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The five best things about Denver Comic Con 2014

Attendees entering the Convention Center lobby
Attendees entering the Convention Center lobby
Jamie Swinnerton

A Doctor Who chats with the Queen of Dragons while Finn from Adventure Time peruses the art on the table behind them. This is Denver Comic Con 2014. This ever growing convention just keeps getting better. So what made this year so great? Here are the five best things about the 2014 Denver Comic Con.

See also: Why Comic-Con is really about community

The Artist Alley at Denver Comic Con 2014
The Artist Alley at Denver Comic Con 2014
Jamie Swinnerton

5) Celebrating local and independent talent With big names like DC and Marvel dominating the mainstream comic art, it was great to see independent and local artists presenting both original and fan art. Independent booths sold everything from magnets and books to crocheted octopi and on-the-spot commissioned pieces. There was even a panel for indie comics of Colorado.

An impressive cosplay display
An impressive cosplay display
Jamie Swinnerton

4) The sheer number of cosplayers From the well-known Game of Thrones or Dr. Who characters, to more obscure or completely original beings, the large number of cosplayers this year covered the whole spectrum. Along with a sheer number of them, the costumes were, overall, very impressive. As one attendee put it, "Go big or go home."

Thor and Loki only got to keep their weapons because they're not made of metal
Thor and Loki only got to keep their weapons because they're not made of metal
Jamie Swinnerton

3) Safety Organizers of Denver Comic Con had their bases covers. Before entry, they asked any cosplayer with a "weapon" to have it inspected at their weapons-check station in the lobby. But there were also plenty of volunteers on the floor and in the panels who wore bright colored shirts. Within the program was a four page guide, Con 101, that spelled out (in rhyme) how attendees were expected to behave. Two of those pages covered sexual harassment and what to do if you're feeling harassed. The safety and enjoyment of each person at the con was made a huge priority. There was even a panel dedicated to the theme: Anti-harassment 101: Don't be a Creeper.

Shane Bitney Crone presents at the Being Gay in Pop Culture panel
Shane Bitney Crone presents at the Being Gay in Pop Culture panel
Jamie Swinnerton

2) A focus on becoming more inclusive Over the last few years there has been a trend in geek culture to become more inclusive of various genders, sexualities and races. The panels at this year's con were both progressive and reflective of this idea. Numerous panels were dedicated to discussing women in comics, LGBT comic artists, and exploring race and different identities. Writers and creators discussed their character choices and how they kept diversity in mind while making their projects.

The five best things about Denver Comic Con 2014
Jamie Swinnerton

1) Kid cosplayers There are few things cuter than a little kid pretending to be a super hero. Seeing tiny Batmans posing next to the R2D2 just added to the joy (especially when the robot was still taller than the kid). Nurturing creativity, literacy, and positive character building are just a couple of things that comics can do for children. Seeing kids become excited about all of these things, while wearing a mask and cape to boot, was the best thing about Comic Con this year.


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