Things worked out perfectly that not only was I going to be in town for the week of the Denver Comicon, but that I was also able to secure entry fairly last minute to be able to cover the event.
As a comic book/sci fi/fantasy nerd, Comicon has always been a bucket list item for me. Somehow I had always been in the wrong city at the wrong time for me to be able to attend one. I mean, grown people getting to dress up in costumes and celebrate all the wonders of nerdom without it having to be Halloween and without having to have a kid in tow? Sign me up!
Denver Comicon was set up as a three day event with all kinds of celebrity speakers, discussion panels, vendors and artists, and all sorts of other activities all jammed into the halls, meeting rooms, and auditoriums of the Colorado Convention Center. It was so last minute when I found out that I was going that I wasn’t able to request any exclusive interviews with any of the celebrity speakers, so I planned my first day so it would be taken up by testing the waters and making a strategy for the rest of the weekend. I arrived in the afternoon so as not to get caught up in the opening rush and give all the rabid fans a chance to settle down a bit. In all honesty, I had no idea what to expect, so I just strapped on my boots and dove right in.
The convention center was packed. Everywhere I looked costumes people from every fandom or milling around, conversing, taking pictures, and generally seeming to be having a good time. I made my way through the words of always making mental notes on things that I wanted to stop and take time to look at closer.
I was honestly overwhelmed. After a few hours of walking around and taking in the sights I had a pretty good sense as to what I would do the next two days. Knowing it was set to be a long weekend, I headed back to my car and went back to get a good night’s rest.
Day 2: Undercover
For the second day, I dusted off my Jedi robes that I had purchased for my niece’s birthday party. I had a few friends who were going as well, so we all met up at the light rail station instead of driving.
We garnered far fewer side eyes than I thought we would, being that we were traveling in our costumes. Then again, I have seen some of the characters that ride Denver public transportation on the daily.
The train dropped us off directly outside the front door of the convention center. Not having to find parking was a huge bonus, so the day already felt like it was off to a great start. We entered the building and got to work straight away.
Day 2 I used as my interview day. My friend Danny and I spent countless hours walking around getting short interviews with attendees for my radio show, The Reset. We had the ultimate conversation starter, being that I was dressed as a Jedi and he was dressed as a red shirt from Star Trek. We met all sorts of interesting people, and even ran into some of our other friends that we had no idea were there. Beyond the basic questions of ‘who are you cosplaying’, ‘have you ever been to a Con before’, and the such, the one question that I really wanted to know was “What does Comicon mean to you?” The question seem to really hit home with a lot of people, in the answers that we got were very diverse. Some said they enjoyed the “second Halloween” aspect of it, some were there geeking out on the celebrity panels, others there for the memorabilia. The one that really got me was the response from a 20-something girl dressed as an elf. She told me that Comicon was the one place where she actually felt she fit it. She said that she had been to a number of Comicons across the country throughout the years and it always felt like coming home. She viewed them as her family reunions, Christmas, 4th of July, and Thanksgiving all rolled into one weekend. That same sentiment was echoed through a lot of people but no one else articulated it quite like she did.
After a long and grueling day of pounding the pavement, we headed back to the train. I felt that I had gained quite an insight on the heartbeat of Comicon, but I was really looking forward to spending the next day just browsing around and taking it in a tourist fashion.
Day 3: The Finer Things
For my third day I wore the most comfortable clothes I owned and paired them with the most comfortable sneakers as well. The endless was walking around while wearing boots had really gotten to me, so I was looking forward to at least a semblance of comfort.
The first place that I went after arriving was to the vendor area. I noticed that the days crowd seems bursar than the previous two days. It seemed as if Sunday was more of a leisurely crowd, comparatively.
The vendor area was a giant room with row after row of tables set up with everything from prop replicas to paintings to actual comic books.
I spent a couple of hours combing the aisles, wishing that I had it in this amount of money to be able to spend on all of the I spent a couple of hours combing the aisles, wishing that I had and in less amount of money to be able to spend on all of the cool stuff that I was seeing.
To end the day I found a room that was doing a Jeopardy style trivia game. Seeing it is a good opportunity to rest, I took a seat at the back of the room. My true nerd colors showed as I knew 95% of the answers to the questions.
I left the building knowing that I had only scratched the surface on what was Comicon. I was already planning my next year’s foray, hoping that the stars would align again and allow me to be able to make a return.
For exclusive interviews with Comicon attendees check out my radio show The Reset! Follow the link below to see how to listen worldwide!
Much thanks again to Jason at Dstreet PR for the last minute accommodation!