Nerd and pop culture collide at convention
With imperial storm troopers, a procession of Lego people, Pikachu, Swamp Thing and DeadPool riding a pink and white unicorn, the Big Blue Bear is probably one of the least interesting things to see at the Colorado Convention Center this weekend.
Nerd and pop culture converged Saturday during the second day of the sixth annual Denver Comic Con, which concludes Sunday.
With more than 100 guest authors and comic creators and nearly 700 vendors, it’s easy to get lost in the fray at an event as big as DCC. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, “Con-ers” should plan ahead.
“It really depends on what your geek interest is,” said marketing and communications manager for Pop Culture Classrooms Tara Hubner. “People come to see the bigger celebrities, talk to their favorite comic artist or meet their favorite author.”
On the main floor, Author Alley is filled with local and guest writers where patrons can meet their favorite authors or peruse for up-and-coming talents. There are also panels and screenings smattered here and there for people interested in very specific topics from music to prose.
The nerd poetry slam featured local writers who prepared poems specifically for DCC and also answered nerd-related trivia. Patrons chanted “nerd, nerd, nerd” loudly in approval when questions were answered correctly or at the close of recited poems with lines such as, “I have memorized more episodes of Sailor Moon than poems.”
On the upper level, Artist Valley takes over most of the floor and features more than 400 cartoonists, comics and fine artist tables and booths. Joel Adams, the artist for the first three seasons of “King of the Hill,” is just one of many attending to peddle his goods and meet fans.
“I really enjoy hearing the stories from fans telling me about growing up watching King of the Hill,” Adams said.
Also on the upper level were Merchant Mesa, Celebrity Summit and the kids lab and lounge. Attendees met their on-screen idols and bought one-of-a-kind toys, action figures and comic books. Nonprofit Pop Culture Classrooms dedicated nearly 10,000 square feet to children and teens this year where they could learn through creating and listen to their favorite comic artist or writer.
“Something that makes us unique is that we are a family-friendly con,” Hubner said. “Especially for teens to listen to comic artists, filmmakers and authors talk about how to break into the industry and also feel welcomed in the geek community.”
For John Orr and his sons, Keaton and Parker, it is definitely a family affair. Not only have they attended the convention every year since its inception, they dress in a different group costume for different days. Saturday they were “the red guy” from the YouTube series “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared,” who vaguely resembles a Muppets character. The day before? “Clockwork Orange.”
The senior Orr said next year they would probably come as lunch.
“Where else do you get to dress up like this?” Keaton asked.
Sunday the event will try to break the Guinness world record for the most people dressed as comic book characters, said director of programming Bruce MacIntosh. A mere 1,800 would be enough.