Jolyon Yates, Zach Howard, Ron Fortier, Lee Oaks and Mike Baron. Plus, you’ll be able to interact with some folks from the animation business such as, Victor Cook, Greg Guler and Michael Toth and there’s even a television writer in attendance this year since Kevin Hopps will be at the con.
As an added bonus, the show will also have a doctor in the house since Erica Macdonald, Phd, who has traveled the world to educate people on space science in popular culture and science fiction will also be in attendance. It’s a wonderfully diverse group of guests and it reinforces inclusivity for geeks from all fandoms and in the end, the impression that I’m getting when it comes to this con, is that it is all about a relaxed experience. Between the layout and everything we’ve talked about today, it really feels as though Fort Collins Comic Con is the kind of event where you can chat it up with the artists and the guests in a comfortable environment, giving us everything we love about conventions…all while making us feel like we matter. FCCC kicks off Saturday, 10 a.m. at the Aztlan Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, and I look forward to seeing everyone there.
Written by Tim Girard
Shakespearean Wars in the Stars
Friday 7:00PM - 7:50PM Room 505 - Reel Heroes Film Series
Ernie Quiroz, Stacy Quiroz, Neil Truglio, Derek Nason, Andy Ray, Nicolas Horn, Dan O’Neil, Parker Jenkins, Chantelle Frazier.
With a beginning like “A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away”, it feels like our favorite film franchise could have been written by The Bard. Join the Denver Film Society as we see what ‘Star Wars’ could have looked like on a stage with actors taking inspiration from arguably the world’s greatest playwright.
On the Friday night of Denver Comic Con weekend, members of the Denver Film Society performed a reading of the book 'William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope' by Ian Doescher (which is a retelling of ‘A New Hope’ as if Shakespeare had written it). They began by recruiting some audience members for a few key roles, including Greedo (which I was NOT selected for, unfortunately), and the audience as a whole was instructed to be the voice of Chewbacca. They also explained that, in keeping with the tradition of the times, there were only male actors...which meant that Princess Leia was going to be played by a man. With only a handful of actors, that meant that each one would play multiple roles. There was also a soundtrack provided in the form of the original score being played on vinyl.
Shortly after the show began, they revealed an added layer to their performance: their use of props. They had toy laser guns for the sounds of blasters, and when Darth Vader first spoke, his deep robotic voice was enhanced by a megaphone with voice modulating effects. Similar effects were also used when any of the Stormtroopers spoke and also when anyone use a communicator, Luke calling C-3PO when he was in the trash compactor, X-Wing pilots, etc..
All of the voice acting was top-notch. The (male) actor voicing Princess Leia used a beautiful, yet authoritative falsetto, while the actor playing R2-D2 whistled all of his lines (and at one point stood up exasperated and made a comic outburst about being a trained actor who was only getting to whistle). Luke was appropriately whiney, and the actor who played C-3PO captured his soft-spoken, articulate voice perfectly. Obi-Wan Kenobi announced his appearance when the actor playing him comically tossed his hood up over his head… and half of his face.
In the Mos Eisley Cantina scene, we met Han Solo, and the audience had our collective-voice-acting debut as Chewbacca. After Luke and Obi-Wan left, the chosen audience member came up to a mic to deliver all of Greedo’s alien dialogue. When Han shot Greedo (first), it signaled the end of the Cantina scene. This ‘should’ have been followed by the deleted-then-re-inserted scene with Jabba the Hutt talking to Han outside the Millennium Falcon, but as the actor playing Jabba the Hutt began to walk on stage, delivering his first line, the cast ‘booed’ him off. The audience laughed, realizing that this was the cast’s way of showing their disapproval of that scene.
The next memorable moment was the confrontation between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The two characters stood up and incorporated a makeshift lightsaber fight across the other seated actors while still delivering Shakespearean dialogue. After Obi-Wan’s death (spoiler alert…), the full cast revealed the mightiest, most impressive of their performance-enhancing props when they performed ‘The Force Theme’…with an orchestra of kazoos.
After Obi-Wan’s death scene and the buzzing majesty that followed, it was about 7:45, meaning they technically only had five minutes before the end of the panel. I thought that they were going to end there, but instead, they decided to push through and try to finish in a hurry. It was like watching the rest of Star Wars on fast-forward (or as performed by the Micro Machines Man). They were all still in character, but they were spitting the dialogue as fast as they could. Luke squeezed in one more monologue before heading into the trenches in his X-Wing and destroying the Death Star. Their performance concluded with a return of the kazoo orchestra to perform the ‘Throne Room Them’ for the award ceremony, and the audience giving one final howl as Chewbacca.
Next: The Music of Wonder Woman (and some other bad-ass women).
Photographs by Scott Murray
Photographs by Scott Murray
Written by Joel T. Lewis
The soundscape of my childhood was a wild cacophony of cartoon voices, whacky sounds, and 90’s theme songs. From Freakazoid to Goof Troop and everything in between, the impact of voice actors on my childhood cannot be understated as my Saturday mornings (and let's face it, all of my afternoons) were symphonies of talented voices behind colorful animated characters. But there is no cartoon voice, no voice actor whose work has impacted my life so dramatically as to permeate all the media I’ve consumed since the way Kevin Conroy has as the voice of Batman. Batman fans will argue themselves blue over Bale vs Keaton vs West about who wore the cowl best in the movies, but there is no such argument over the voice of Batman. Kevin is the King.
All the comic books I pick up that feature the Dark Knight (and if you’ve read any of my content here you know that’s a large majority of what I read) are read in the voice of Kevin Conroy. It's not conscious, I don’t do it deliberately, that’s just how Batman sounds in my head. So naturally, I leapt at the chance get to see the man behind the voice this year at Denver Comic Con, and this year marks the 2nd time I was lucky enough to be in the same room as him. Now, when you’ve been to the multitude of Cons that a pop culture icon like Kevin has, there’s bound to be some overlap in the stories you tell, the questions you receive, and even the songs you sing (Yes Kevin sang ‘Am I Blue,’ and yes it was amazing). That being the case, the reason performers like Kevin draw such consistent crowds is that being in the same room with them makes the fact that you’ve heard the stories before inconsequential. For instance, I’ve watched about a hundred videos of Mark Hamill describing how he landed the part of the Joker in the Batman animated series, but would I sit in the back row of a crowded theater to hear him tell it again live? Absolutely. I felt the same way about Batman.
Hearing firsthand about how Kevin discovered Batman for the first time through the artwork and the tone of The Animated Series and how he found the voice of the Dark Knight and his Billionaire alter ego made me feel like a little kid sitting a little too close to the TV back in the house I grew up in. I kept thinking ‘It’s Batman! It’s Batman!’ Remember this was my second time seeing him. I’ve heard the stories before, I even heard him sing the first time, but I can’t really explain how happy it made to get to see him again.
Kevin was everything you’d hope for in an icon from your childhood; charming, humble, witty, and playful. After describing how he ended up with the role that would define his career, the first question from the audience was about Kevin’s experience working with the recently deceased Adam West on the ‘Gray Ghost’ episode of the animated series (a question I was hoping would be asked). Adam described his fellow caped crusader as a gentlemen and a tragic loss. He was also asked whether voice for television or voice for video game gigs were more difficult, which led Kevin to demonstrate the endless range and patience required for video game voice over work. Kevin's subtle variations of his signature Bat-Voice ranging from whimsical to smug to pained were a great showcase for his wonderful acting ability and it was a lot of fun to see.
You always hope your childhood heroes are fun-loving kind people and Kevin Conroy certainly fits the bill. If you ever get the chance to see the man in action you will not be disappointed with his generous spirit and his immense talent. He is vengeance. He is the night. He is Batman.
Written by Zeke Perez Jr.
As early as I can remember, I would plop down in front of the TV on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series. Then on Sunday afternoons, I would plop down again and watch the Denver Broncos play. I collected bobbleheads and I collected HeroClix. I read comics and I read the sports page. You get the idea.
Every now and then, you find a sense of instant belonging. While I was prepping my schedule for Denver Comic Con 2017, staring me back in the face while I scrolled through the app was a panel titled ‘From the Stadium to the Convention Hall: Being a Nerd and a Sports Fan’. A chorus sounded as the story of my life emanated from my phone screen. I grew up a fan of both sports and nerdy things, and I was excited to hear from sports nerds just like me.
In a conference room coincidentally just a few hundred feet from a booth where the Colorado Rockies were promoting their Marvel Superhero Night and Star Wars Night, the panel on the intersection of sports and nerd culture took place. However, as panelists Shane Mares, Sarah Spaulding, Ali Woll, and David Johnson brought to light, the convergence of the two has not always been so common. Sports and nerd culture are sometimes kept apart as two different worlds, often by the people who inhabit those groups.
This insensitivity cuts both ways, too. Cliques and gatekeeping lead to the classic jocks vs. geeks battle that discourages people from being a fan of, let’s say, football and Magic: The Gathering at the same time. Growing up in school, we may have known individuals who were shunned from a certain group for their interests – or even been those individuals ourselves. Jocks looked down on nerds and nerds looked down on jocks. For many, it was tough to find a home within the two.
Yet for all the division that exists, the gap is being bridged. Right now may be the dawn of a golden age for the nerdy sports fan. Pro and minor league sports teams increasingly incorporate nights devoted to fandoms in their schedules. Sports video games do a lot to connect the two as well. It’s not at all uncommon for sports fans to view Madden, NBA 2K, or FIFA as an acceptable level of nerdiness. And fantasy sports are really just sporty versions of D&D.
It was wonderful to hear from a panel full of people who hope to see more unity between the groups. They were all eager to see the day when kids don’t have to choose between their interests in fear of bullying. There’s no need for one group to hate or discourage another because of their interests. Sports fans and nerds are intensely passionate about celebrating what they love, and that’s really all that should matter.
At Denver Comic Con, I saw an orange-and-blue Peyton Manning Stormtrooper walking around. If that’s not a sign of good things to come, I don’t know what is.
Denver Comic Con 2017 Panel Spotlight: 'Redface, Spirit Animals, and the Noble Savage: How to Tackle Native American and Indigenous Stereotypes'
Written by Joel T. Lewis
With the wide variety of panels available at Denver Comic Con it's rare that I attend a discussion similar to one I might have seen the year before. However, over the last couple of years Dr. Lee Francis IV of Native Realities Press has brought together some important figures from the Native American and Indigenous creative communities to discuss the role and representation of Native peoples in popular culture and I try to attend at least one of their panels every year.
Dr. Francis started by leading the panel through a brief history of Native representation in pop culture. Francis’ presentation defined each Native archetype throughout history while also examining the motivation for (and if not motivation for, the effect of) portraying Natives this way. Francis began with the Noble Savage and Earth Mother archetypes. Both products of exotic ideals of masculine and feminine energy, the Noble Savage and Earth Mother inform a lot of lazy representations of Native Americans in fiction, as the men are always shirtless, adorned with feathers, accompanied by an animal companion, and toting a bow and arrow, and the women are fertile, flowing-haired, guardians of the natural world. These figures are often used as counterpoints to Anglo Colonist villains with no respect for the natural world.
These figures, while still present in modern fiction, dominated the popular portrayal of Native Americans until the mid-1700’s when the 'Vanishing Indian' came into existence. This spurred a multitude of 'The Last of the <Insert Tribe Here>' narratives, which served to placate the colonial audience by insisting that the atrocities enacted on the native people while inhumane, were irreversible as those tribes were nearly extinct. These narratives often include an Anglo Hero whose compassion and respect for the vanishing culture enables them to absorb some aspect of the native’s magic or power. Francis referred to Avatar as the most recent example of this trope.
Following the Vanishing Indian, fiction saw the rise of the 'Red Devil' villain character whose early appearance in Twain’s 'Tom Sawyer' informed the characterization of countless Native American villains in the western film genre. 'Injun Joe,' Twain’s Half-Breed terror and Tom Sawyer’s loveable roguishness established a dichotomy crucial to understanding the popular portrayal of Native Americans. The treachery and terror associated with the Red Devil figure set against the fun-loving resourceful cleverness of Tom Sawyer, the all-American hero, help to ease the guilt of American colonialism. If an audience can see the people they’ve marginalized and systematically slaughtered as blood-thirsty and treacherous those atrocities slowly become justifiable in the public consciousness.
Francis then moved to discuss the Drunken or Lazy Indian trope where a native character is only included as a novelty used for comedic effect and finally the Neo-Noble Savage. This traditionally tragic figure is typically caught between cultural identities and the philosophies that come along with them, often choosing to abandon their native culture to adapt and assimilate into western society in order to prosper.
The panel was then opened up to the panelists to discuss the projects they’ve contributed to and are working on and how they’ve worked to counteract the stereotypical representation of Native people in their own work.
One of the panelists, Renee Nejo is the developer and lead artist of the Blood Quantum video game, a turn-based, real-time strategy game meant to encapsulate the frustration and mechanics of imposed cultural identity definitions. Nejo described her unique position as a white-passing native woman and spoke about her desire to accurately represent the strong older native women in her life with her work. Popular culture’s representation of women is far from ideal in in general, but representation of older Native American women is nonexistent and Renee is working to craft figures that accurately represent those women in her own life.
Panelist, Author, Actor, and Director Jon Proudstar explained the motivation for his 1996 comic Tribal Force. Disgusted by the lack of accountability within the Native community with regard to child molestation and the lack of Native Heroes with substance or identity, Proudstar became the very first Native American author to write an all Native Comic Book. Tribal Force’s female protagonist is a survivor of sexual abuse and is an example of strength for a community whose members experience an alarming number of abuse of this kind. Proudstar is an outspoken Native creator whose passionate words on the history of the racial slur xxx-skins and the importance of never forgetting the true history of Native subjugation in America were poignant and inspiring.
Native American figures are embedded within Popular Culture, but it is important to remember that, as is the case with all minority groups, those who write, direct, or portray these people in print on screen are seldom representatives of the culture portrayed. It is our responsibility as creators and consumers of pop culture to seek out and strive for positive and accurate representations of all cultures especially with regards to Native and Indigenous Americans. The power of storytelling is vital to reshaping how we honor the Native American people in the public consciousness and every year the panels organized by Dr. Lee Francis IV at Denver Comic Con do an outstanding job of showcasing important figures working to bring about this change.
Written by Scott Edwards
When it comes to describing your con experience, it is in everything that you took away from it. While this can be in all of the goodies that you picked up at the artist and merchant booths, or getting an autograph from your favorite stars, these all fall into your memories that you never want to forget. Being part of the media groups running around this event, I do not always get to make every stop that I want, especially when seeing the lines for my favorite stars, but I do tend to take away plenty when all is said and done.
Arriving at the convention center on Friday and seeing many of the familiar faces that I have grown accustomed to over the years, I was happy to see some new ones as well. Not really being prepared for what Denver Comic Con had in store for me this year, I was open to most anything that it was willing to bring my way. Being able to sneak in some quick hellos to my artist friends that had made the show is always at the top of my list of things to do, especially since I only get to see them once or twice a year. This always puts the con in to perspective for me, listening to how they think that the show will go.
As Friday continued on and an influx of fans made their way to the main floor, I was amazed to see how much they were actually picking up from the artists. As Friday is usually the day for everyone to make their way into the convention center to get their bearings, it was great to see people getting their treasures first thing this year. As the day moved on and night started to settle in, food was on the mind of almost everyone and I had the pleasure of joining, Todd Jones, his wife Bethany, Ron Root and Matt Campbell for dinner. While this is off the clock time for me, it was great hearing childhood stories and where these very inventive minds had come from. With plenty of laughter at the table, the night had come to an end with little time left before Saturday would be upon us.
Saturday started off as expected, lines circling the convention center as everyone was ready to make this a sellout day for the record books. Watching as the lines migrated into the event, it really was something else this year as it seemed like every aisle was packed with people looking for their con treasures and not being too upset that they were not getting anywhere too quickly. Keeping an eye out for things of my own, I saw plenty of smiles while passing the Pop Culture Classroom side and watching the Red Team Go team hammer out sketches for the kids. There really is something to be said about this, since it is really what Denver Comic Con’s focus is on, the youth at the con.
With the lights turned down and the doors locked up, the yearly dinner at the Hyatt Regency was in effect for some of the special few. Being able to dine with my artist friends is always a good time as we all took a load off and got to chat not only about the con, the web site, but some life in general. This is the new highlight of the con for me, as everyone is just out to have a good time and catch up. And while the stories change from year to year, the attitudes do not as smiles and laughter radiate through the bar, but if it is because of the beverages being consumed or how many Street Tacos someone is eating, well, that is a story for another day.
When Sunday finally rolled around and seeing that the con had truly set in for everyone, in a good way, we all knew that this great experience was coming to an end. But the fans did not seem to think so as they all made their way back for one more day of greatness. As everyone seemed to find what they were looking for, there were very few frowns to be seen as the floor was packed once again. It appeared that everyone was still going full force this year, and that is what really made this con one for the memory banks. I do not ever remember seeing so many smiling faces, even when making their ways through the aisles as I did this year, which would indicate that they were all having a great time all around.
As Sunday came to an end and the customary applause took place from everyone working on the con floor took effect, it was time to say goodbye to Denver Comic Con once again. Getting the quick goodbyes to everyone who made this a great event once again was key. Not one handshake, fist bump or hug was wasted in showing the appreciation to everyone who made this an experience that I will never forget. Thank you once again to Denver Comic Con for allowing us to be a part of this fantastic event and to everyone who is unnamed behind the scenes, especially the volunteers who kept everything running without issue. Even though this event only takes place once a year, my Denver Comic Con family tree continues to grow and overall, that is not a bad thing. I cannot wait to see what is on the docket for next year!
Written by Scott Edwards
I am always looking for treasures to bring home from Denver Comic Con and this year was no different. Being able to talk to some great artists about their work is always a highlight for me and seeing how some fans lives were changed after meeting their favorite artists, I see that I am not the only one. This year was a little different for me, as I usually splurge on a ton of prints, I went more of the comic book route this time, and now have plenty of books to keep me busy, along with a few prints to admire in between readings, so, without further ado, here are some of the amazing creations that I brought home with me this year.
Ben Templesmith – Even though he did not bring any of his copies of 30 Days of Night this trip, I was able to pick up a couple copies of his latest book, Blackholers which looks pretty darn intriguing. From the first time I saw his artwork hanging outside of his booth, I knew that I would be a forever fan and the magic inside of the pages has confirmed this yet once again.
Zac Skellington – Knowing Zac for a couple of years and having my own one of a kind Gnome eyeing me every night, I know he can do much more. Picking up his copy of A SKELLOSKETCHBOOK was a great choice as it highlights great works from over the years. I must admit that I am a sucker when it comes to people drawing Jokers, and he has got a couple of my favorites highlighted in there as well.
J. James McFarland – Stopping by J. James’s booth, he had one of his books that made its first appearance a couple months back, Gen-Exxed. With his own version of X-Men going on between the pages, I cannot wait to jump in and see what stories they have to tell.
Nathanial Hamel – Seeing that Nate was going to be back at Denver Comic Con this year made me smile a little bit bigger. I had to pick up his new book Barbarians, not only to show my love, but to keep him coming back. I must admit that I have only thumbed through the book thus far, but I do love the artwork in it, especially for the character Gosta who has an epic mustache.
Felipe Echevarria – I see Felipe at every show I go to and his artwork is always breath taking. I decided to pick up his book Ankh, which features painted Sandman Death sketches from 1993-2009. In fact this book holds over thirty paintings of Death, and I will admit that the way it is laid out, it tells a story of its own. This was a must have for my collection.
Russell Nohelty – Being a writer and founder of Wannabe Press, Russell fit right in with the artists. One of his books, Katrina Hates Dead S%it, was next to impossible to ignore. Being able to get his own book off of the ground by asking people what they wanted and getting artists who are as passionate about it as he was, I will admit that this might be one of my favorite surprise pick-ups of the show. And when you get done with the book and see the back cover, you will agree, the apocalypse sucks.
Jason Meents – I talk about his work every year and it is hard not to fall in love with his artwork, I mean you can never go wrong with Tykes. I do need to grow my collection of Jason’s work, so to do so, I made sure to pick up this Batman piece. This will go great with my ever growing collection and actually make me not feel bad about having a teddy bear in my room.
Lewis Brown – I always keep an eye out for Lewis’ work and any new updates on his book, Brown Hornet Omniverse. I will admit that after getting a quick peek of the book last year, I was chomping at the bit to get a copy when he showed up. Flipping through the pages and seeing just a small sample of what challenges the Brown Hornet will have to face, I am excited to jump in, because the creatures are extremely eye catching.
Chad Harden – If you don’t know that I am a huge Joker fan, now you know, I am a huge Joker fan. Chad has perfected the counterpart to my favorite character in Harley Quinn and it is time to expand my collection a little bit further. I picked up a couple of the metal trading cards, not only because they are small, but it helps to get my collection going with a quick shot. I think everyone needs a little bit of Harley in their lives, not only because she sticks with the Joker, but because sometimes we all need to embrace our crazy.
Todd Jones – I love talking with Todd at these events, mainly because it turns into gut splitting laughter and this year was no different. Needing to update my Wicked Awesome Tales collection by picking up book #6, featuring The Undead Avenger: Brother Bones, my heart skipped a beat when I saw another new book, Classic Monsters as Sharks. Not having any idea that he was going to turn his drawing obsession into a book, Todd has pulled together all of his favorite Classic Monster Sharks from the past year and even gave them an intertwined backstory in the Shark Universe. With sharks ranging from Sharkula to Sharkzilla, this book is a dream come true. Oh yeah, I also got an outlier that did not make the Shark book in Mantas-Shark, because he was too scary.
Frankie Serna – One of the hidden gems on the con floor is always Frankie, for one reason, he is always smiling and happy to see you. I had fallen in love with Frankie’s art a couple years ago with his awesome Venom that has so much texture, it is hard to believe it’s not real. This year, I got a special one of a kind Joker sketch from him, which will have to become one of my pride and joys of this year. With all of the detail work that went into it, it is more than I ever could have imagined and I cannot give enough thanks to him.
There you have it, my Denver Comic Con take home for this year. I wish it could have been more like in years past, but overall, I am very happy with my purchases. One of the things that I love about this event is not only being able to view some of the great artwork that litters the aisles, but to talk with the artists who are able to put it down on paper. Listening to their stories is truly priceless when all is said and done and while you might be buying something to put on your walls, know that you are helping to keep the artists doing what they love. I cannot say enough about how much artistic talent was at Denver Comic Con this year. It was a pleasure chatting with them inside and outside of the con and I only hope to keep my collections growing with their work and others that I find along the way.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
Denver Comic Con weekend can sometimes be quite the exhausting experience, in a good way of course, and because of the fatigue that can settle in from seeing the sights and the sounds of a convention this big...people tend to have a pretty specific routine when it comes to Sunday in order to maintain their energy and see the end of the weekend with a smile on their face and pep in their step.
Let's see if this sounds about right. After a fun filled Saturday evening at the various hotels with your good friends or friends you haven't seen in forever, you tend to sleep in the next day. Sure you're excited for the con, but today...you take your time getting ready. Your breakfast or your coffee isn't consumed in a matter of seconds, in fact you take your time to enjoy it all before finally grabbing up your gear and your badge and heading over and once you arrive, you mosey about the sights, pick up those last items on your shopping list and say your goodbyes to your con family before heading home for a long summer's nap.
But this year, that was simply not the case for Sunday. There was a special energy in the air, in fact the best way to describe it, is that it felt like Friday. People were rushing into the con as quickly as they could, they were filled to the brim with energy and ready to get everything they wanted to accomplish on their list out of the way before the clock struck six. Sure, plenty of folks were tired as well, as is to be expected, but in my many years attending this convention, I've never seen this kind of energy and drive on a Sunday and it was simply a magnificent sight to behold.
Not to mention, the obligatory goodbyes were different in their own right this year as well. Usually it's a quick wave and goodbye or a brief embrace before parting ways. But this time around, everyone was determined to make every single second last as long as possible before heading out for the day and everywhere I turned people were talking about how wonderful it was to see their con family once again and how this year felt like a family reunion, and as the day finally wound down, and I finished my lengthy lists of goodbyes as well...that's when it hit me, this really was a reunion of sorts.
In a way, Denver Comic Con really has become about family. It's one of the few conventions out there anymore built from the ground up. There's no bigger company concerned about profit alone running this con and several other ones. This is Denver's baby, it's for a good cause, and every single one of us have helped make it what it is today. It feels like home, because we've made it home. It feels like we're seeing family because the people we've met at this convention have become a big part of our lives, and the fact that it feels so comfortable and so familiar speaks volumes to what everyone involved with this convention, from Director Chris Angel to the everyday fan, have built...a truly open place for geeks to unite, and share their love of a particular fandom without impunity, and potentially make some life long friends along the way. Either way, this was simply the best Denver Comic Con I've ever attended, and I cannot wait to see what wonders await us next year, and beyond...