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A Big Draw

Comic-book conventions bank on the superstar writers and artists who attend. Local creators, if featured at all, are usually afterthoughts. But Jason Page, one of the organizers of this weekend's ComicFest — which runs across the street from, and in conjunction with, Denver's long-running sci-fi convention, StarFest — decided to do things the other way around. "ComicFest is focusing on local artists so that Denver knows that there are talented people working on comics right here," says Page. "These local guys are the first ones we call."

That's not to say that Page and crew aren't bringing in some heavy-hitters from the big leagues, including X-Men artist Whilce Portacio and former Colorado resident Amy Reeder Hadley, who currently draws Madame Xanadu for DC/Vertigo. But ComicFest will also spotlight homegrown talent such as Stan Yan, John Porcellino, Scorpio Steele, Melanie Gillman and Westword's own Noah Van Sciver. "People come to see the big-name creators," says Page, "but they'll want to stick around for the hometown guys. You have that commonality with them in addition to sharing a love of comics."

ComicFest kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. and runs through Sunday at the Hilton Garden Inn at 7675 East Union Avenue. One-day passes are $10; weekend passes are $15. (Admission to ComicFest is also included in the price of a StarFest pass.) For tickets and info, call 303-777-6800 or visit
April 16-18, 2010


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