The Ten Best Geek Events in Denver in May
Despite the snow showers, May is here. We can assume the flowers will arrive shortly, but in the meantime, we don't have to wait for some great geek events to pop up! This month offers up everything from the obligatory Star Wars celebrations (May the Fourth be with you!) to a celebration of vintage arcade games. All in all, May is a great month for geek events; here are ten of the best in chronological order.
10. May the Fourth Star Wars celebrations
Hardcore Star Wars fans adopted May 4 as their day of recognition because of the pun, and this year they'll have a couple of ways to embrace the galaxy that George built. For the kids, the Denver Art Museum is offering a May the Fourth Be With You public celebration as a way to preview their upcoming exhibit of Star Wars costumes, inviting people to come in appropriate outfits, take photos with their favorite characters, and get a chance to win some prizes. Later that night, there's Art War, an unrelated Star Wars celebration that features Star Wars-related work by local artists, the original films on big screens, dancing, costumes, themed drink specials and more.
The Denver Art Museum's celebration runs from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4, at the Martin plaza outside the DAM; for more information, visit the DAM website. Art War starts at 5:55 p.m. May 4 at Point Gallery; tickets are $35 and include four drinks. For more info, visit the Art War event page.
9. Free Comic Book Day
Every year, the first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day, which is exactly what it sounds like: Comic-book stores give you comics! Sure, there are some rules (no, you can't go in and just grab whatever), but hey — free comics! Whether you're a current comics devotee, a lapsed fan looking to get back on the comics horse, or a total noob who got hooked by that Netflix Daredevil series and now wants to get into actual comics, there's nothing but upside. Free comics! What's not to like?
Free Comic Book Day runs all day Saturday, May 7, at participating comic-book stores throughout the metro area. Visit the Free Comic Book Day website for more info, and to find a participating store near you, use the handy store locator.
people like to dismiss comics as "kids' stuff," but what's wrong with kids? The kids of STEM School and Academy are more ambitious than most adults, and STEMCon — a full blown, single-day comic con — is proof. Dreamed up by the kids themselves and run by both the kids and their parents and teachers, STEMCon is a chance for the next generation to show us old nerds what they've got. In its inaugural year, the con will feature a cosplay contest, a number of author guests, choreographed superhero fights performed by local MMA groups, an appearance by the Mandalorian Mercs, drone demos, a vendors' room, panels and, well, pretty much everything else you’d expect from a con.
STEMCon runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at STEM School and Academy, 8773 South Ridgeline Boulevard in Highlands Ranch. Please keep all cosplay kid-friendly and leave the weapons — even the foam ones — at home. For tickets, $6, and more information, visit the STEMCon website.
Even robots aren’t infallible. They break down. They wear out. They crash. Sometimes for seemingly no reason at all, they just don’t work. For its fourth annual robot show, Malfunction, Good Thieves Press is embracing the entropy and chaos that come from robots going wrong (other technology, too). The show, juried by Chicago-based glitch artist Jon Satrom, encompasses not just our robot friends, but any glitch-related work, in any medium: analog, digital or mixed. Hardware failures, user errors and kludgy hacks are all fair game, as is any and every other technological meltdown, freakout or corruption, unintentional or otherwise. With such wide-open parameters, you might see anything from the pixel-smearing weirdness of tortured GIFs to a Roomba gone bad and turned on its makers.
The show opens with a reception at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at Good Thieves Press, 2045 Downing Street, where it runs through May 21; admission is free. For more info, visit the Malfunction event page.
6. Robot Ball
Can you do The Robot? Even if you can't, you'll enjoy the Robot Ball at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, where you can dance with robots (and people), enjoy some drinks and appetizers after hours in the museum, and check out the groovy Robot Revolution exhibit. And if you can dance The Robot? Well, you'll never have a better place to show it off. (Note: I have no reason to think that dancing car robot in the video up above has anything to do with this event, but it's the sweetest robot-dancing video I found, so it seemed appropriate.)
5. Nerd Rock Show
Just because you're a nerd doesn't mean you don't like to rock out from time to time. Colorado's got a few sweet nerd bands, and this is a great showcase for their geeky charms. Enjoy geek-friendly and generally weird material from Smashy Claw, the Inactivists and Bolonium while you dance awkwardly (or awesomely — we know not all nerd stereotypes are true), then stand around afterward deeply inspired and discuss forming your own nerd band with your friends.
Video games are a rapidly evolving medium, but the systems you grew up with — no matter what your age — will always hold a special place in your hearts. And no matter what system you grew up with, you can celebrate that love of old-school gaming at VinCon. Featuring a huge selection of free-to-play systems, from venerable Atari 2600 systems to barely out-of-date PlayStations, as well as a giant swap meet, a games music concert, tournaments and more, VinCon is the place to find gaming nirvana.
VinCon happens Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, at the First National Bank Exhibition Hall at the Ranch Events Complex in Loveland. Tickets are $15 for the weekend, or $10 per day. For more info and tickets, visit the VinCon website.
The jokes almost write themselves.
3. Mile High Sci-Fi vs. Street Fighter
As Mystery Science Theater 3000 so aptly demonstrated, there's no better way to improve a bad movie than letting some good comedians loose to riff on it. And make no mistake, Street Fighter is a bad, bad movie. Good thing, then, that Mile High Sci-Fi has some great comedians, headed by founding member Harrison Rains. They should be able to defeat Street Fighter's Van Damme-flavored cheese without breaking a sweat.
Andrew Novick is one of Nerd Nite's many distinguished past speakers.
2. Nerd Nite
Nerd Nite is a lecture series that takes fun, nerdy topics, adds booze and generates fun. This edition features lectures on the myths of Mars, cannabis, and the history and impact of turntables, all in one evening of inebriated learning. Grab a drink, get ready to learn, then soak in the company of your fellow drunken, knowledge-hungry nerds.
Terry Gilliam's Brazil offers up a nightmarish dystopia that's all too believable. The horror here comes from the impersonal machinations of bureaucracy that we all face every day, making it much scarier than any monster hiding under the bed. With its byzantine world packed to overflowing with insane detail, this is a film made to be seen on the big screen, and this screening is presented on 35mm for extra value.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Denver art and theater scene.