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Denver Comic Con brings fans together

Danny Bishop

Last weekend, on top of a parking garage in Downtown Denver, a Power Ranger could be seen struggling with a parking meter. Meanwhile, Bane and Poison Ivy were spotted swaddling their infant Batman. This scene could mean only one thing – Comic Con was in town.

The Denver Comic Con took place in Downtown Denver last weekend. Fans of all ages flocked to the Colorado Convention Center to collectively celebrate the quirky joys of pop culture. This convention was an opportunity for Colorado comic, movie and video game enthusiasts to come together and emphatically plant their nerd flag on the media landscape.

Comic Con is the only place that can make you feel foolish for not wearing a costume. I was in the minority by wearing regular clothes to the event. Even though I was one of the few who did not dress up, I was complimented on my Scott Pilgrim costume. Looking at everybody’s creative costumes was one of the most entertaining parts of the convention.

BreakoutTemplateSummerfocoperspectiveThe panels stood out as the highlight of the convention. Some panels, like a lecture about how to start a podcast, were designed to be informative. Less serious panels were also held, like a Q&A with the voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy, who went into detail about his work on the Batman video games.

Denver Comic Con had a diverse audience, spanning all ages and genders. Sunday, a panel called “Importance of Strong Female Characters” filled the room to capacity. On this day alone there were eight panels devoted solely to celebrating and promoting diversity in comic books, TV and movies.

 I was relieved to see a wide range of ages and both genders at the convention. It is important for varied opinions from different backgrounds to contribute to the comic industry. I appreciate Denver Comic Con’s effort to celebrate diversity. Openness like that helps bring in fresh perspectives to contribute to the culture.

Contrary to the name, Denver Comic Con’s focus reached far beyond comics. A panel, exhibit, workshop or Q&A could be found for almost any niche interest. Events ranged from a workshop exploring how to make a living making comics, with advice from current creators, to a Q&A with Reading Rainbow star Lavar Burton.

As a first time convention attendee, I was initially overwhelmed by the sea of people flooding into the convention center. I was put at ease after sitting in on the first panel of the day. The Colorado chapter of the International Game Developers Association explained the process of becoming a game developer. In the panel they pointed out that 59 percent of Americans play video games and urged the audience to consider video games an art form. I agree with this position, so I felt at home.

Denver Comic Con has existed for three years, according to the Denver Comic Con website. The convention was created in conjunction with the non-profit Comic Book Classroom. Part of the proceeds from the growing convention are donated to the Comic Book Classroom in an effort to promote literacy in kids through comic books. Additionally, the Denver Comic Con website said the inaugural event’s attendance increased in 2013 from 21,000 to 61,000 attendees.

Denver Comic Con is a new and bizarre tradition in Denver. It is equal parts strange and delightful to see a girl dressed as Han Solo play Guitar Hero against a Wookie in the convention lobby. That is the appeal of Denver Comic Con: it has no boundaries. The convention allows attendees free reign to express themselves, among friends.

Collegian Staff Reporter Danny Bishop can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.

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