DPCC’19- Don’t Let The Name Change Fool You, There’s Still Comic Stuff
Denver Pop Culture Con 2019
The “con” circuit has hit Colorado and it’s first major stop is Denver. Don’t let the new name change fool you this year, this is “Comic-con”, just not officially anymore thanks to San Diego now owning the rights to the “Comic-con” title. However, it did seem a bit less “Comic-y” than the years prior.
Unfortunately, like most Fridays in the past, the event staff seemed to be just as lost as the crowd at times when it came to coordinating the entrances. Thankfully, that changed drastically on Saturday and Sunday though, like it has in the past as well. The biggest issue I found with the event planning was the inability to mark the booths numbers in both the event map and the DPCC application. This made locating booths and artists very difficult. In the past, you could know exactly where you needed to go to get your books signed before the event even started. This year, there was one single booth that you had to locate if you wanted to know where to go with wandering around aimlessly. I hope that in the coming years DPCC goes back to the ways of announcing booth numbers on the given maps prior to the event so fans can spend less time running back and forth to learn where they need to go.
Unfortunately, before this event even got started, there was a lot of criticism floating out there due to the lack of comic book creator recruitment this year in Artist Valley. However, if you are more of the novel reader, this was the event for you. There were tons of novelists available to sign your books. I did find that with the smaller amount of comic creators present, I felt much less rushed and had to wait in much fewer lines than past years, making it so my schedule was more open to check out and interview the newer and unknown indie creators on the floor. Most of the booths in Artist Valley seemed to be more about artists selling prints than actual comic books, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. These artists were all extremely talented and didn’t seem to have any problem selling their work. I did manage to find some awesome creator owned indies, and I can say that this was definitely the best year since I have been attending this event as far as quality goes in this field. Titles like “The Resistants and “The Ferrokin”, along with several others that I came across, all look to have a promising road ahead of them, and these are the things I like to discover most at these conventions. Overall, I would have loved to see Artist Valley bring in a few more big names and dedicate less space to novelists in future years. On the bright side, if you needed to make your way from one end to another of the con floor, you could avoid the most traffic through “Author Alley”, beings that there wasn’t a whole lot of draw to that particular area.
The attendance this year was not disappointing, despite the negative chatter prior to the event. On Friday, the crowd was early and it was big. Normally this event is scheduled on the same weekend as Pride Fest and Father’s Day, which all tend to work hand in hand with each other in bringing in larger crowds, so compared to other years it did still seem like a bit smaller of a turnout. Don’t get me wrong, it was a big turnout, just a bit smaller than past years. I actually enjoy that the events were separated this year because walking the sidewalks around the outside of the Colorado Convention Center was much easier to do. Walking the convention floor itself wasn’t very overwhelming at all either. Friday was a breeze, and even more so on Sunday. Saturday did get a bit more dense, but that is to be expected. All in all, I was not disappointed in the crowd size this year, and the even more rewarding part of it all was the amount of diversity I saw in the crowds. There were also lots of families all together, which I find to be incredibly awesome. I was very pleased to see the amount of unexpectedly non-nerdy faces learning the ways of the geek.
POP CULTURE CLASSROOM
This was by far the best part of the convention. There was never any lack of attendance in this room, despite how massive the layout was that was dedicated to this particular part of the floor. To me, getting kids involved in art early is the key to the future, and it almost brought a tear to my eye to see how many kids were genuinely interested in the sessions they had going. At any given time a kid could come up and make their very own comics, but there were times when legends like Mark Morales would give them Spider-Man drawing lessons. There were also plenty of other events going on in the Pop Culture Classroom. Tara Strong managed to take the stage for the kids, but my favorite was “Make Patrick Warburton Laugh.” Gronk, set aside the time to listen to a bunch of kids try to get him to laugh, and this was easily the most entertaining part of the weekend. That room was constantly filled with the happiest faces in the entire convention, all while subtly being taught by professionals to be the future.
I went in to this making a bet to myself that the most seen costume of the year would be Fat Thor. As a matter of fact, I believe I spoke those words to my friends as I was leaving the theatre after seeing “Endgame.” I was correct. This was easily the most used costume choice, and plenty pulled it off to perfection. Fortunately, there were still plenty of other great cosplayers that attended, at least on Friday and Saturday. I can honestly say that on Sunday I was disappointed in the amount of costumes, but I could have been in the wrong places at the wrong times for all I know. The fact is, overall the costumes were highly impressive and I enjoyed seeing all of the acknowledgement these people were getting for their efforts.
From Friday to Sunday was a bit of a roller coaster. The lack of staff knowledge and event coordination on Friday made things very frustrating. Saturday was as smooth as could be, and there was no lack of ways to keep entertained. Sunday took the usual dip that occurs on the final days of these events, but the coordination was much better. The most disappointing part about Sunday was the lack of cosplay on the floor. All in all, I found myself having a great time. Some of that “great time” may have had something to do with Breckenridge Brewery’s “Bocks Machina,” the official beer of DPCC. Despite the lack of creators in Artist Valley this year, I still found myself having lots of conversations with up and comers, as well as discovering more new books to check out. Every once in a while a big event takes a step back from the usual expectations, and this was that year. However, by no means was this year a bust. I will be looking forward to how the event coordinators learn from this year to give us nerds an even better DPCC next year.